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Before you start you need to pull any upstream changes. Detailed instructions can be found in the Setup lab.

In this lab you will be exploring the JavaScript programming language. This will not cover programming fundamentals since you can already program in Python and/or C++ but will instead focus on the features of the language that differ from other languages you may be comfortable with.

1 Functions

In JavaScript, as in most other languages, code can be divided in to modular blocks called functions. Once defined, these can be called from other code. Data can be passed in the form of parameters and functions can return data back to the calling code.

Open the maths.js file. Notice that this contains several functions. Each is called directly under its definition.

1.1 Function Declarations

Lets start with a simple example.

function largestNumber(a, b) {
	if (a > b) return a
	if (b > a) return b
	return null

const biggest = largestNumber(5, 8)
  1. The function is declared using the function keyword and the function is given a name which must be a valid variable name.
    • If the name comprises more than one word these should be written using camel casing as shown above. This is known as a Function Declaration
  2. The function above takes two parameters, a and b.
    • These are variables with local scope (they can't be accessed outside the function)
    • When the function is called, you need to pass two values which get assigned to the two parameters.
    • If you pass too many values the extra ones get ignored.
    • If you don't pass enough values the remainder are assigned a value of undefined.

      undefined is a primitive, which is data that is not an object and has no methods.

  3. The function returns a value.
    • If the numbers are not the same it returns the largest.
    • If they are the same, it returns null.

1.1.1 Test Your Understanding

Start by running the maths.js script and map the output it generates against the console.log statements in the script.

  1. Create a new function called multiply() that takes two parameters, a and b and returns the product of the two.
    • what happens if you call it with only a single parameter?
  2. Open the contact.js script, implement the validateEmail() function and thoroughly test it, you should avoid using regular expressions at this stage:
    1. Check that the string is at least 5 character long
    2. Check that there is a @ character and that it is not at the start of the string (HINT: use the lastIndexOf String prototype method.
    3. Check that there are no spaces (' ')
    4. Check that there are no double dots ('..')
    5. Check that there is a period (.) character after the @ character but before the end of the string.

1.1.2 Function Parameters

In the JavaScript language although we define a function with a set of specified parameters, when we call the function we don't need to pass these arguments:

We can choose to pass fewer arguments than are specified in the function parameters. Any parameters that don't have a matching argument are set to undefined. For example, in the following code num has a value of undefined, so it can't be squared.

function sqr(num) {
	return num * num
sql()  // returns NaN (not a number)

This can cause issues in your code so to prevent this we provide Default Parameters. If an arguement is missing when a function is called this specifies a default value to use. For example consider this version of the function:

function sqr(num = null) {
	return num * num
sqr()  // returns 0

In JavaScript:

  • A value of undefined means a value has not been assigned to a variable.
  • A value of null is a value assigned to a variable and means no value.

It is also possible to pass in more arguements than there are parameters in the function declaration. The following is quite valid:

function add(num1, num2) {
	return num1 + num2
console.log(add(4, 2, 1))  // returns 6

As you can see, if there are too many arguments, the extra ones are ignored, however, JavaScript provides a mechanism to access all the arguments passed to a function regardless of whether they match the parameter list by using the array-like arguments object, for example:

function add() {
	let total = 0
	for(const arg of arguments) total += arg
	return total
console.log(add(4, 2, 1))  // returns 7

Using hidden or magic variables that magically come into existence can make your code hard to understand so ECMA6 introduced Rest Parameters, parameters that can hold any arguments that don't match the parameters in the function declaration. Take the following code:

function add(num1, num2, ...others) {
	let total = num1 + num2
	for(const arg of others) total += arg
	return total
console.log(add(4, 2, 1))  // returns 7

This demonstrates how the rest parameter mops up any surplus arguments and could be written as:

function add(...numbers) {
	let total = 0
	for(const arg of numbers) total += arg
	return total
console.log(add(4, 2, 1))  // returns 7

1.1.3 Test Your Understanding

  1. In the maths.js file, create a function called divideThis() that takes two arguments, a number to be divided, dividend and the number to divide by, divisor. The function should return the quotient.
  2. What happens if you don't pass a parameter for the divisor parameter? Can you fix this by supplying a suitable default parameter?
  3. Call the multiply() function from the previous task omitting the second parameter. Can you modify the function so it uses a default parameter to multiply by 1 if the second parameter is missing.
    • What happens if you don't supply any parameters?
    • Add a second default parameter to prevent this.
  4. Create a new function called average() that takes one or more numerical parameters to return the average of these:
    • Write this to make use of the arguments construct.
    • Rewrite this to use an ECMA6 rest parameter.

1.2 Function Expressions

Functions are a data type in JavaScript (they are objects but more on that later). As such they can be stored in variables for later execution. Prior to ECMA6 they were declared using the function keyword like this:

const remainder = function(dividend, divisor) {
	const quotient = Math.floor(dividend / divisor)
	return dividend - quotient

This is known as storing a function expression in a variable (or just a Function Expression for short).

To execute the function you simply reference the variable and append ().

const rem = remainder(8, 5)

ECMA6 introduced a better way to handle function expressions, called an arrow function expression. This has a much shorter (and cleaner) syntax. Here is the same function expression written using this new syntax, make a careful note of the differences.

const remainder2 = (dividend, divisor) => {
	const quotient = Math.floor(dividend / divisor)
	return dividend - quotient

The arrow function expression has a number of important features:

  1. It does not have its own function scope which means it does not bind its own this object (made clearer later).
  2. In a concise body (one line) it has an implicit return and you don't need to use block braces. This results in very concise code, see the example below).
  3. If there is only a single parameter the parameter brackets can be omitted.

Here is an example that should make points 2 and 3 clearer.

const sqr = num => num * num

1.2.1 Test Your Understanding

  1. Refactor the remainder2 function expression to take advantage of the implicit return (you will need to reduce it to a single line of code).
    • Compare this to the original version: which is more readable?
  2. Write an arrow function expression stored in a constant called squareRoot which calculates and returns the square root of the supplied number. You will need to use the sqrt() method which is part of the Math object.
  3. Create a function expression that takes two string parameters and returns the longest string and assign this to a constant called `longest. check this works correctly.
    • Modify the function expression so that it can handle any number of string parameters (use a rest parameter). (hint: you will need to use a for...of statement to loop through the strings. How does this differ from a statement?)
    • Make sure there are no errors thrown and null is returned when the function is called without any arguments
    • Use a ternary operator instead of the if statement in the loop.
    • Finally use the reduce() method to replace the for...of loop to reduce the function to a single line.

2 Callbacks

Since JavaScript supports first class functions, we can use a function in any place where we could use a literal, object or variable. Open the currency.js script and look at line 22. As you can see the fs object has a key called readFile that stores a function (we have already covered this). This takes two parameters:

  1. A string representing the path of the file to be read.
  2. A function that will be called once the file has been read. This was defined earlier in the script and takes 2 parameters.
const printRates = (err, data) => {
	if (err) throw err
	const parsedData = JSON.parse(data) // this converts the formatted string into a javascript object
	for (const country of parsedData) {
		if (country.code === symbol) {
			console.log(`For each GBP you will get ${country.rate} ${symbol} today.`)
fs.readFile(filePath, printRates)

This is a common construct used in JavaScript/NodeJS. The second function parameter is known as a callback.

NodeJS is a single-threaded event loop that processes queued events. This means that if you were to execute a long-running task within a single thread then the process would block. To solve this problem, NodeJS relies on callbacks, which are functions that run after a long-running process has finished. Instead of waiting for the task to finish, the event loop moves on to the next piece of code. When the long-running task has finished, the callback is added to the event loop and run.

Because callbacks are such a fundamental part of NodeJS you need to spend time to make sure you fully understand how they work.

2.1 Using Anonymous Functions in Callbacks

Although this code works, you will rarely see callbacks written in this manner. Creating a function literal is a bit clunky and we can clean up the code by simply passing an anonymous function.

fs.readFile(filePath, (err, data) => {
	if (err) throw err
	const parsedData = JSON.parse(data) // this converts the formatted string into a javascript object
	for (const country of parsedData) {
		if (country.code === symbol) {
			console.log(`For each GBP you will get ${country.rate} ${symbol} today.`)

Take a few moments to make sure you fully understand the syntax, you will be seeing a lot of this over the next few weeks.

2.1.1 Test Your Understanding

You are now going to apply you knowledge of JavaScript callbacks by connecting to the Open Weather API. Start by opening the weather.js file:

  1. Read through the code to make sure you understand how it works.
    • An API key was already registered and is stored in the apiKey variable
    • Run the script and check the output, can you explain the first two lines of output, why are the data types as shown?
    • Can you make sense of the other data?
  2. Use the Open Weather API to retrieve and display the hourly forecast.
    • Look at the format of the API calls, and substitute the {lat}, {lon} and {API key} placeholders{lat}&lon={lon}&appid={API key}

    • What's the easiest place to put the new request? Why? Why is this problematic?

2.2 Defining Functions with Callbacks

In the previous section you learned how to call pre-defined functions with callbacks. Now you will learn how to write your own functions that include callbacks. This is important since NodeJS has a single-threaded model and any activity that may take time to complete should never be in the main thread. By creating a function with a callback you can push the task onto its own thread and free up the main event thread.

Start by opening the files.js script and study it carefully:

  1. Notice that we are reading and writing to files in the main thread! This would normally block the thread, slowing down the program execution.
  2. Also notice that the reading and writing takes place in a function savetext() with a callback defined as its second parameter.
  3. At the end of the saveText() function we execute the callback.
  4. We can then call our saveText() function, passing an anonymous callback function as the second parameter, this is executed within the saveText() function.
  5. The convention when defining functions that take a callback function is to define the error as the first parameter.

3 Objects

Lets start by creating and manipulating objects using object literals. Open the employee.js file, read through it and see if you can work out what it does. Now run it to see if you were correct.

3.1 Creating Object Literals

The simplest way to create new objects is by creating an object literal which is defining an object and storing it in a variable in a similar way to how we created function literals earlier in the lab. You should open the employee.js file which contains the code.

const employee = {
	firstName: 'Colin',
	'last name': 'Stephen',
	startYear: 2010

As you can see from the simple example above, the data is stored in name-value pairs, referred to as Properties. This example is defining an object with 3 properties.

The name part of each property is a JavaScript string which may be enclosed in single quotes. These quotes are optional if the property name is a valid JavaScript variable but they are required if this is not the case.

In the example above, firstName is a valid JavaScript variable but last name is not because it contains a space which is not allowed in variable names.

It is also possible to create an empty object (we can add properties later). This is done by assigning empty curly braces.

const emptyObject = {}

Here are some valid property names. Notice that both age and 'age' are valid.

'first name'

The property names below are not valid because they are not a valid JavaScript variable names.

first name

3.1.1 Test Your Understanding

  1. Add a property called gender and assign a suitable String value.
  2. Add a new property called date of birth that stores the year the person was born and assign a suitable value.

3.2 Retrieving Object Properties

Whilst it is possible (and useful) to log an entire object to the console, normally we would want to retrieve the values of specific properties, this is known as destructuring an object.

const employee = {
	firstName: 'Colin',
	'last name': 'Stephen',
	'department': 'Computing'

const firstName = employee.firstName
const lastName = employee['last name']
const grade = employee.grade

Passing the object name to console.log() will print out the string representation of the object. To retrieve a specific property value there are two options. If the name is a legal JS variable name the dot . notation can be used. This is used to extract the firstName property in the example above.

If the name is not a valid JavaScript variable name, we need to turn it into a string by using quotes '' and enclose it in square brackets []. This is used for the last name property.

The grade variable will be undefined because employee.grade does not exist. If you want to avoid this and assign a default value if the property is missing you can use the OR operator ||.

const grade = employee.grade || 'A'

This will retrieve the value of the grade property if defined and store it in the const variable. If this property is missing the const variable will contain the string 'A'.

3.2.1 Test Your Understanding

  1. Create a new object called university which should contain three properties, year1, year2 and year3. Each of these properties should store an object whos keys are the module codes and values the titles of the modules.
  2. Create a variable called study01 containing the year1 object.
  3. Use the statement to iterate over this study01 object printing out all of the module codes and the module names.

3.3 Context

Every JavaScript object has a reference to its current execution context. This refers to how the function was called. To reference the current context we use the this object.

You should start by opening the counties.js file and studying it carefully. This simple script demonstrates some of the key features of working with context.

  1. Lines 5-7 define a simple function called print() which prints the context object this.
  2. Lines 9-11 define two objects:
    1. Each contains two properties, a name string and the print() function.
    2. Since we are storing the print() function in a property with the same name we can use the ES6 Object Shorthand syntax. The second object uses this.
  3. Line 13 calls the print() function from the global context. This prints an empty object.
  4. Lines 15 and 16 call the print() function from inside each of the objects. This demonstrates that the name properties are part of the object context.

If you look at the console output you will notice that, when we access this from inside an object, it is bound to the object from where it was called.

Because we are operating in strict mode, when we try to access this in the global context it returns undefined.

3.4 JSON Data

JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) is a standard text-based format to represent structured data. This is very useful as it means we can take any JavaScript object and convert it into a text string. This can then be saved to disk or posted to a web server, etc. It also means that you can take a JSON-formatted text string and convert it into a complex JavaScript object!

3.4.1 Parsing JSON Strings into Objects

It is trivial to convert a JSON string into an object using the JSON.parse() function. Study the following code carefully:

const jsonstring = '{ "firstName": "Colin", "last name": "Stephen", "department": "Computing"}'
const employee = JSON.parse(jsonstring)

Notice that in a JSON string all the properties and values must be enclosed in double-quotes. The constant jsonstring is a String but employee is a standard JavaScript Object.

3.4.2 Converting Objects into Strings

In the same way that we can convert a JSON string into a JavaScript object we can also do the reverse.

const employee = {
	firstName: 'Colin',
	'last name': 'Stephen',
	'department': 'Computing'
const jsonstring = JSON.stringify(employee)
// { "firstName": "Colin", "last name": "Stephen", "department": "Computing"}

In this example jsonstring is a String. If we print out this string we will see that it contains a single line of text which can sometimes be hard to understand. If we want the string to be more readable we can pass another parameter.

const jsonstring = JSON.stringify(employee, null, 2)
	"firstName": "Colin",
	"last name": "Stephen",
	"department": "Computing"

This inserts newline and space characters to make the string more readable. The third parameter defines the level of indent (in spaces).

3.4.3 Test Your Understanding

Lets apply our knowledge of callbacks to implement a simple quotes tool.

  1. Create a json-formatted text file called quotes.json containing 10 quotes, you can find lots of these on websites such as brainyquotes. Each quote should include the quote and the author.
  2. Create a new script called quotes.js and use the fs.readfile() function to read the contents of the file and display it in the terminal.
  3. The contents of the file is a UTF-8 string, use JSON.parse() to convert this into a JavaScript object (array) and print this to the terminal instead.
  4. Create a loop to iterate through the array, printing the contents of each index.
  5. Modify the code so that it only prints the quote string (not the entire object).
  6. Convert the university object from the previous exercise into a JSON string and save it to the filesystem as university.json.

3.5 ECMA6 Object Destructuring

There are situations where we want to retrieve multiple object properties and store them in different variables, for example:

const employee = {
	firstName: 'Colin',
	'last name': 'Stephen',
	'department': 'Computing'
const first = employee.firstName
const last = employee['last name']
console.log(`${first} ${last}`)

In ECMA6 it is possible to extract multiple pieces of data into separate variables by destructuring using a Desctructuring Assignment. This is syntactically similar to creating object literals (see the example below).

const employee = {
	firstName: 'Colin',
	'last name': 'Stephen',
	'department': 'Computing'

const {firstName: first, 'last name': last, department: dept} = employee
console.log(first) // prints 'Colin'
console.log(dept) // prints 'Computing'

3.5.1 Test Your Understanding

  1. Take the university object inside employee.js that you created in an earlier exercise and use a single line destructuring assignment to create three variables, year1, year2 and year3.

3.6 Getters and Setters

Most object properties are simple values and you can simply assign a value. Sometimes however properties need to be calculated. One solution is to store a function as one of the properties, however, we would need to call a function to retrieve the value:

const employee = {
    firstName: 'Colin',
	'last name': 'Stephen',
	getName: function() {
		return `${this.firstName} ${this["last name"]}`

const name = employee.getName()

Whilst this works fine, it looks a little clunky. Thankfully in the newer versions of JavaScript you can use a getter which makes the code far more intuitive.

const employee = {
	firstName: 'Colin',
	'last name': 'Stephen',
	get name() {
		return `${this.firstName} ${this['last name']}`

const name =

In the same manner, some properties when set may need to change other properties. Here is a solution using a stored function.

const employee = {
	firstName: 'Colin',
	'last name': 'Stephen',
	setName: function(fullname) {
		const words = fullname.toString().split(' ')
		this.firstName = words[0] || ''
		this['last name'] = words[1] || ''

employee.setName('Micky Mouse')

By using a setter, it behaves just like any other property.

const employee = {
	firstName: 'Colin',
	'last name': 'Stephen',
	set name(fullname) {
		const words = fullname.toString().split(' ')
		this.firstName = words[0] || ''
		this['last name'] = words[1] || ''
} = 'Micky Mouse'

3.6.1 Test Your Understanding

  1. In employee.js, print the person's details in an easy to understand sentence.
    • Notice how JSON.stringify also doesn't omit the getter from the string representation of the object, but displays its current output after the property name:
       	"firstName": "Micky",
       	"last name": "Mouse",
       	"startYear": 2010,
       	"gender": "male",
       	"date of birth": "1980-01-01",
       	"details": "firstName: Micky, lastName: Mouse, startYear: 2010, gender: male, DoB: 1980-01-01"
  2. Add a getter to return the number of years the employee has been working for the company, you will need to create a Date object containing the current time, and then its getFullYear() method to get the year value.
  3. Create a proper setter that updates the employee's firstName and last name properties the same way as the one provided does

3.7 Modifying Objects

Once an object has been created it can be modified in several ways.

  1. More object values can be added
  2. Object names can be deleted
  3. The values can be changed for existing names.

Once an object has been created, additional properties cane be added by setting values by assignment.

const employee = {
	firstName: 'Colin',
	'last name': 'Stephen',
	'department': 'Computing'

employee.grade = 4
employee['currently employed'] = true
employee.department = 'Computer Science'

This sets a new value if the name does not already exist. Otherwise, it updates the existing value. Notice that the syntax depends on whether the property name is a valid JavaScript object and matches the syntax used to retrieve a property.

Properties can be removed from an object literal using the delete operator. This removes the entire property (name and value).

const employee = {
	firstName: 'Colin',
	'last name': 'Stephen',
	'department': 'Computing'

delete employee.department

3.8 Undefined Values

Undefined Objects

  • If you try to retrieve a non-existent object, JS throws a ReferenceError
    • Same thing happens when you try to access "one of its properties" (quotes because the object doesn't exist)
  • If you try to retrieve one of undefined's properties, JS throws a TypeError
  • If you retrieve an existing object's non-existent property, it returns undefined
    • If you try to retrieve the undefined property's property, JS throws a TypeError as with any other undefined
nonExistingObject // throws ReferenceError
nonExistentObject.whatever // throws ReferenceError
undefined.whatever // throws TypeError
const existingObject = {}
existingObject.nonExistentProperty // returns undefined
existingObject.nonExistentProperty.whatever // throws TypeError

To see what a TypeError looks like, try uncommenting lines marked with "TypeError:" in the employee.js file. So how can we avoid this?

The Logical AND (&&) operator can be used to guard against this problem.

  • As this operator doesn't evaluate the second value if the first one is falsy, we can be sure it won't try to retrieve a property of undefined.
const postCode = employee.address && employee.address.postCode
console.log(postCode) // returns undefined
  • postCode gets the value of employee.address if it's falsy (e.g. undefined (as it's in this case), false, 0, or '' (empty string))
  • but would get the value of employee.address.postCode if employee.address is truthy (e.g. true, 1, 'a' (non-empty string), or an existing object (even empty object))

General examples:

'' && 'foo' // returns ''
false && 'foo' // returns false
{} && 'foo' // returns 'foo'
1 && 0 // returns 0

3.8.1 Test Your Understanding

  1. Modify the code to handle bad data:
    1. Remove the startYear property.
    2. Set the startYear property to a String.

3.9 Object Prototypes

All JavaScript objects (such as String, Number, Array, etc.) inherit properties and methods from a prototype. This also applies to any new objects you create. Since JavaScript does not support traditional classes, this becomes the way to add new functionality. Let's look at a simple example.

The String object does not have a way to convert a string into an array of characters so we will add this. After it is added we can see that all strings have this new behaviour.

String.prototype.toArray = function() {
	return this.split('')

const nameArray = 'John Doe'.toArray()

There are a couple of important concepts here.

  1. Notice that the function is not defined using the arrow syntax =>, this is because we need the function to have its own context, this does not happen with arrow functions.
  2. Inside the function we manipulate the this object which represents the value of the object.
    1. Replace the function() {} construct with an arrow function. What happens when you run the script?

3.9.1 Test Your Understanding

  1. Extend the Array object by adding a function toStr() that takes an array and turns it into a string. You will need to use the Array.join() function.

4 Object Constructors

As you have seen from the previous section, each object (String, Number, etc) has its own prototype, but what about the custom objects you created? It turns out that these also have a prototype, Object. Any functionality you add to this will get added to all the objects in your application!. To get around this problem NodeJS has the new keyword. When this is used, we can isolate any changes to the targeted object.

4.1 Object Constructor Functions

Until ECMA6, there was a way to achieve this by using a constructor function. While now this isn't considered the optimal way to achieve our goal, there are so many examples of this approach, that it's important you understand both the syntax and how it works. When we use this approach, using the new keyword triggers four steps:

  1. We create an empty object.
  2. We set its prototype property to the constructor function's prototype function.
  3. We bind its this object to the new object.
  4. We then return the new object.

Lets see an example:

function Person(name, startYear) {
	const currentYear = 2019 = name
	this.startYear = startYear || currentYear
	this.years = currentYear - this.startYear

const colin = new Person('colin', 2012)
// Person { name: 'colin', startYear: 2012, years: 7 }

const nigel = new Person('nigel')
// Person { name: 'nigel', startYear: 2019, years: 0 }

Note that it is a convention that objects that can be used to create objects using the new keyword start with a capital letter. Also notice that when we print the object it clearly shows that it is an instance of Person and not Object.

4.2 Extending using Object Constructor Functions

Whilst this syntax is not using traditional classes, one object can extend another. This is best illustrated through the example below where we create another object called Student.

function Student(name, startYear, course) {, name, startYear)
	this.course = course || 'not enrolled'

const emily = new Student('emily', 2017, 'architecture')
// Student { name: 'emily', startYear: 2017, years: 2, course: 'architecture' }

const anne = new Student('anne')
// Student { name: 'anne', startYear: 2019, years: 0, course: 'not enrolled' }

4.3 ECMA6 Class Syntax

Whilst constructor functions are not particularly elegant they do provide a way to structure your objects efficiently. ECMA6 introduced a cleaner way to work with these using classes. Note that despite this looking like a (traditional) OOP language, remember it is really only a different syntax for constructor functions. Let's look at the previous example using the new syntax:

class Person {
	constructor(name, startYear) {
		const currentYear = 2019 = name
		this.startYear = startYear || currentYear
		this.years = currentYear - this.startYear
		return this

Since this is syntactic sugar for the constructor function we can extend this to create different objects.

class Student extends Person {
	constructor(name, startYear, course) {
		super(name, startYear)
		this.subject = course || 'not enrolled'

Note that we use the constructor() function rather than calling the base object.

We can also make use of getters and setters to retrieve and modify object properties.

class Student extends Person {
	constructor(name, startYear, course) {
		super(name, startYear)
		this.subject = course || 'not enrolled'
	get course() {
		return this.subject
	set course(newCourse) {
		this.subject = newCourse

4.4 Static Members

Currently each instance of a prototype function is completely self-contained. What if we need to store data about the prototype function itself? In a traditional OOP language we would use static methods and the new ECMA class syntax allows us to do something similar by adding properties to the prototype function itself. We can also define static methods that can be called directly from the prototype function, see the example below.

class ECMA6Student extends Person {
	constructor(name, startYear, course) {
		super(name, startYear)
		this.subject = course || 'not enrolled'
		if(ECMA6Student.count === undefined) ECMA6Student.count = 0
	static studentCount() {
		return ECMA6Student.count

const ruth = new ECMA6Student('ruth')
console.log(ECMA6Student.count)          // prints '1'
const matt = new ECMA6Student('matt')
console.log(ECMA6Student.studentCount()) // prints '2'

Notice that the static variable count is public (so the studentCount() method is somewhat superfluous in this example!). This highlights one of the limitations of JavaScript, the lack of a simple way to define private attributes (variables and methods). The next section goes into this in more detail and explains some workarounds (hacks) to get around this.

4.5 Handling Data Encapsulation

In all of these objects all data is public (you can see the entire object by using console.log()). One of the weaknesses of NodeJS (and JavaScript in general) is that there is no clean way to encapsulate data and make it hidden from the outside world. There are a number of techniques to get around this problem:

  1. Storing the data in the class constructor environment.
  2. Using a naming convention such as starting all private data with an underscore.
  3. Storing data in a WeakMap.
  4. Use a property who's key is a Symbol.

You should take time to understand the pros and cons of all four approaches.

4.6 Test Your Understanding

In a new file called vehicles.js:

  1. Create a constructor function called OldVehicle that includes make, model and price information. Use this to create two vehicles of your choice.
  2. Use this to create a second constructor function class called OldPickup that includes payload and seats fields and use this to create two pickup objects.
  3. Now use the same information to create a class called NewVehicle and extend this to create a class called NewPickup and use this to create two or more pickup objects.
  4. Add a static member to capture the total value of all the pickup sales and print this to the terminal.