You Must Know these Terms of JavaScript Jargon

You Must Know these Terms of JavaScript Jargon

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Guide: You Must Know these Terms of JavaScript Jargon

From currying to closures, there are quite a few JavaScript jargons (special words used in the field) knowing what will help you not only increase your vocabulary but also better understand JavaScript. Jargons are normally found in documentation and technical articlesBut some, like closures, are pretty basic things to know. Knowing what the word itself means can help you get to know the concept better.

This post is the compilation of 10 such terms with their meaning and the context in which they are used in JavaScript. If you are a beginner then this list has you covered with the basics like lifting. At the same time, it also includes less known or less understood terms.

  1. Arity
  2. Anonymous
  3. Closure
  4. Currying
  5. Hoisting
  6. Mutation
  7. Pragma
  8. Sentinel
  9. Vanilla
  10. Variadic
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1. Arity

Arity (from Latin) is the term used to refer to the number of arguments or operands in a function or operation. You will likely see this word in the domain of JavaScript when used to describe the number of arguments expected by a JavaScript function

There is even a property called arity of the Function object that returns the number of arguments expected in a function. However, it is now obsolete and replaced by length.

The following function has an arity of 3.

function getName (first, middle, last) {return first + ” + middle + ” + last;}

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2. Anonymous

Anonymous is an adjective. When something or someone is called anonymous, it means that the name of that thing or person is not identified. Likewise, in JavaScript, an anonymous function is the one that is not identified by a name.

(function () {// body}) ();

Above you can see an IIFE (immediately invoked function expression). The function in it is anonymous because it has no name. Now take a look at the below.

var foo = function () {

That would also be an anonymous function as there is no name after the keyword function.

There is some doubt about the correct use of the word “anonymous”. With IIFE, the function is called immediately, without a name, while, to call the last function, the syntax foo () is used.

It’s as if we baptized an unnamed function called ‘foo’ and named it with that. Does that count as anonymous? I don’t know, I’ll leave that to the English experts. But apart from my confusion, they are both indeed called anonymous function.

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3. Closure

Here is one of the Oxford dictionary definitions for closure: “Anything that closes or seals something, such as a cap or tie.”

In JavaScript, closure is an inner function, accessible outside the scope of the outer function, with the connection to the variables of the outer function still intact.

To explain things (maybe not accurate but simple enough), consider closing like a waiter in a restaurant. Many things happen in the kitchen of a restaurant that we are not allowed or allowed to look inside. But how should we get our food?

That’s where the waiters come in. We call them, order the food, and then they go to the kitchen, inform the chefs about the orders, and bring it to us when the order is ready. This way we have not broken any “rules” and can still grab a meal.

The waiter is someone who can take our order to the kitchen and come back with the food. JavaScript closures are similar to that, they can take our parameters and bring us back variables (references to those variables, to be precise) from a function that we are not allowed to enter.

function order () {var food; function waiter (order) {chef (order); return food;} function chef (order) {if (order === ‘pasta’) {food = [‘pasta’, ‘gravy’, ‘seasoning’]; cook ();}} function cook () {food.push (‘cooked’); } return waiter;} var myOrder = order (); console.log (myOrder (‘pasta’)); // Array [ “pasta”, “gravy”, “seasoning”, “cooked” ]

As you can see from the above code, everything except the waiter and return value from inside the order function is not exposed to the outside world.

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4. Currying

The effect, named after Haskell Curry, refers to using multiple functions with single arguments, instead of a single function with multiple arguments. For example, let’s take a look at the features below.

function addx (x) {function addy (y) {return x + y;} return addy}

function add (x, y) {return (x + y);}

console.log (addx (3) (4)); 7console.log (add (3,4)); 7

Both functions return the same result. The addx function accepts a parameter x and returns addy which in turn accepts the y value, performs the addition with x and returns the sum.

The addition function just takes x and y at the same time, does the addition and returns the sum. So far, the first function may not seem very useful, until …

var add4 = addx (4); console.log (add4 (8)); //12console.log(add4(6)); //10console.log(add4(-74)); // – 70

Now the first function suddenly becomes interesting. In currying, you can always correct a step in a series of operations, such as the addition of 4 from the above code, which is useful when one of the variables used in the operation is always the same.

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5. Hoisting

Hoist means to lift something. Hoisting in JavaScript also means the same thing and what gets incremented is the declaration (declarations of variables and functions).

In statements, variables and functions are created with the keywords var (not global) and function.

No matter where you type the code to declare a function or variable, all declarations are moved during evaluation up within range where they are (except in strict mode). Therefore, it is possible to write a working code with the function call code before function declaration.

var name = “Velma”; console.log (sayCatchPhrase (name)); // “Jinkies!”

function sayCatchPhrase (name) {phrases = {‘Fred Flintstone’: ‘Yabba dabba doo!’, ‘Velma’: ‘Jinkies!’, ‘Razor’: ‘Bingo!’, ‘He-Man’: ‘I Have the Power ‘}; return phrases[name]

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6. Mutation

Mutation means change or modification. If you ever come across the word mutation in JavaScript, it probably refers to the changes DOM elements have undergone.

There is even an API called MutationObserver to handle the DOM mutations such as addition of children or changes in the attributes of the element(You can read more about MutationObserver in my post.)

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7. Pragma

Pragma is short for pragmatic information. In plain English, pragmatic is an adjective that means sensible and practical. In programming, pragma refers to the code that consists of useful information about it how a compiler or interpreter or assembler should handle the program

It doesn’t contribute anything to the programming language itself and the syntax can vary. They only affect the behavior of the compiler. JavaScript also has few pragmas, one of which is strict.

“Use strictly”;

The above pragma will execute the JavaScript code in strict mode. In strict mode, bad syntax is not allowed, hoisting is not done, silent errors are displayed, etc. It helps with writing safer and optimized JavaScript code

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8. Sentinel

Sentinels are soldiers standing guard (Remember those of X-Men?). In programming, sentinels are values ​​used to indicate the end of a loop or process. They can also be called “flags”.

You can use any reasonable value as a sentinel. Here is an example of watchmen used in JavaScript; the indexOr method that returns -1 (the sentinel value) when the search value is not found in the target string. Below is a function that returns the position of an array value and if value is not found, returns -1.

function getPos (ary, val) {var i = 0, len = ary.length; for (; i[i]=== val) return i + 1;} return -1;} console.log (getPos ([‘r’,’y’,’w’], ‘y’)); //2console.log (getPos ([‘r’,’y’,’w’], ‘g’)); // – 1

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9. Vanilla

I think everyone’s first ice cream flavor must have been vanilla. I also think that not only in ice cream, but in almost every sweet dish, vanilla became the standard flavor. I’ve seen quite a few cake recipes where they add at least one drop of it to the mix – just to add to the flavor.

And that’s what vanilla is, one traditional standard tasteVanilla JavaScript refers to the standard JavaScript – no framework. In fact, vanilla is used not only to describe the standard version of JavaScript, but other languages ​​such as CSS as well.

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10. Variadic

Variadic is an adjective created by concatenating “variable” and “adicity”. “Adicity” comes from Ancient Greek, with the same meaning as the Latin word “arity” (item 1 in this list). For example, the term variadic is used express something that has a variable number of arguments

In JavaScript, a variadic function takes any number of arguments. It can be created with the arguments property, the apply method, and since ES6 the spread operator. Below is an example with a spread operator.

function test (… a) {console.log (a);} test (‘a’, ‘b’, ‘c’, 8,[56,-89]); // output is Array [ “a”, “b”, “c”, 8, Array[2]

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