Appendix B. Bad Parts

And, I pray thee now, tell me for which of my bad parts didst thou first fall in love with me?

William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing

In this appendix, I present some of the problematic features of JavaScript that are easily avoided. By simply avoiding these features, you make JavaScript a better language, and yourself a better programmer.


JavaScript has two sets of equality operators: === and !==, and their evil twins == and !=. The good ones work the way you would expect. If the two operands are of the same type and have the same value, then === produces true and !== produces false. The evil twins do the right thing when the operands are of the same type, but if they are of different types, they attempt to coerce the values. The rules by which they do that are complicated and unmemorable. These are some of the interesting cases:

'' == '0'          // false
0 == ''            // true
0 == '0'           // true

false == 'false'   // false
false == '0'       // true

false == undefined // false
false == null      // false
null == undefined  // true

' \t\r\n ' == 0    // true

The lack of transitivity is alarming. My advice is to never use the evil twins. Instead, always use === and !==. All of the comparisons just shown produce false with the === operator.

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