JavaScript Variables


"use strict";

'use strict';

Strict Mode makes JavaScript stricter to assure you the best habits. For example, assigning a variable:

"use strict"; // or 'use strict';
var syntax101 = "var is used when assigning a variable.";
uhOh = "This is an error!";

uhOh is supposed to be defined using var. Strict Mode, being on, shows an error (in the Console, it doesn't care). Use this to generate good habits on defining variables.


You may use Nested Arrays and Objects some time. They are sometimes useful, and they're also fun to work with. Here is how they work:

Nested Arrays

var myArray = [ "The following is an array", ["I'm an array"] ];

console.log(myArray[1]); // (1) ["I'm an array"]
console.log(myArray[1][0]); // "I'm an array"

var myGraph = [ [0, 0], [5, 10], [3, 12] ]; // useful nested array

console.log(myGraph[0]); // [0, 0]
console.log(myGraph[1][1]); // 10

Nested Objects

var myObject = {
    firstObject: {
        myVariable: "This is the first object"
    }
    secondObject: {
        myVariable: "This is the second object"
    }
}

console.log(myObject.firstObject.myVariable); // This is the first object.
console.log(myObject.secondObject); // myVariable: "This is the second object"

var people = {
    john: {
        name: {
            first: "John",
            last: "Doe",
            full: "John Doe"
        },
        knownFor: "placeholder names"
    },
    bill: {
        name: {
            first: "Bill",
            last: "Gates",
            full: "Bill Gates"
        },
        knownFor: "wealth"
    }
}

console.log(people.john.name.first); // John
console.log(people.john.name.full); // John Doe
console.log(people.bill.knownFor); // wealth
console.log(people.bill.name.last); // Gates
console.log(people.bill.name.full); // Bill Gates

Variables are what make up most of JavaScript. These variables make up things from numbers to objects, which are all over JavaScript to make one's life much easier.

Defining a Variable

var myVariable = "This is a variable!";

This is an example of defining variables. This variable is called a "string" because it has ASCII characters (A-Z, 0-9, !@#$, etc.)

Using a Variable

var number1 = 5;
number1 = 3;

Here, we defined a number called "number1" which was equal to 5. However, on the second line, we changed the value to 3. To show the value of a variable, we log it to the console or use window.alert():

console.log(number1); // 3
window.alert(number1); // 3

To add, subtract, multiply, divide, etc., we do like so:

number1 = number1 + 5; // 3 + 5 = 8
number1 = number1 - 6; // 8 - 6 = 2
var number2 = number1 * 10; // 2 (times) 10 = 20
var number3 = number2 / number1; // 20 (divided by) 2 = 10;

We can also add strings which will concatenate them, or put them together. For example:

var myString = "I am a " + "string!"; // "I am a string!"

Types of Variables

var myInteger = 12; // 32-bit number (from -2,147,483,648 to 2,147,483,647)
var myLong = 9310141419482; // 64-bit number (from -9,223,372,036,854,775,808 to 9,223,372,036,854,775,807)
var myFloat = 5.5; // 32-bit floating-point number (decimal)
var myDouble = 9310141419482.22; // 64-bit floating-point number

var myBoolean = true; // 1-bit true/false (0 or 1)
var myBoolean2 = false;

var myNotANumber = NaN;
var NaN_Example = 0/0; // NaN: Division by Zero is not possible

var notDefined; // undefined: we didn't define it to anything yet
window.alert(aRandomVariable); // undefined

var myNull = null; // null
// to be continued...

Arrays and Objects

var myArray = []; // empty array

An array is a set of variables. For example:

var favoriteFruits = ["apple", "orange", "strawberry"];
var carsInParkingLot = ["Toyota", "Ferrari", "Lexus"];
var employees = ["Billy", "Bob", "Joe"];
var primeNumbers = [2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29, 31];
var randomVariables = [2, "any type works", undefined, null, true, 2.51];

myArray = ["zero", "one", "two"];
window.alert(myArray[0]); // 0 is the first element of an array
                          // in this case, the value would be "zero"
myArray = ["John Doe", "Billy"];
elementNumber = 1;

window.alert(myArray[elementNumber]); // Billy

An object is a group of values; unlike arrays, we can do something better than them:

myObject = {};
john = {firstname: "John", lastname: "Doe", fullname: "John Doe"};
billy = {
    firstname: "Billy",
    lastname: undefined
    fullname: "Billy"
};
window.alert(john.fullname); // John Doe
window.alert(billy.firstname); // Billy

Rather than making an array ["John Doe", "Billy"] and calling myArray[0], we can just call john.fullname and billy.fullname.