There are also plain old loops like while loops, and for loops that can also be used as a way to loop over all the contents of an array or just some of the elements. Loops often prove to do so a little faster, and they are also far more flexible when it it comes to an initial index value, how stepping of an index value will happen, and also continuing and breaking of the loop. For these reasons I often find myself using loops over the array forEach method, and often over many other prototype methods for that matter, but I would not necessary say that loops are the end all solution for looping over the contents of an array.
So there are native methods, utility library methods that are in popular frameworks like lodash, and then there is the idea of making your own custom solutions for the nature of the project. That is using any or all of these solutions to make some kind of methods of module that loops over the contents of a given array, but allows for a custom API to be provided on each loop, and has all the features that I want without any unnecessary bloat.
Also simply put it might not always be the best choice for the job when it comes to looping over the contents of an array. There is not golden hammer as it where when it cones to looping over things. I tend to prefer the use of while loops, I have my reasons why that is, but I am not going to suggest that everyone should stop using array foreach and just use while loops and only while loops all the time everywhere and anywhere.
So a basic example of Array.forEach might just involve using it to loop over the contents of an array of numbers, and add up the numbers in the array to a variable that will serve as a sum of those numbers. So such an example might look something like this then.
Although this might work just fine with such a trivial task, there are many other ways to go about doing a simple sum of numbers in an array. The array reduce method might prove to be a more appropriate way of going about adding up a sum actually for example. There are of course more options to work with in the array prototype other than just the array for each method after all.
Also In real projects what might need to happen for each element in an array might end up being far more complex than just adding up each number in the array. There might come a time where I might not want to start at index 0 each time, or I might want to do something with each array index and so forth. Once again these are reasons while I tend to prefer while loops, however I do fine myself using these convenience methods now and then.
So lets look as some more basic examples that make use of other array prototype methods that work in a similar way to that of the array for each prototype method. After this section we can start to look at loops, and custom user space options for specific tasks when it comes to making custom for each style methods.
When it comes to doing anything that might involve a sum of any kind, it might be better to use Array.reduce in place of Array.forEach.
This is one of many other Array prototype methods that work in a very similar way to that of Array.forEach, but behave a little differently. For one thing the Array.reduce method does not start looping at index 0, but rather index 1. the reason why is that the first element at index 0 is the initial value of an accumulator argument that is the first argument that is given to the function that is passed to Array.reduce. So in this example the value of s starts out as 1 and the value of r is 2, then on the next call the value of s is 3 and the value of r is 3 making the final value that is reduced to 6;
Another way to loop over elements in an array is to use Array.map. This method works more or less the same way as Array.forEach but with one significant difference. That difference is that whatever is returned in the method that is given as an argument this time will become that element in the array. Actually the new element will be in a new copy of the array that can then be reassigned to the array or not. So in a way the array map method is in line with functional programing in the sense that the array that that the prototype method is called off is not mutated in place.
2.4 - Array filter for creating a new array that is only a few elements from another that meet a given condition.
Let another alternative array prototype method to the foreach method is the filter method. As the name would suggest this can be used to filter out elements from an array that are not wanted.
There are also methods like array some, and array every that can be used to create and return a boolean value for an array depending on the condition returned in the method given. Say you want to test if just one element in an array meets a given condition for that there is the array some method. In addition there is the array every method that will return true if all elements in the array meet a given condition.
So the a basic example of a while loop could just be using an index variable that is set at zero for starters. Then I check if the index variable is greater than the length of the array as the condition for the while loop. Inside the body of the while loop I will want to step the index variable or else I will end up with an infinite loop. I can then use the bracket syntax inside the body of the while loop to get the current element of the array by using the index value as the value to use with the bracket syntax of the array.
There is of course more than one way to skin a cat when it comes to while loops, and loops in general. What is great about loops is that I have control over the conditions for how to go about breaking the loop, how to go about stepping an index value, and also how to start looping in the first place. For example I can just start off the index variable at the end of an array, and loop backwards. Also because the number zero evaluates to false I can also have the index variable double as a way to break the loop.
Another major advantage of using loops like while loops over array forEach is that I can set the starting condition, and ending condition in terms of the array index value. I can if I want start looping at an index value greater than zero, and end before I get to the end of the array for example.
There is of course also the array slice method that can also be used to get a new array that is a range of another array. However I would need to know both the starting and ending index values. With a while loop I can make coming across some kind of value a way to stop looping.
There is also of course using the return keyword in the body of a function that will be used to return something, and the fact that when using the array forEach method I am working inside the body of a function. So when doing something that involves nesting loops, or even just using one loop I can not just use the return keyword in the body of a methid that is passed to array for each.
However with while loops I can place that return keyword anywhere in a single while loop, or even one or more nested while loops, and the return keyword will break out of the whole situation with looping and given me what it is that I wanted returned.
In addition to the return keyword there is also the break keyword that can be used even when working out a loop that is top level code outside of a function that can be used as yet another way to accomplish a similar result that can not be done with array forEach.
However often in javaScirpt I come across Objects that are formatted like an Array, but they are an instance of another kind of constructor. these kinds of objects have key value pairs where each key name is a number rather than a named key, and there is a length property that reflects the number of these key value pairs. Sometimes the values of these objects might be read only, but even then it is possible to get a method like Array.froEach to work with these it just requires some trickery with Function.call, or Array.from.
An Example of an Array like object might look like this
So in this section I will be outlining some ways to loop over these kinds of objects.
The Array.from method is one way to go about converting one of these array like objects into an Array. Once that is done it is possible to use some Array prototype methods such as Array.forEach
The array from method is one way to go about creating an array from an array like object. I just pass the object to array from when calling it, the returned result is an instance of array to which I can then use the array for each method, or any array prototype method.
Another trick is to leverage the power of Function.call. If you are not familiar with Function.call, Function.apply, and Function.bind it would be a good idea to look into them at some point. If any kind of object has properties that will work with a prototype method of another it can be done with these Function prototype methods.
Some times I am dealing with an object that is not an instance of an Array but it is a named collection of sorts. In these situations I need to loop over the contents of a collection of named keys and corresponding values rather than numbered ones.
The Object values method is one way to loop over the contents of an object in general. Assuming that all the key names that I want to loop over are public, and I do not care about anything that might be in the prototype chain.
So on top of the Object values method there is also the Object.keys static method also. This method works the same way as Object values only it returns an array of key names rather than the values of the keys. In any case this can be used to quickly create an array from a plain old object and then of course array prototype methods can be used with that resulting array, and not just array forEach.
Simply put I like to use different tools for the job, and also try to always pick the best choice depending on the situation. There is readability which I would say is of value, but of course the same is to be said about performance. There is functional programing which is great, but there is also working with classes, state, and other ways of programing that are not necessary inherently inferior. There is trying to be perfect, and then there is just getting together a working proof of concept today rather than six months from now. So just pick a way to loop, and move on with your project, and your life.