Javascript: Variables and Scoping

📄 Wiki page | 🕑 Last updated: Feb 9, 2022

Defining variables and scoping can be confusing in Javascript, but if you use only let and const (ES6+) to declare variables, things will work as expected:

With let, we're defining a normal, block scoped variables (which you're probably familiar with from other languages).

let answer = 42
console.log(answer) // 42

const is the same as let, only you can't redefine the variable (but you can still mutate it (if the variable is mutable)):

const answer = 42
answer = 43 // you can't do this - Uncaught TypeError: Assignment to constant variable.

Before ES6, there were only function function scoped variables (which can be tricky to work with, because they leak out of the current block):

  var answer = 42
console.log(answer) // 42

var variables are also hoisted to the top and can be used before they are declared:

answer = 42
var answer
console.log(answer) // 42

Never do this:

answer = 42
console.log(answer) // 42

This way, you're defining a global variable (more strictly, a variable on window or global object, which have a global scope)

Javascript is dynamically typed language, without any official support for type annotations, but you can document your types in jsdoc comments (which are supported by a lot of tools):

/** @type {MyType} */
var myvar;

There's also a very popular, progressively-typed superset of Javascript, called TypeScript, which makes this a bit less cumbersome (i.e. just var myvar:MyType), but more on all that later.

Working with Numbers >

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