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Delete In Javascript: Javascript Explained

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Deleting elements from objects, arrays, and functions in Javascript can seem like a daunting task, but with the right resources, deletion can be done in a few short steps. The goal of this article is to explain the syntax and rules of deletion in Javascript in an informative and concise manner. By the end, you should have a strong grasp of the basics of deletion in JavaScript in order to apply it to your own programming needs.

Introduction to Deletion in Javascript

Deleting in Javascript is used to remove unwanted items or variables from objects, arrays and functions. It involves the use of the delete operator, which is a unary operator with the syntax “delete x”. X is the item you want to delete, which can be defined as a function, a property of an object, or an element from an array. Put simply, the delete operator is how you indicate that you want to remove something from a programming construct.

Understanding the Syntax for Deleting Objects

The syntax for deleting objects is relatively straightforward. To delete an object you must use the delete operator followed by the name of the object. As an example, let’s consider an object called “myObj”. To delete this object we would use the syntax “delete myObj”. By doing this, we are telling the JavaScript engine to remove myObj from the programming environment.

It is important to note that the delete operator only works on objects, not on variables. If you try to use the delete operator on a variable, it will not work. Additionally, the delete operator does not delete the object from memory, it only removes the reference to the object. This means that the object will still exist in memory until it is garbage collected.

Deleting Elements from an Array

To delete elements from an array, you must first identify which element you want to delete. You can then delete that element using the delete operator and specifying the array index or position of the element. For example, if you want to delete the third element of an array called “myArray” you would use the syntax “delete myArray[2]”. The [2] indicates that you want to delete the third element of the array. In JavaScript array indexing starts at 0, so [2] will delete the third element.

It is important to note that the delete operator does not actually remove the element from the array. Instead, it sets the element to undefined. This means that the array will still contain the same number of elements, but the element that was deleted will be undefined. To actually remove the element from the array, you must use the splice() method.

Comparing Delete Versus Splice

When deleting elements from an array there are two primary methods: delete and splice. The primary difference between these two methods is that splice modifies the position of the elements after the deleted element and can also be used to delete multiple elements at once. Delete, on the other hand only has the capability of deleting one element at a time and does not change the indexes of the remaining elements.

Another difference between delete and splice is that delete does not return the deleted element, while splice does. This can be useful if you need to use the deleted element in some way. Additionally, delete does not accept any parameters, while splice requires at least one parameter to specify the index of the element to be deleted.

Removing Properties from Objects

Removing properties from objects is done using the same syntax as deleting elements from an array. To remove a property from an object called “myObject” you would use the syntax “delete myObject.propertyName”. Replacing “propertyName” with the actual name of the property you wish to delete. Doing this will remove that property from your object.

It is important to note that when you delete a property from an object, it is permanently removed. There is no way to undo the deletion, so it is important to be sure that you want to delete the property before doing so. Additionally, if you delete a property from an object that is part of a larger object, the property will be removed from the larger object as well.

Using the Delete Operator with Functions

Deleting functions with the delete operator is slightly different than removing properties and elements from arrays and objects. The syntax you use when deleting functions is “delete functionName”, with functionName being the actual name of your function. However, when deleting functions it is important to remember that this will only delete variables declared in JS, not functions declared in other languages like HTML or PHP.

Conclusion

At this point, you should understand the basics of deletion in Javascript and how it can be used to remove unwanted elements from an array, object, or function. Hopefully this article gave you enough information to get started using the delete operator in your own coding projects. Understanding and implementing deletion into your workflow is a key part of becoming a proficient Javascript programmer.

It is important to remember that the delete operator is not the only way to remove elements from an array, object, or function. There are other methods such as splice, pop, and shift that can be used to achieve the same result. It is important to understand the differences between these methods and when to use each one in order to optimize your code.

Anand Das

Anand Das

Anand is Co-founder and CTO of Bito. He leads technical strategy and engineering, and is our biggest user! Formerly, Anand was CTO of Eyeota, a data company acquired by Dun & Bradstreet. He is co-founder of PubMatic, where he led the building of an ad exchange system that handles over 1 Trillion bids per day.

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