Array.prototype.sort() - Sorts the elements of an array in place and returns the array. sort can take an optional compare function but by default, it will turn given elements into strings (yes, even numbers are converted into strings) and sort them by their Unicode values from least to greatest:

var arr = [20, 3, 1000];


// → [1000, 20, 3]

When .sort is passed a compare function, elements are sorted based on its return value. Values are not actually returned as true or false but greater than zero, less than zero, or zero?

function leastToGreatest(a, b) {
    return a.length > b.length

function greatestToLeast(a, b) {
    return a.length < b.length

var arr = ["cat", "lizard", "gecko", "me", "I", "face hugger", "bird"]

// → [ 'I', 'bird', 'cat', 'face hugger', 'gecko', 'lizard', 'me' ]

// → [ 'I', 'me', 'cat', 'bird', 'gecko', 'lizard', 'face hugger' ]

// → [ 'face hugger', 'lizard', 'gecko', 'bird', 'cat', 'me', 'I' ]
  • For the above example using leastToGreatest(a, b), we are testing whether a > b where a == “cat” and b == “lizard”. The statement will evaluate to false and a less than zero value will be returned. a will be indexed lower than b in this case. Replacing a.length > b.length with a.length - b.length in the function will give the same result.

  • For greatestToLeast(a, b), if we are testing whether a < b where a == ‘cat’ and b == ‘lizard’, the statement will evaluate to true and a greater than zero value will be returned. a will be indexed higher than b in this case. Replacing a.length < b.length with b.length - a.length in the function will give the same result.

  • In general, to sort from ‘least’ to ‘greatest’ make sure the comparison involving a and b evaluates to false or a value less than zero. To sort from ‘greatest’ to ‘least’ make sure the comparison involving a and b evaluates to true or a value greater than zero.

Ternary Assignment - Use the ternary operator ?: to check if a variable has been assigned and if it has, maintain its value while if it hasn’t, assign it a value.

var x = 9;
x = x ? x : "was not assigned";

var y;
y = y ? y : "was not assigned";

// → 9

// → 'was not assigned'

Arrow Assignment - I’m used to declaring functions the following way:

function gridMe(x) {
    return `${x} ${x}\n${x} ${x}`

// → @ @
//   @ @

Arrow notation => is a syntax for declaring functions. The => comes after the list of parameters and is followed by the function body. It’s kind of ‘pointing’ or ‘directing’ the parameters into the function body. Arrow notation provides some other shortcuts as well. If there is only one parameter, no enclosing parenthesis are required and if the function body only contains a single expression, a return keyword is not required. The value of the expression is automatically returned (like in Ruby! yay!)

gridMe2 x => `${x} ${x}\n${x} ${x}`;

// → ^ ^
//   ^ ^

Despite the shortcuts, all the pieces of a function declaration (parameter, function body) are present. Function declaration with arrow notation might be really useful for passing in-line functions into methods?

let arr = ["cat", "lizard", "gecko", "me", "I", "face hugger", "bird"];

arr.sort((a, b) => a.length > b.length)
// → [ 'I', 'me', 'cat', 'bird', 'gecko', 'lizard', 'face hugger' ]

/*is equivalent to*/

arr.sort(function leastToGreatest(a, b) {
    return a.length > b.length
// → [ 'I', 'me', 'cat', 'bird', 'gecko', 'lizard', 'face hugger' ]

EJS Closure - Stepping the closure example in Eloquent JavaScript 3rd ed.

function multiplier(factor) {         //declare function multiplier with parameter factor
    return number => number * factor; //return a function created with arrow notation

let twice = multiplier(2);
// → 10

The value being returned from the function multiplier is a function:

// → [Function]

When the return value of multiplier is bound to twice, its not just a number or string that is being wrapped up in the binding but a value that is a function with its own internal logic and environment that is defined at the time of binding.

The function being returned from multiply is equivalent to:

function(number) {
    return number * factor;

The functions environment is set at the time of binding. factor is set to 2 when the return value of multiplier is bound to twice with the line

let twice = multiplier(2);

Now that twice bound to a function, it can be called like one. console.log(twice(5)) sets the parameter number to five and an integer can be returned.

Object Properties: [] vs . notation - An objects properties can be accessed with either bracket obj[property] notation or dot notation. In general, I think bracket notation is used for property names defined or coming from outside the object and dot notation is used for property names defined inside the object. With bracket notation, the brackets are evaluating the property name contained within and if that property name is a string or a binding holding a value it will try to match it to a property in the object. If you want to access an object property or define a new property with a string bracket notation must be used. To access an object property explicitly, dot notation can be used.

let obj = {type: "little object"};

// → 'little object'
// → 'little object'
console.log(obj[type]); //type is not a binding defined outside the object
// → ReferenceError: type is not defined

let t = "type";

// → 'little object'

Function Declarations vs Expressions -

function tstFnc() {  // Example of a function DECLARATION

let tstFnc = function() { // Example of a function EXPRESSION

let tstObj = {
    type: "test object",
    tstFnc() {

This - this always refers to the wrapping environment of where this is being evaluated? this is passed implicitly to functions when they are called - in effect telling the function “this does not point to the wrapping scope, instead it’s pointing to this implicit parameter that’s being passed to you.”

function print(line) {
    console.log(`The ${this.process} prints ${line}`);

let thing = {process: thing, print};

// → The thing prints 'hi'

// → The [Object process] prints 'hello'

In the above example, the function print is declared and takes a string as an argument. It prints a string including the property called process of the object that print is called on or that is implicitly passed to it. When print first called, this points to the object (created with the property process) it is called on. The second time, this points to the wrapping scope(?) which in this case is the Node.js interpretor environment.

Function declarations and .this binding -

function normalize() {
    console.log( {

function normalize2() {
  console.log( => console.log(this)));
}{coords: [3], length: 5});{coords: [3], length: 5}); - Calls a function within the context of a specified object (a specified this value).