Static Version

Learning Javascript with Object Graphs (Part II)

The first article using graphs to describe JavaScript semantics was so popular that I've decided to try the technique with some more advanced ideas. In this article I'll explain three common techniques for creating objects. They are constructor with prototype, pure prototypal, and object factory.

My goal is that this will help people understand the strengths and weaknesses of each technique and understand what's really going on.

Classical JavaScript Constructors

classical.js#rectangle
function Rectangle(width, height) {
 
this.width = width;
 
this.height = height;
}
Rectangle.prototype.getArea = function getArea() {
 
return this.width * this.height;
};
Rectangle.prototype.getPerimeter = function getPerimeter() {
 
return 2 * (this.width + this.height);
};
Rectangle.prototype.toString = function toString() {
 
return this.constructor.name + " a=" + this.getArea() + " p=" + this.getPerimeter();
};
classical.js#square
function Square(side) {
 
this.width = side;
 
this.height = side;
}
Square.prototype.__proto__ = Rectangle.prototype;
Square.prototype.getPerimeter = function getPerimeter() {
 
return this.width * 4;
};
classical.js#test
var rect = new Rectangle(6, 4);
var sqr = new Square(5);
console
.log(rect.toString())
console
.log(sqr.toString())
Output
Rectangle a=24 p=20 Square a=25 p=20

classical


Pure Prototypal Objects

prototypal.js#rectangle
var Rectangle = {
  name
: "Rectangle",
  getArea
: function getArea() {
   
return this.width * this.height;
 
},
  getPerimeter
: function getPerimeter() {
   
return 2 * (this.width + this.height);
 
},
  toString
: function toString() {
   
return this.name + " a=" + this.getArea() + " p=" + this.getPerimeter();
 
}
};
prototypal.js#square
var Square = {
  name
: "Square",
  getArea
: function getArea() {
   
return this.width * this.width;
 
},
  getPerimeter
: function getPerimeter() {
   
return this.width * 4;
 
},
};
Square.__proto__ = Rectangle;
prototypal.js#test
var rect = Object.create(Rectangle);
rect
.width = 6;
rect
.height = 4;
var square = Object.create(Square);
square
.width = 5;
console
.log(rect.toString());
console
.log(square.toString());
Output
Rectangle a=24 p=20 Square a=25 p=20

classical


Object Factories

factory.js#controller
function Controller(model, view) {
  view
.update(model.value);
 
return {
    up
: function onUp(evt) {
      model
.value++;
      view
.update(model.value);
   
},
    down
: function onDown(evt) {
      model
.value--;
      view
.update(model.value);
   
},
    save
: function onSave(evt) {
      model
.save();
      view
.close();
   
}
 
};
}
factory.js#usage
var on = Controller(
 
// Inline a mock model
 
{
    value
: 5,
    save
: function save() {
      console
.log("Saving value " + this.value + " somewhere");
   
}
 
},
 
// Inline a mock view
 
{
    update
: function update(newValue) {
      console
.log("View now has " + newValue);
   
},
    close
: function close() {
      console
.log("Now hiding view");
   
}
 
}
);
setTimeout
(on.up, 100);
setTimeout
(on.down, 200);
setTimeout
(on.save, 300);
// Output
View now has 5
View now has 6
View now has 5
Saving value 5 somewhere
Now hiding view

classical


Conclusion

There is so much more I want to explore, but I like to keep these articles somewhat short and bite-size. If there is demand, I'll write a part three explaining how to do ruby-style mixins and other advanced topics.


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