Yogesh Chavan
Yogesh Chavan

Yogesh Chavan

Surprising behavior of for...in loop

Surprising behavior of for...in loop

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Yogesh Chavan
·Nov 30, 2021·

2 min read

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In this article, we will see how to use for...in loops to avoid unpredictable bugs.

Take a look at the below code:

const user = { name: 'David', age: 30 };
for (key in user) {
 console.log(user[key]);
}

Can you predict the output of the above code?

The output will be:

David
30

which is as expected.

Now take a look at the below code:

const user = { name: 'David', age: 30 };
Object.prototype.color = 'red';

Object.prototype.display = function() {};
for (key in user) {
 console.log(user[key]);
}

What will be the output now?

for_in.png

So it prints the color property and display function also, which is obviously not what we expected.

So if somewhere in your code, you or someone has added some properties or methods to the Object prototype, they will be displayed when using a for...in loop.

This means the for...in loop will display its own properties and also its prototype properties.

We can fix this using the hasOwnProperty method.

Object.prototype.hasOwnProperty

It has the following syntax:

obj.hasOwnProperty(prop)

The method returns true if the prop provided is the obj’s own declared property.

const user = { name: 'David', age: 30 };
Object.prototype.color = 'red';
Object.prototype.display = function() {};

for (key in user) {
 if (user.hasOwnProperty(key)) {
  console.log(user[key]);
 }
}

Now, the output will come as expected.

expected_output.png

There is another way to fix this issue using the Object.keys method and using the for...of loop.

Object.keys

It has the following syntax:

Object.keys(obj)

This method returns an array of a given object’s own enumerable property names.

const user = { name: 'David', age: 30 };
Object.prototype.color = 'red';
Object.prototype.display = function() {};

for (key of Object.keys(user)) {
 console.log(user[key]);
}

object_keys.png

So you might need to take note of these things when using the for...in loop.

Thanks for reading!

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