Why You Should Not Use Classes in JavaScript

Why You Should Not Use Classes in JavaScript

When I am writing JavaScript objects I prefer to use factory functions instead of classes. This article explores the reason why you should not use Classes in JavaScript.

I recently wrote a post  on the way I like to create objects in JavaScript. I call this style of object creation ‘Crockford Objects’, named after Douglas Crockford, author of “JavaScript: The Good Parts ”.

I received a lot of feedback from people telling me that I did not explain why they should not use the class keyword in JavaScript. I didn’t explain why because I was not saying that you can’t use it, I just prefer not to use the class keyword for defining an object.

JavaScript is not an Object-Oriented Language

If you are familiar with the history of JavaScript, Brendan Eich was told that he was going to be able to write a scripting language for the Netscape Navigator to be based on Scheme. Scheme is a functional programming language. Then Eich was told that it had to look similar to Java, hence the name ‘JavaScript’. Oh, by the way, he only had two weeks to get it done.

So JavaScript was never intended to be an object-oriented language. It is actually a prototype-oriented language.

Douglas Crockford likes to joke that most developers who start using JavaScript never bother to actually learn the language first. And if you start looking at the language it has a lot of similiarities to Java and C#. In Java and C## you define classes as a template for a new object. In JavaScript, everything is an object.

Classes were added to JavaScript as a concession for C## and Java developers. Underneath the hood, the JavaScript engines still create objects the same way.


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