Javascript Basics Part IV

Distinguishing Arrays

  • value.constructor === Array
  • value instanceof Array
  • Neither work when value comes from different frame

Arrays and inheritance##

  • Don’t use arrays as prototypes The object produced this way does not have array nature. IUt will inherit array’s values and methods, but not its length

  • You can augment an individual array. Assign a method to it. This works because arrays are objects.

  • You can augment all arrays. Assign methods to Array.prototype


  • Functions are first class objects. Functions can be passed, returned and stored just like any other value
  • Functions inherit from Object and can store name/value pairs. Very strange.
  • Can anywhere appear expression is required
  • function statement is just a short-hand for a var statement with a function value.

    function foo() {}

    expands to

    var foo = function foo() {};

  • An inner function has access to the variables and parameters of functions that it is contained within.
  • A function inside a object is called method
  • If a function is called with too many arguments, the extra arguments are ignored
  • If a function is called with too few arguemnts, the missing values will be undefined
  • There is no type checking on the arguements


  • The scope that an inner function enjoys continues even after the parent functions have returned
  • This is what makes javascript worth attention.


Method form : thisObject.methodName(arguments)

  • When a function is called in method form, this is set to thisObject, the object containing the function
  • This allows function to have reference object

Function form - functionObject(arguments)

  • this is set to global object. That is not very useful. Error in design
  • Harder to write helper functions. var that=this

Constructor form - new functionObject(arguments)###

  • a new object is created and assigned to this
  • If there is not an explicit return value, then this will be returned

  • function is invoked, it also gets a special parameter called arguments
  • It contains all of the arguments. Contains the length parameter. It’s not a real array.


  • The typeof prefix operator returns a string identifying the type of a value
  • typeof null is Object. This is wrong.
  • eval is the most dangerous feature. Don’t use it. Browser uses it.

  • Avoid new Boolean(), new String(), new Number(). This is an error.
  • On browsers, window is the global object.
  • Global variables are evil.
  • Any var not declared is assumed global. Use JsLint tool to identify weaknesses


  • Every object is a separate namespace
  • Use an object to organize your variables and functions.
  • Use an anonymous function to wrap your application
YAHOO.Trivia = function ()
	// define your common vars
	// define your common functions here

		getNextPoser: function (cat, diff)


		showPoser: function()