Some useful ES6 tricks

When it comes to writing Javascript, there are some tricks very useful to make your code simple and easily readable.

I wrote this post to talk about some of them, probably the ones I use the most in my job and personal projects.

Conditionally add properties to an object

If you want to declare an object with some properties added only if a condition is truthy, there is a useful writing for this:

const hasWings = true

const animals = {
  elephant: '🐘',
  pig: '🐷',
  ...hasWings && ({ bat: 'πŸ¦‡' }),
// Returns {elephant: "🐘", pig: "🐷", bat: "πŸ¦‡"}

Instead of assigning properties after the constant declaration, we can declare everything at once.

Concatenating objects with spread operator

While we are talking about the spread operator, it also allows another cool thing: concatenating objects.

const withTails = { kangaroo: '🦘', horse: '🐎' }

const withWings = { bird: '🐦', bat: 'πŸ¦‡' }

const animals = {
// Returns {kangaroo: "🦘", horse: "🐎", bird: "🐦", bat: "πŸ¦‡"}

When coupling it with the previous trick, it's kind of useful. You can also merge arrays together with the same spread system:

const withTails = ['🦘', '🐎']

const withWings = ['🐦', 'πŸ¦‡']

const animals = [
// Returns ["🦘", "🐎", "🐦", "πŸ¦‡"]

Short circuit evaluation with || operator (and nullish coalescing)

When you need to declare a variable with a value, but assign another value if the first one is falsy, short circuit evaluation is perfect:

const dinosaur = null

const animal = dinosaur || '🐦'
// Returns '🐦'

Javascript is parsing values from left to right, and assign the first value that is not falsy.

Note: using a short-circuit evaluation can be dangerous if the first value is 0 or an empty string, as they are considered as falsy values.

Considering this, it's a not a good idea to use it on function parameters... Better use the default parameter value:

const getAnimal = (animal = '🐦') => animal

// Returns 🐦

By the way, there is a new feature currently in validation by the ECMAScript committee, the nullish coalescing:

const animals = { bat: 'πŸ¦‡' }

const animal = animals.kangaroo ?? '🐘'
// Returns '🐘'

Unlike || operator that checks if value is truthy, this one returns second value only if the first one is null or undefined:

const animals = { bat: '' }

const firstAnimal = animals.bat || '🐘'
// Returns '🐘'

const secondAnimal = animals.bat ?? '🐘'
// Returns ''

Thank you for reading this!

← Back