JavaScript Data Types

JavaScript is a loosely typed and dynamic language. Variable can be assigned or reassigned anytime. In JavaScript, there is no need to declare the type of variable like C/C++, Java,etc.You can assign a value directly. JavaScript also allows values called primitive types. These are well known types in all programming langauges.

Primitive Types are:

  • undefined
  • Boolean
  • Number
  • String
  • BigInt
  • Symbol

Special primitive type is null.

undefined

The undefined is a primitive type assigned to variables automatically when

  1. they are newly created and nothing is assigned to them.
  2. They are formal argument of a function for which their is no actual argument.

You can check the type of a variable using the command – typeof <variable name>

For example,

var x; //variable declaration
typeof x;
//Output : "undefined"

When an object does not exist, we use “undefined“, however, when the object does exist and empty, use null. Therefore, null has exactly one value.

Boolean

Boolean type has either true or false values. It is used in conditional statements and loops.

Example #1

bool x = True;
if(x)
{
   alert("Statement is True");
}
else
{
   alert("Statement is False");
}

Output #1

Output - Boolean value is true hence the statement is printed in the alert message
Output – Boolean value is true hence the statement is printed in the alert message

Number

Number in javascript is a double precesion 64-bit floating point number. Therefore, 64-bits are used to represent integers, floats, double ,etc found in other programming languages such as C/C++. Java. The range of numbers are between (-2^53 -1) and (2^53-1), that is, between -9007199254740991 and 9007199254740991

We can check if a number falls between the maximum or minimum range -(2^53-1) and (2^53-1).
. Number.isSafeInteger()
. Number.MIN_SAFE_INTEGER
. Number.MAX_SAFE_INTEGER

The integer is a whole number, both positive and negative and does not contains any fractional components. However, the float and double values need more bits to represent the fractional component of the number. Also, numbers are not written without quotes. In other words, any number that is not enclosed using quotation marks is a number type in JavaScript.

Number type has symbolic values to represent: 
. negative infinity(-Infinity), 
. positive infinity(+infinity)
. NaN(Not a Number)

-0 and+0 is only integer with two signs and -0 == +0, the different is known when you divide by zero. Here 0 is same as +0.

For example, 23/-0 = – Infinity and 23/+0 = +Infinity

String

A sequence of characters used to represent textual information is called a string. A string is primitive type found in many programming languages.

In javascript, strings objects are use to represent primitive string. It is just a wrapper class.

In simple words, any character or group of character enclosed in double quotes or single quotes is called a string. Each character in the string has a index number that indicates its position within the string. The very first character has an index of 0. The length of the string is total number of characters in the string. Some of the characters that JavaScript support are “invisible” means when you type them no character will be printed on the screen. These special characters are used with escape character (\). Here is a list of special characters frequently used with escape character.

  • \” ( double quote)
  • \’ ( single quote)
  • \\ ( backslash)
  • \b ( backspace )
  • \t ( tab )
  • \n ( new line )
  • \r ( carriage return)
  • \f (form feed)

Example #2

var str = "Notesformsc";         // string declaration
var str2 = "Educational Site";
var str3 = str + " " + str2;     // string concatenation
console.log(str3);
var number = "F" + 233;
console.log(number);
console.log(typeof(number));     //implicit type conversion
var str4 = " I\'ll do the job.";
console.log(str4);               //escape character to insert a single quote

Output #2

Output - Strings can be concatenated, numbers convert to strings implicitly, and use escape to insert special characters.
Output – Strings can be concatenated, numbers convert to strings implicitly, and use escape to insert special characters.

Note that all other types can be converted to string type implicitly in JavaScript except a few types.

BigInt Type

BigInt are those numbers that does not fall under the -(2^53 – 1) or 1-9007199254740991 and (2^53-1) or 9007199254740991.

There are two ways to represent the BigInt values

  1. use n at the end of the integer 9007199254740991n
  2. or use the constructor BigInt()

Example #3

var x = 120;           //variable declaration
var p = BigInt(x);     //creating big int using constructor
alert("p =" + " " + p);              //output: 120n

Output #3

Output = The number is with a suffix n
Output = The number is with a suffix n

BigInt are not same as integers except when you compare them using logical operators, will get a proper boolean value.

Symbol Types

In JavaScript, a symbol is a primitive value whose data type is symbol. The function symbol() creates an anonymous unique value in JavaScript runtime environment when invoked.

Use of Symbol

It is used as an object property. The symbol can have optional description.

For example,

let sym1 = symbol( "foo"); // variable declaration
let sym2 = symbol( "foo"); // variable declaration

Description is “foo” for the symbol and it is unique.

if(symbol('foo") === symbol("foo")) //false
or
if( sym1 === sym2) // false

Function Symbol() As Constructor

The function symbol is incomplete constructor; therefore, it is not possible to use new operator to create objects of type symbol.

let sym1 = new Symbol("foo") // will give type error

Symbols are new feature in ECMAScript 2015.

Auto-Conversion of Symbols

Implicit conversion to string is a builtin feature in JavaScript. You can auto-convert any data type in JavaScript except symbols. For example,

Example #4

var sym1 = Symbol('foo');
var p = "F" + sym1;
alert(sym1);//type error

Output #4

Output - Type Error
Output – Type Error

To convert symbols to strings, use the following

alert(sym1.toString());

Or you can output symbol description directly.

alert(sym1.description);

Example #5

var sym = Symbol('foo');
console.log(sym.toString());
console.log(sym.description);

Output #5

Output - Symbol Type
Output – Symbol Type

Global Symbol Registry

A global symbol registry holds a list of all symbols but it is not available to JavaScript Runtime Environement, instread there are two builtin methods

  1. Symbol.for(tokenString); //returns a symbol value from registry
  2. Symbol.keyFor(symbol value); //returns a tokeystring from the registry

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