javascript – Using the Prototype object correctly – Education Career Blog

HI,

I have a JavaScript program that’s written with object literal syntax:

var MyJsProgram = {

    someVar: value1,
    somevar2: value2,

    init : function() {
        //do some initialisation
    },

    libraryFunction : function() {

    },

    getStyle : function() {

    },

    extend : function() {

    }
}

There can be multiple instances of this script running at once. Should I move the common methods in to the prototype object of the myJsProgram? If so, is this syntax correct?

 var MyJsProgram = {

    someVar: value1,
    somevar2: value2,

    init : function() {
        //do some initialisation
    },

    //more methods/members here that are unique to each instance
}

myJsProgram.prototype = {
    //all shared methods here
}

?

,

First, make a function, from which you can make instances

// Make it a function, so you can make a new instance
var stdProgram = function(){};

// All shared methods go here
stdProgram.prototype = {
  echo: function(message){
    alert(message);
  },
  extend: function(key, value){
    thiskey = value;
  }
};

Then you could make your specific ‘programs’, actually just instances of the base class

// And here you can make instances for specific programs
var myFirstProgram = new stdProgram(),
    mySecondProgram = new stdProgram();

myFirstProgram.extend('unique', function(){ 
  alert('I am unique');
});

mySecondProgram.aVar = 'test';

To make sure everything works, try this:

myFirstProgram.unique();     // Should alert I am unique
mySecondProgram.unique();    // Should throw an error, unique is undefined

alert(mySecondProgram.aVar); // Should alert test
alert(myFirstProgram.aVar);  // Should echo undefined

myFirstProgram.echo('hi');   // Should alert hi
mySecondProgram.echo('hi');  // Should alert hi

,

No, that syntax is not correct (no offense) 😉

You need to create an object for using its prototypes. That means that you need a constructor (which is a function in JavaScript). Applied to your problem:

var MyJsProgram = function (value1, value2) {
    // "this" refers to the current instance of this object
    this.someVar = value1;
    this.someVar2 = value2;
    // do some initialization
};

Create the new object like this:

var jsProgramInstance = new MyJsProgram(value1, value2);

Prototypes are instance members of those objects. They are defined like this:

MyJsProgram.prototype.someSharedMethodName = function () {
    // do shared method stuff here
    // (this.someVar and this.someVar2 are available here)
};

Use them like this (on your previously created instance):

jsProgramInstance.someSharedMethodName();

You should not do the following, since it overwrites the existing prototype properties that may exist (due to inheritance):

MyJsProgram.prototype = {
    someSharedMethodName: function () {
        // ...
    },
    // ...
};

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