Objects and its internal representation in Javascript

In JavaScript, an object is a standalone entity, with properties and type. Compare it with a cup, for example. A cup is an object, with properties. A cup has a color, a design, weight, a material it is made of, etc. The same way, JavaScript objects can have properties, which define their characteristics.

Objects and properties

A JavaScript object has properties associated with it. A property of an object can be explained as a variable that is attached to the object. Object properties are basically the same as ordinary JavaScript variables, except for the attachment to objects. The properties of an object define the characteristics of the object. You access the properties of an object with a simple dot-notation:

objectName.propertyName

Like all JavaScript variables, both the object name (which could be a normal variable) and property name are case sensitive. You can define a property by assigning it a value. For example, let’s create an object named and give it properties named , , and as follows:

var myCar = new Object();
myCar.make = 'Ford';
myCar.model = 'Mustang';
myCar.year = 1969;

Unassigned properties of an object are (and not ).

myCar.color; // undefined

Properties of JavaScript objects can also be accessed or set using a bracket notation (for more details see property accessors). Objects are sometimes called associative arrays, since each property is associated with a string value that can be used to access it. So, for example, you could access the properties of the object as follows:

myCar['make'] = 'Ford';
myCar['model'] = 'Mustang';
myCar['year'] = 1969;

An object property name can be any valid JavaScript string, or anything that can be converted to a string, including the empty string. However, any property name that is not a valid JavaScript identifier (for example, a property name that has a space or a hyphen, or that starts with a number) can only be accessed using the square bracket notation. This notation is also very useful when property names are to be dynamically determined (when the property name is not determined until runtime). Examples are as follows:

// four variables are created and assigned in a single go, 
// separated by commas
var myObj = new Object(),
str = 'myString',
rand = Math.random(),
obj = new Object();myObj.type = 'Dot syntax';
myObj['date created'] = 'String with space';
myObj[str] = 'String value';
myObj[rand] = 'Random Number';
myObj[obj] = 'Object';
myObj[''] = 'Even an empty string';console.log(myObj);

Please note that all keys in the square bracket notation are converted to string unless they’re Symbols, since JavaScript object property names (keys) can only be strings or Symbols (at some point, private names will also be added as the class fields proposal progresses, but you won’t use them with form). For example, in the above code, when the key is added to the , JavaScript will call the method, and use this result string as the new key.

You can also access properties by using a string value that is stored in a variable:

var propertyName = 'make';
myCar[propertyName] = 'Ford';propertyName = 'model';
myCar[propertyName] = 'Mustang';

You can use the bracket notation with to iterate over all the enumerable properties of an object. To illustrate how this works, the following function displays the properties of the object when you pass the object and the object's name as arguments to the function:

function showProps(obj, objName) {
var result = ``;
for (var i in obj) {
// obj.hasOwnProperty() is used to filter out properties from the object's prototype chain
if (obj.hasOwnProperty(i)) {
result += `${objName}.${i} = ${obj[i]}\n`;
}
}
return result;
}

So, the function call would return the following:

myCar.make = Ford
myCar.model = Mustang
myCar.year = 1969

Creating new objects

JavaScript has a number of predefined objects. In addition, you can create your own objects. You can create an object using an object initializer. Alternatively, you can first create a constructor function and then instantiate an object invoking that function in conjunction with the operator.

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