what is array in javascript

what is array in javascript

Javascript objects and arrays are both incredibly useful. They’re also incredibly easy to confuse with each other. Mix in a few objects that look like arrays and you’ve got a recipe for confusion!

what is array in javascript: Array in javascript are a type of object used for storing multiple values in a single variable. Each value gets numeric index and may be any data type.

We’re going to see what the differences between objects and arrays are, how to work with some of the common array-like objects, and how to get the most performance out of each.

What Objects Are

A javascript object is a basic data structure:

var basicObj = {}; // an empty object – {} is a shortcut for “new Object()”

basicObj.suprise= “cake!”;

basicObj[‘suprise’]; // returns “cake!”

Using {} instead of new Object(); is know as “Object Literal” syntax.

var fancyObj = {
favoriteFood: “pizza”,
add: function(a, b){
return a + b;
}
};

fancyObj.add(2,3); // returns 5

fancyObj[‘add’](2,3); // ditto.

As you can see, and probably already knew, properties can be accessed a couple of different ways. However, it’s an important point that we’ll come back to in a minute.

Everything in javascript is an object. Everything. Arrays, functions, even numbers! Because of this, you can do some really interesting things, such as modifying the prototypes of Objects, Arrays, etc.

What Arrays Are

Javascript arrays are a type of object used for storing multiple values in a single variable. Each value gets numeric index and may be any data type.

var arr = []; // this is a shortcut for new Array();
arr[0] = “cat”;
arr[1] = “mouse”;

 

See how that syntax is so similar to the syntax used for setting object properties? In fact, the only difference is that objects use a string while arrays use a number. This is why arrays get confused with objects so often.

Length

Arrays have a length property that tells how many items are in the array and is automatically updated when you add or remove items to the array.

var arr = [];
arr[0] = “cat”; // this adds to the array
arr[1] = “mouse”; // this adds to the array
arr.length; // returns 2

arr[“favoriteFood”] = “pizza”; // this DOES NOT add to the array. Setting a string parameter adds to the underlying object
arr.length; // returns 2, not 3

The length property is only modified when you add an item to the array, not the underlying object

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