Get started with Next-Gen Javascript

Get started with Next-Gen Javascript

In this post, I will wrap up the main features of ES6 that you can start using today, while you’re sure it’s supported by all modern* browsers ( notice the * on browsers)

In this post, I will wrap up the main features of ES6 that you can start using today, while you’re sure it’s supported by all modern* browsers ( notice the * on browsers)

Maybe you’re here to have a general idea about what’s going on with JavaScript, or you are a JS developer and you’re moving on smoothly with ES6.

First things first, forget “var” start using “let” and “const”

let keyword allows you to define variables considering the block scope.

const myFunction = () => {
    let myLet = 10
    if(true) {
        let  myLet = 20
        console.log(myLet)
    }
    console.log(myLet)
}
myFunction()
// 20
// 10

const keyword acts like final keyword in Java. It means that the variable that is defined as const will not and cannot (an error will be thrown) be changed again in the entire code.

const myConst = 'I\'m not gonna change'

But listen, you still can use ‘var’ to declare global variables

Arrow Functions

Arrow functions are usually used in anonymous functions where you don’t really care about ‘this’ or you want to use the upper context’s one

Arrow functions don’t have their own *this*
Single line arrow function ( You should return one statement)

const myFunc = () => console.log('My Function')

Multiline arrow function:

const myFunc = () => { //Your Function body }

Single argument arrow function

const myFunc = arg => { // your func body}

and you may use the () if you have more than one:

const add = (n1, n2) => n1 + n2

Export and Import

When you write code in multiple files, you’ll have to import the function/functions written in one file to another. That’s where you need this.

Export

If you want to expose a single function from your file you can use the default export as given below

export default myfunc

But when you have multiple functions you may use the below syntax. We call this as a named export

export const func1
export const func2

Import

if you are using the default export as given above, you may use the below syntax

import myfunc from './somefile'
import person from './somefile'

If you are importing multiple functions you can use the below syntax

import { func1 } from './somefile'
import { func1, func2 } from './somefile'
import { func1 as f1, func2 as f2 } from './somefile'

Or you can import all at one and use them as below

import * as myFunctionPool from './somefile'
// call seperate functions as 
myFunctionPool.func1()
myFunctionPool.func2()

Classes

Classes are blueprints for objects. They can have both properties and methods.

class Planet {
    constructor(){
        this.name = 'Earth'
        this.age = 2300
    }
    getName() { console.log(this.name) }
}
const earth = new Planet()
earth.getName()Spread and Rest Operators

Classes support inheritance ( I know prototype inheritance is a pain in the a**)

class SolarSystem {
    constructor(){
        this.galaxy = 'Milky way'
    }
    getGalaxy() { console.log(this.galaxy)}
}
class Planet extends SolarSystem{
    constructor(){
        super() // Have to call the super class in derived class    which executes the parent constructor
        this.name = 'Earth'
        this.age = 2300
    }
    getName() { console.log(this.name) }
}
const earth = new Planet()
earth.getName()
earth.getGalaxy()

In** ES7 **you can skip the constructor function call and directly devrieve the properties within the class. Also you dont have to call the constructor of the superclass using super().

class Water {
    ph = 6.97
    o2 = 22
}

Rest and Spread operators

Rest and spread are denoted only by using 3 consecutive dots (…)

... // This is basically the spread and rest operator

  • Spread — Used to split up array or object properties to make new arrays or objects
  • Rest — Used to aggregate multiple arguments of a function to an array

Spread operator uses

let myArr = [1,2,3]
let myNewArray = [...myArr, 4, 5]
console.log(myNewArray) // [ 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ]

The spread operator also can be used with objects

const leaf = {
    color:'green',
}
const tree = {
    ...leaf,
    leaves: 23,
}
console.log(tree)

Rest operator uses

function arguments(...args) {
    for(let arg of args){
        console.log(arg)
    }
}
arguments(1,2,3,4,5,6)

Here the arguments we pass to the function will be a push to an array which can be accessed using the index

Destructuring

Used to extract properties or elements from objects and arrays respectively.

In arrays, the order of the elements define the object we extract and in objects, the property name defines what we extract

const { name, age } = { name: 'me', age:22 }
console.log(name) // me

You can also rename your variables after destructuring if you don’t like the old ones from your destructed object:

const { name: nominativo } = { name: 'me', age:22 }
console.log(nominativo) // me

For arrays

[x,,z] = [1, 2, 3]
console.log(x) // 1
console.log(z) //3

Stay tuned for more on the new features of ES6.

An Introduction to JavaScript ES6 Proxies

An Introduction to JavaScript ES6 Proxies

Proxy is one of the most overlooked concepts introduced in ES6 version of JavaScript, but ES6 proxies bound to come in handy at some point in your future.

Proxy is one of the most overlooked concepts introduced in the ES6 version of JavaScript.

Admittedly, it isn’t particularly useful on a day-to-day basis, but it is bound to come in handy at some point in your future.

The basics

The Proxy object is used to define a custom behavior for fundamental operations such as property lookup, assignment, and function invocation.

The most basic example of a proxy would be:

const obj = {
 a: 1,
 b: 2,
};

const proxiedObj = new Proxy(obj, {
 get: (target, propertyName) => {
   // get the value from the "original" object
   const value = target[propertyName];

   if (!value && value !== 0) {
     console.warn('Trying to get non-existing property!');

     return 0;
   }

   // return the incremented value
   return value + 1;
 },
 set: (target, key, value) => {
   // decrement each value before saving
   target[key] = value - 1;

   // return true to indicate successful operation
   return true;
 },
});

proxiedObj.a = 5;

console.log(proxiedObj.a); // -> incremented obj.a (5)
console.log(obj.a); // -> 4

console.log(proxiedObj.c); // -> 0, logs the warning (the c property doesn't exist)

We have intercepted the default behavior of both get and set operations by defining the handlers with their respective names in the object provided to the proxy constructor. Now each get operation will return the incremented value of the property, while set will decrement the value before saving it in the target object.

What’s important to remember with proxies is that once a proxy is created, it should be the only way to interact with the object.

Different kinds of traps

There are many traps (handlers that intercept the object’s default behavior) aside from get and set, but we won’t be using any of them in this article. With that being said, if you are interested in reading more about them, here’s the documentation.

Having fun

Now that we know how proxies work, let’s have some fun with them.

Observing object’s state

As it has been stated before it is very easy to intercept operations with proxies. To observe an object’s state is to be notified every time there’s an assignment operation.

const observe = (object, callback) => {
 return new Proxy(object, {
   set(target, propKey, value) {
     const oldValue = target[propKey];
   
     target[propKey] = value;

     callback({
       property: propKey,
       newValue: value,
       oldValue,
     });

     return true;
   }
 });
};

const a = observe({ b: 1 }, arg => {
 console.log(arg);
});

a.b = 5; // -> logs from the provided callback: {property: "b", oldValue: 1, newValue: 5}

And that’s all we have to do — invoke the provided callback every time the set handler is fired.

As an argument to the callback, we provide an object with three properties: the name of the changed property, the old value, and the new value.

Prior to executing the callback, we assign the new value in the target object so the assignment actually takes place. We have to return true to indicate that the operation has been successful; otherwise, it would throw a TypeError.

Here’s a live example.

Validating properties on set

If you think about it, proxies are a good place to implement validation — they are not tightly coupled with the data itself. Let’s implement a simple validation proxy.

As in the previous example, we have to intercept the set operation. We would like to end up with the following way of declaring data validation:

const personWithValidation = withValidation(person, {
 firstName: [validators.string.isString(), validators.string.longerThan(3)],
 lastName: [validators.string.isString(), validators.string.longerThan(7)],
 age: [validators.number.isNumber(), validators.number.greaterThan(0)]
});

In order to achieve this, we define the withValidation function like so:

const withValidation = (object, schema) => {
 return new Proxy(object, {
   set: (target, key, value) => {
     const validators = schema[key];

     if (!validators || !validators.length) {
       target[key] = value;

       return true;
     }

     const shouldSet = validators.every(validator => validator(value));

     if (!shouldSet) {
       // or get some custom error
       return false;
     }

     target[key] = value;
     return true;
   }
 });
};

First we check whether or not there are validators in the provided schema for the property that is currently being assigned — if there aren’t, there is nothing to validate and we simply assign the value.

If there are indeed validators defined for the property, we assert that all of them return true before assigning. Should one of the validators return false, the whole set operation returns false, causing the proxy to throw an error.

The last thing to do is to create the validators object.

const validators = {
 number: {
   greaterThan: expectedValue => {
     return value => {
       return value > expectedValue;
     };
   },
   isNumber: () => {
     return value => {
       return Number(value) === value;
     };
   }
 },
 string: {
   longerThan: expectedLength => {
     return value => {
       return value.length > expectedLength;
     };
   },
   isString: () => {
     return value => {
       return String(value) === value;
     };
   }
 }
};

The validators object contains validation functions grouped by the type they should validate. Each validator on invocation takes the necessary arguments, like validators.number.greaterThan(0), and returns a function. The validation happens in the returned function.

We could extend the validation with all kinds of amazing features, such as virtual fields or throwing errors from inside the validator to indicate what went wrong, but that would make the code less readable and is outside the scope of this article.

Here’s a live example.

Making code lazy

For the final — and hopefully most interesting — example, let’s create a proxy that makes all the operations lazy.

Here’s a very simple class called Calculator, which contains a few basic arithmetic operations.

class Calculator {
 add(a, b) {
   return a + b;
 }

 subtract(a, b) {
   return a - b;
 }

 multiply(a, b) {
   return a * b;
 }

 divide(a, b) {
   return a / b;
 }
}

Now normally, if we ran the following line:

new Calculator().add(1, 5) // -> 6

The result would be 6.

The code is executed on the spot. What we would like is to have the code wait for the signal to be run, like a run method. This way the operation will be postponed until it is needed — or not executed at all if there is never a need.

So the following code, instead of 6, would return the instance of the Calculator class itself:

lazyCalculator.add(1, 5) // -> Calculator {}

Which would give us another nice feature: method chaining.

lazyCalculator.add(1, 5).divide(10, 10).run() // -> 1

The problem with that approach is that in divide, we have no clue of what the result of add is, which makes it kind of useless. Since we control the arguments, we can easily provide a way to make the result available through a previously defined variable — $, for example.

lazyCalculator.add(5, 10).subtract($, 5).multiply($, 10).run(); // -> 100

$ here is just a constant Symbol. During execution, we dynamically replace it with the result returned from the previous method.

const $ = Symbol('RESULT_ARGUMENT');

Now that we have a fair understanding of what do we want to implement, let’s get right to it.

Let’s create a function called lazify. The function creates a proxy that intercepts the get operation.

function lazify(instance) {
 const operations = [];

 const proxy = new Proxy(instance, {
   get(target, propKey) {
     const propertyOrMethod = target[propKey];

     if (!propertyOrMethod) {
       throw new Error('No property found.');
     }

     // is not a function
     if (typeof propertyOrMethod !== 'function') {
       return target[propKey];
     }

     return (...args) => {
       operations.push(internalResult => {
         return propertyOrMethod.apply(
           target,
           [...args].map(arg => (arg === $ ? internalResult : arg))
         );
       });

       return proxy;
     };
   }
 });

 return proxy;
}

Inside the get trap, we check whether or not the requested property exists; if it doesn’t, we throw an error. If the property is not a function, we return it without doing anything.

Proxies don’t have a way of intercepting method calls. Instead, they are treating them as two operations: the get operation and a function invocation. Our get handler has to act accordingly.

Now that we are sure the property is a function, we return our own function, which acts as a wrapper. When the wrapper function is executed, it adds yet another new function to the operations array. The wrapper function has to return the proxy to make it possible to chain methods.

Inside the function provided to the operations array, we execute the method with the arguments provided to the wrapper. The function is going to be called with the result argument, allowing us to replace all the $ with the result returned from the previous method.

This way we delay the execution until requested.

Now that we have built the underlying mechanism to store the operations, we need to add a way to run the functions — the .run() method.

This is fairly easy to do. All we have to do is check whether the requested property name equals run. If it does, we return a wrapper function (since run acts as a method). Inside the wrapper, we execute all the functions from the operations array.

The final code looks like this:

const executeOperations = (operations, args) => {
 return operations.reduce((args, method) => {
   return [method(...args)];
 }, args);
};

const $ = Symbol('RESULT_ARGUMENT');

function lazify(instance) {
 const operations = [];

 const proxy = new Proxy(instance, {
   get(target, propKey) {
     const propertyOrMethod = target[propKey];

     if (propKey === 'run') {
       return (...args) => {
         return executeOperations(operations, args)[0];
       };
     }

     if (!propertyOrMethod) {
       throw new Error('No property found.');
     }

     // is not a function
     if (typeof propertyOrMethod !== 'function') {
       return target[propKey];
     }

     return (...args) => {
       operations.push(internalResult => {
         return propertyOrMethod.apply(
           target,
           [...args].map(arg => (arg === $ ? internalResult : arg))
         );
       });

       return proxy;
     };
   }
 });

 return proxy;
}

The executeOperations function takes an array of functions and executes them one by one, passing the result of the previous one to the invocation of the next one.

And now for the final example:

const lazyCalculator = lazify(new Calculator());

const a = lazyCalculator
 .add(5, 10)
 .subtract($, 5)
 .multiply($, 10);

console.log(a.run()); // -> 100

If you are interested in adding more functionality I have added a few more features to the lazify function — asynchronous execution, custom method names, and a possibility to add custom functions through the .chain() method. Both versions of the lazify function are available in the live example.

Summary

Now that you have seen proxies in action, I hope that you could find a good use for them in your own codebase.

Proxies have many more interesting uses than those covered here, such as implementing negative indices and catching all the nonexistent properties in an object. Be careful, though: proxies are a bad choice when performance is an important factor.

Metaprogramming: An Introduction to JavaScript(ES6) Proxy

Metaprogramming: An Introduction to JavaScript(ES6) Proxy

Metaprogramming: An Introduction to JavaScript(ES6) Proxy - The concept of Metaprogramming is not new. There are many programming languages like, Lisp, Scala, Clojure, Rust, Haskell, etc already got the use of it. JavaScript is not really behind either!

Originally published by Tapas Adhikary at blog.greenroots.info

Before we go any further, let us understand, What is Metaprogramming?

Metaprogramming

Metaprogramming is nothing less than a Magic! Truly, how about writing a program to Read, Modify, Analyze and even to Generate a Program? Doesn't it sound Wizardry and Powerful?

Wikipedia defines Metaprogramming as,

Metaprogramming is a programming technique in which computer programs have the ability to treat other programs as their data.

So basically, it is the Program that deals with the Meta Data of another program and able to do lot of useful things.

Meet Proxy

Proxy wraps objects and intercepts their behavior through traps

Among several ways we can do Metaprogramming in JavaScript, usage of Proxyobject is one of the important one. Proxy object is an ES6 concept used to define custom behavior for fundamental operations (e.g. property lookup, assignment, enumeration, function invocation, etc).

Here are few useful terms you need to remember and use:

  • target: an Object which the proxy virtualizes.
  • handler: a Placeholder Object which contains traps.
  • trap: the Methods that provide property access of the target object.

It is perfectly fine, if you haven't got much from the description above. We will understand it very easily through code and examples.

Code Time

Here is the syntax for creating a Proxy Object:

let p = new Proxy(target, handler); 

Now let us take an example of an employee object and try to print some of the properties of it:

const employee = {
    firstName: 'Tapas',
    lastName: 'Adhikary'
};
 
console.group('employee');
    console.log(employee.firstName);
    console.log(employee.lastName);
    console.log(employee.org);
    console.log(employee.fullName);
console.groupEnd()

Well, we know the expected output would be,

employee
  Tapas
  Adhikary
  undefined
  undefined

Now let us use the Proxy object to alter this program of employee handling and provide some behavior to it:

  • Step 1: Create a Handler that uses a Trap

We will be using a trap called get which is a trap for getting a property value. Here is our Handler:

let handler = {
    get: function(target, fieldName) {       
 
        if(fieldName === 'fullName' ) {
            return `${target.firstName} ${target.lastName}`;
        }
 
        return fieldName in target ?
            target[fieldName] :
                `No such property as, '${fieldName}'!`
 
    }
};

The above handler helps to create the value for fullName property. It also adds a better error message in case, we are dealing with a missing property.

  • Step 2: Create a Proxy Object

As we have the target as employee object and the handler, we will be able to create a Proxy object as:

let p = new Proxy(employee, handler);
  • Step 3: Access the properties on the Proxy object


console.group('proxy');
    console.log(p.firstName);
    console.log(p.lastName);
    console.log(p.org);
    console.log(p.fullName);
console.groupEnd()

You should be seeing the output as,

proxy
  Tapas
  Adhikary
  No such property as, 'org'!
  Tapas Adhikary

Notice how we have magically changed things for the employee object.

In Previous example, we used a trap called get. Here are the list of available traps:

  • apply
  • construct
  • defineProperty
  • deleteProperty
  • get
  • getOwnPropertyDescriptor
  • getPrototypeOf
  • has
  • isExtensible
  • ownKeys
  • preventExtensions
  • set
  • setPrototypeOf

More on these can be found here, Proxy - JavaScript | MDN

Proxy for Validation of Values

Let's create a handler(we can name it as, validator):

const validator = {
    set: function(obj, prop, value) {
        if (prop === 'age') {
            if(!Number.isInteger(value)) {
                throw new TypeError('Age is always an Integer, Please Correct it!');
            }
            if(value < 0) {
                throw new TypeError('This is insane, a negative age?');
            }
        }
    }
};

Again, we can create a Proxy object as:

let p = new Proxy(employee, validator); 

If you do,

p.age = 'I am testing the blunder'; 

The output would be a TypeError as,

TypeError: Age is always an Integer, Please Correct it!
    at Object.set (E:\Projects\KOSS\metaprogramming\js-mtprog\proxy\userSetProxy.js:28:23)
    at Object.<anonymous> (E:\Projects\KOSS\metaprogramming\js-mtprog\proxy\userSetProxy.js:40:7)
    at Module._compile (module.js:652:30)
    at Object.Module._extensions..js (module.js:663:10)
    at Module.load (module.js:565:32)
    at tryModuleLoad (module.js:505:12)
    at Function.Module._load (module.js:497:3)
    at Function.Module.runMain (module.js:693:10)
    at startup (bootstrap_node.js:188:16)
    at bootstrap_node.js:609:3

Similarly, try doing this!

p.age = -1;

Use-cases

Proxy Object is a very powerful concept. There are several use-cases where this concept can be used. Here are few:

  • Protect ID field from deletion from an Object(trap: deleteProperty)
  • Tracing Property Accesses(trap: get, set)
  • Data Binding(trap: set)
  • Revocable references
  • Manipulate the in operator behavior

... and many many more.

Last Note

Hope you liked the concept of Proxy Object. Try it out, it is Fun! Feel free to access the examples from My Github Repo.

'Proxy' is not the only concept for JavaScript based Metaprogramming, there are are others like, Reflect. That is coming soon.

Originally published by Tapas Adhikary at blog.greenroots.info

===========================================

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Understanding Generators in ES6 Javascript

Understanding Generators in ES6 Javascript

Maybe you have heard about this feature in ES6 or you just didn’t have time to play with it.

Maybe you have heard about this feature in ES6 or you just didn’t have time to play with it.

It is something, that I have learned a few days ago and it's super cool.

Let me explain it to you in a few steps.

So Generators looks like a similar function, but it allows us to pause the execution of the function and continue it later.

So below you can see an example of the generator and we will break it down to see how it works:

function* avengersGenerator() { // Declaring the generator
  yield "Hulk"; // Pausing the execution
  yield "Thor";
  yield "Iron man";
  return "Ultron"; // Example of finishing the generator
  yeild "Spider man";
}

const iterator = avengersGenerator(); // Creating iterator

iterator.next(); // Iterating on the generator


Declaring the generator

Generators look similar to a normal function, the only difference is we have to define an * (asterisk) after the word function.

function* avengersGenerator() {
  ...
}

Yield it!

We can yield the function, which basically would stop the execution of the function when it gets to the first yield.

function* avengersGenerator() {
  yield "Hulk" // The execution would pause here.
  yield "Iron man" // When we resume we would start here.
}


Creating the iterator

On iterator, we can call. So by this, we will prepare our generator for action.

const iterator = avengersGenerator();

Next method

This enables us to continue the execution of the function. Also, this method provides us with the object with the yielded value and whether the generator has yielded its last value, as a boolean.

iterator.next(); // [1] Object {value: "Hulk", done: false}
iterator.next(); // [2] Object {value: "Thor", done: false}
iterator.next(); // [3] Object {value: "Iron man", done: false}
iterator.next(); // [4] Object {value: "undefined", done: true}

Return / Exiting

Once a return is being called, it would finish the generator. It basically sets the done property to true.

function* avengersGenerator() {
  yield "Hulk";
  return "Ultron"; // Example of finishing the generator
  yield "Thor"; //  Sad Thor and Spiderman wouldn't be called
  yield "Spiderman";
}

iterator.next(); // [1] Object {value: "Hulk", done: false}
iterator.next(); // [2] Object {value: "Utron", done: false}
iterator.next(); // [3] Object {value: "undefined", done: true}

In my opinion, generators are quite a cool thing to play with or at least to know what it does.

In the next post, I will explain, how generators helped me to solve one case at my work thanks to the possibility to cancel the promise when needed with generators in ES6.