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What is the arrow function, and how to create it ?

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  • Last Updated : 14 Dec, 2021

Function in any programming language is the basic building block to create and combine the related bits of code. Every programming language provides certain kinds of practices to write any function. The arrow function syntax is one of the most used and efficient ones to create a function in JavaScript.

How to create arrow function: To write the arrow function, simply create any variable it can be const, let, or var but always do prefer with const to avoid unnecessary problems. And then do assign the function code to the variable that’s it. So from now, you can call that function by writing the parenthesis in front of that variable. With arrow function syntax, we consider function as an object and assign the definition to some variable. Following are the syntax of the arrow function:

const myFunction = (param1, param2,
    .... paramN) => { // function code }
const myFunction = (param) => { // function code }
                      or 
const myFunction = param => { // function code }  
const myFunction = param => { return param*param }
                      or 
const myFunction = param => param*param

We can omit the {} parenthesis when there is only one statement and the javascript considers that statement as return value, also there is no need to write parenthesis () when there is only one parameter. The arrow function can’t contain the line break between the (params) and the arrow =>, Also there should not be any space between the = and > characters.   

Example 1: In this example, we will create program to add two number first using normal function and then using arrow function.

Using normal function:

JavaScript




<script>
function myFunction(){
  let a = 5, b = 4;
  return a+b;
}
console.log(myFunction());
</script>

Using arrow function:

JavaScript




<script>
const myFunction = () =>{
  let a = 5, b = 4;
  return a+b;
}
console.log(myFunction());
</script>

Output:

9

Explanation: In the arrow function, we don’t write the function keyword, so it is necessary to assign it to some kind of variable like here we have assigned to a constant variable named myFunction.

Example 2: In this example, we will create function of single expressions using both normal and arrow function one by one.

Using normal function:

JavaScript




<script>
function myFunction(num){
  return num*num;
}
console.log(myFunction(4));
</script>

Using arrow function:

JavaScript




<script>
const myFunction = num => num*num;
// Equivalent to const myFunction = (num) =>{ return num*num; }
  
console.log(myFunction(4));
</script>

Output:

16

Explanation: When we have only one return expression in function, arrow syntax provides an easier way to write. We can drop the parenthesis of the parameter and also the return statement along with code blocks braces.

Limitations of Arrow Functions: Earlier we have seen how easily we can create a function with the arrow syntax now it’s time to look upon some limitations also because they will not work similarly to normal functions in several situations.

No binding of this keyword: It cannot be used as a method because of not having a binding of this keyword. Arrow function contains the lexical this instead of their own. The value of this will be based upon the scope in which they are defined. So the arrow function is defined in the window scope hence this will refer to the window object instead of the object in which the function is been written. There doesn’t exist any property or method with ‘num’ hence undefined will be printed.

JavaScript




<script>
var obj = {
  num: 10,
  myFunc: () => {console.log(this.num)}
}
  
obj.myFunc();
</script>

Output:

undefined

Explanation: The normal function contains this which refers to the object to which it belongs, and hence the function belongs to the obj object and property num exists inside it, so will be printed successfully. 

Arrow functions can’t be used as Constructor.

Example:

JavaScript




<script>
var MyFunction = () => {};
var instan = new MyFunction();
</script>

Output:

The call, apply, bind methods don’t work with arrow functions: Below is the general recall for concepts of these methods with the example of the traditional function, and later we will see that it won’t work well with arrow functions.

  • call() Method: This method is used to call any function for an object, and inside the function, this will refer to the object being passed.
  • apply() Method: It also works as similar to the call method. Instead of passing arguments separately here, we pass an array of arguments.
  • bind() Method: This method is also used to call any function for an object but it creates another copy of that function by binding the object with which can be used later.

Example:

Javascript




<script>
let studentObj1 = {
    studentName: "Twinkle Sharma",
    branch:"Computer Science & Engineering"
}
  
function showDetails(position) {
    console.log(`${this.studentName} of ${this.branch} is a ${position}`)
}
  
showDetails.call(studentObj1, "Technical Writer");
   
showDetails.apply(studentObj1, ["Technical Writer"]);
  
const myFunction = showDetails.bind(studentObj1);
  
myFunction("Technical Writer");
  
</script>

Output:

Explanation: Because this refers to the scope in which the arrow function is defined means the window This is the reason why the call, apply, and bind methods don’t work with the arrow function. Hence we can only access the window with the help of the arrow function. And as the properties student name and branch don’t exist in the window object undefined will be printed. 


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