Javascript property assignment question

Discussion in 'Javascript' started by karl.lopes, Nov 24, 2011.

  1. karl.lopes

    karl.lopes Guest

    I am trying to understand assignment in javascript. Assume ECMAScript 5.
    My Question is why does step 4 in the note below work. I would expect it to fail.

    1. //Create an Object...
    var buffer = Object.create(Object.prototype);

    2. //Add a property
    Object.defineProperty(buffer, "__data__", {value:[],writable:false,enumerable:false,configurable:false});

    Note in setp 2 the property is completely closed to any modification.
    In particular...

    3.var buffer_copy = Object.create(buffer);

    //I would expect the line below to fail.. Since in Step 2 __data__ is made //writable false. BUT It works and the assignment does take place.
    //As per JavaScript the Definitive Guide pg 122: If o inherits a read-only //property named x, for example, then the assignment is not allowed.
    4.buffer_copy.__data__ = [];
    karl.lopes, Nov 24, 2011
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  2. By "work" in this case you appear to mean why does it not throw an
    exception, because you have not demonstrated that it does "work" in
    the sense of assigning a new array object to the - __data__ - property
    of the object referred to by - buffer_copy -.
    That is good because it did.
    You have not shown that to be the case, only that the line of code is
    executed without an exception being thrown.
    And "not allowed" (if perhaps not the best way of expression it) does
    not necessarily mean an exception will be thrown.
    If you try:-

    <script type="text/javascript">
    var buffer = Object.create(Object.prototype);
    value:['xx'],//<- Note the value of element
    var buffer_copy = Object.create(buffer);

    buffer_copy.__data__ = ['yy']; //<- Note the value of element 0.

    alert(buffer_copy.__data__[0]); //alerts 'xx' not 'yy'


    - the alert shows 'xx', which is the zero indexed element of the array
    originally assigned to the property of - buffer -, and so the
    assignment of a different array to the - __data__ - property of -
    buffer_copy - has in fact failed, it just did so silently. Silent
    failure has always been a possibility in javascript, for example when
    attempting to delete a non-deletable variable no exceptions would be
    thrown in ES3.

    The possibly exists that an exception would have been thrown when the
    assignment was attempted, but that only happens in 'strict mode' code
    in ES5, and this code is not 'strict mode'.

    Richard Cornford, Nov 24, 2011
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