May 08

JavaScript Ruminations

I have used JavaScript of and on for many years but in the last three years I have used it seri­ous­ly for build­ing a large client-​side web appli­ca­tion. During that time I have push many of the bound­aries of JavaScript and uncov­ered some fun­da­men­tal issues with the language.

One of the most com­mon com­plaints about JavaScript is that its object sys­tem is bro­ken. This is almost always becuase of a mis­un­der­stand­ing of what the lan­guage is. JavaScript is not an object-​oriented lan­guage, it is a pro­to­type lan­guage. What does this mean? It means that I can change the “object hier­ar­chy” of an exist­ing object at run­time by chang­ing the objec­t’s pro­to­type. This is by design and isn’t one of the real problems–it just requires a dif­fer­ent way of thinking.

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