Date
Jul. 19th, 2024
 
2024年 6月 14日

Post: Why is using "for...in" for array iteration a bad idea?

Why is using "for...in" for array iteration a bad idea?

Published 17:04 Apr 25, 2022.

Created by @ezra. Categorized in #Programming, and tagged as #JavaScript.

Source format: Markdown

Table of Content

The reason is that one construct:

var a = []; // Create a new empty array.
a[5] = 5;   // Perfectly legal JavaScript that resizes the array.

for (var i = 0; i < a.length; i++) {
    // Iterate over numeric indexes from 0 to 5, as everyone expects.
    console.log(a[i]);
}

/* Will display:
   undefined
   undefined
   undefined
   undefined
   undefined
   5
*/

can sometimes be totally different from the other:

var a = [];
a[5] = 5;
for (var x in a) {
    // Shows only the explicitly set index of "5", and ignores 0-4
    console.log(x);
}

/* Will display:
   5
*/

Also consider that JavaScript libraries might do things like this, which will affect any array you create:

// Somewhere deep in your JavaScript library...
Array.prototype.foo = 1;

// Now you have no idea what the below code will do.
var a = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5];
for (var x in a){
    // Now foo is a part of EVERY array and 
    // will show up here as a value of 'x'.
    console.log(x);
}

/* Will display:
   0
   1
   2
   3
   4
   foo
*/
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