{ Default Parameters, Rest and Spread. }


By the end of this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Explain what ES2015 default parameters are and how to use them
  • Compare and contrast the rest and spread operators and how they are used

Default parameters

Another nice ES2015 feature is the ability to add default values to parameters in our functions

// OLD - causes unintended issues because 0 is falsey!

function add(a, b){
    a = a || 12
    b = b || 13
    return a + b;

add() // 25
add(0) // 25 - WHY IS THIS??
add(0,0) // 25 - WHAT IS HAPPENING??

// NEW
function add(a=12,b=13){
    return a+b

add() // 25 - CORRECT!
add(0) // 13 - CORRECT!
add(10,10) // 20

Default parameters are set by assigning them when the function is defined, as you can see. You can read more about default parameters here.

Rest / Spread

ES2015 gives us two new operators with the same syntax. The first is the rest operator (think of it like the "rest" of the arguments), and is used inside of a list of function parameters in the definition of a function to indicate the "rest" of the arguments:

function data(a,b,...c){

data(1,2,3,4,5); // 1, 2, [3,4,5]

Using the rest operator is often a useful way to avoid dealing with the arguments array-like object. arguments can be a little tricky to deal with, since it's not actually an array and therefore doesn't have access to common array methods. However, when you use the rest operator, what you get access to inside of your function is a bona fide array.

function checkArguments() {
    return Array.isArray(arguments)

function checkArgumentsES2015(...args) {
    return Array.isArray(args);

checkArguments(1, 2, 3); // false
checkArgumentsES2015(1, 2, 3); // true

Here's another refactoring example that removes reference to arguments:

function multiply() {
    let product = 1;
    for (let i = 0; i < arguments.length; i++) {
        product *= arguments[i];
    return product;

function multiplyES2015(...nums) {
    return nums.reduce((product, num) => product * num, 1);

multiply(1, 2, 3, 4); // 24
multiplyES2015(1, 2, 3, 4);

Now let's move on to the spread operator. The spread operator sort of does the inverse of the rest operator: instead of converting a comma-separated list of values into an array, it spreads an array into a comma-separated list of values. Because of this, the spread operator is used when invoking a function, unlike the rest operator, which is used when defining a function. Here's an example:

var arr = [1,2,3,4];
function addFourNumbers(a,b,c,d){
    return a + b + c + d;

Also, even though the arguments object is not an array, you can still apply the spread operator to it. Here's another example:

function addThree(a,b,c) {
    return a + b + c;

function addThreeArgs() {
    return addThree(...arguments);

addThree(1, 2, 3); // 6
addThreeArgs(1, 2, 3); // 6

You can read more about rest here and spread here.

When you're ready, move on to Object Shorthand and Destructuring


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