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How to use optional chaining in JavaScript ES2020?

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Created by:
Selina-Miranda
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Why worry about undefined or null values when optional chaining can be used?

When something comes from the outside but you are not sure if it is defined¬†or you just want to simplify¬†the logic of your app use this solution. 🔽

Let's start by briefly explaining how the optional chaining operator works.

ES2020 introduced ?. operator that gives the possibility to avoid testing if an object or property before ?. notation exists, returning undefined value if not. The operator can be used with variables, properties, objects, arrays, functions, etc.

The ?. operator is similar to the . chaining operator, except that instead of causing an error if a reference is null or undefined, the expression returns undefined value.

📝 Note:

The ?. optional chaining operator is supported in latest Babel compiler and TypeScript by default.

Syntax looks following way:

SyntaxDescription
obj?.propobject property access
obj?.[expr]object property access with brackets
arr?.[index]array item access by index
func?.(args)function calling

Simple object example:

// ONLINE-RUNNER:browser;

const user = {
  name: 'Kate',
  age: 25,
};

console.log(user?.name);             // Kate

// console.log(user.address.street)  // causes error
console.log(user.address?.street)    // undefined

Various types examples:

// ONLINE-RUNNER:browser;

// accepted: uninitialised, undefined or null

var obj;
var arr = undefined;
var func = null;

console.log(obj?.items);        // undefined
console.log(obj?.['name']);     // undefined
console.log(arr?.[10]);         // undefined
console.log(func?.('Hello!'));  // undefined

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