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Hello, I am Nitin Jadhav,
Front-end Developer Architect

Improve your JavaScript with functional programming

If you want to write your JavaScript code in a better way, one of the most effective techniques is functional programming (FP). It’s no difficult than the language itself — don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise. This series will have multiple posts.

Use Pure functions

A pure function is one which

  1. Does not access anything else other than provided arguments.
  2. Does not modify anything outside of a function. It may return the calculated value based on arguments. This means that they will always return the same output when provided with the same input.

Example of pure function

function calculateArea = (radius) => 3.14 * radious * radius;

Use map() instead of for/forEach for array conversions

(you are probably already doing this)

Process and covert an array into a new array using for/forEach

const nums = [1,2,3,4,5,6];
const doubles = [];
for(let i = 0; i < nums.length; i++){  
  doubles.push(nums[i] * 2);
  }// nums.forEach(item => doubles.push(item * 2)); // foreach versionconsole.log(doubles)

Instead, you should be using map() function (which is built-in in JavaScipt)

const nums = [1,2,3,4,5,6];
const doubles = nums.map(item => item * 2);
console.log(doubles)

Why use the map() instead of the above methods?

  • The code is almost human-readable (“map this array to that with function x”), easy to understand
  • It’s minimalistic, uses fewer keystrokes, hence fewer potential bugs
  • Its faster than other versions

Use reduce() instead of for loop for additive calculations

If you want to calculate something which depends on every value of array, use reduce() function. e.g. you need to add up every element of an array.

for/forEach method:

const array1 = [1, 2, 3, 4];
let sum = 0;
for(let i=0; i< array1.length; i++){  
  sum+=array1[i];
}// array1.forEach(item => sum+= item); //forEach version
// 1 + 2 + 3 + 4console.log(sum);
const array1 = [1, 2, 3, 4];
const sum = array1.reduce((sum, current) => sum+current, 0);
// 1 + 2 + 3 + 4console.log(sum);

Why use the reduce() instead of the above methods?

  • less boilerplate than for loop
  • A common construct, much cleaner to read
  • can be chained with other array functions like map: array1.map(i => i*2).reduce((sum, current) => sum+current)

use filter() method for array filter operations:

Filtering array with for loop for even numbers:

const array1 = [1, 2, 3, 4];
const evenArray1 = [];
for(let i = 0; i<array1.length; i++){  
  if(array1[i] % 2 === 0){    
    evenArray1.push(array1[i]); 
  }
}
//copy only even elements console.log(evenArray1);

User filter() method instead:

const array1 = [1, 2, 3, 4];
const evenArray1 = array1.filter(item => item % 2 === 0);
console.log(evenArray1);

Use every() and some() instead of manual search with for loops

Checking if all items in an array satisfy certain criteria (even)

const array1 = [2,4,8];
let isAllEven = true;
for(let i = 0; i<array1.length; i++){  
  if(array1[i] % 2 !== 0){
        isAllEven = false;
        break;
  }
}
console.log(isAllEven);

Use every() for the same:

const array1 = [2,4,8, 3];
let isAllEven = array1.every(item => item % 2 === 0);
console.log(isAllEven);

Checking if at least one item in an array satisfy certain criteria (even)

const array1 = [1, 3];
let isAtleastOneEven = false;
for(let i = 0; i<array1.length; i++){
  if(array1[i] % 2 === 0){
    isAtleastOneEven = true;
    break;
  }
}
console.log(isAtleastOneEven);

Use some() for the same:

const array1 = [1, 2, 3];
let isAtleastOneEven =  array1.some(item => item % 2 ===0);
console.log(isAtleastOneEven);

Use Partial functions to create new functions from existing functions using bind()

You can derive new functions from existing functions. E.g. you have a power function that calculates the power of number.

const power = (p, num) => num ** p;

you can create a new function square() and cube() that uses an existing function

const square = power.bind(null, 2);
const cube = power.bind(null, 3);
console.log(square(5))  // 25
console.log(cube(5))  // 125

In the next article, we will discuss some of the advanced functional programming concepts. Thanks!