JavaScript's three dots (...). Spread and Rest Operators.

JavaScript's three dots (...). Spread and Rest Operators.

In this short article I will explain what Spread and Rest operators are, and how they can be used in JavaScript.

Spread and Rest operators are written with three dots ... So actually we have the same syntax, for both. It only depends on how we use it.

Spread operator is used to expand array elements or object properties.

Rest parameter is used to collect function arguments into array.

Spread operator.

Copy items from one array to another:

const fruits = ['apple', 'banana', 'kiwi'];
const moreFruits = [...fruits, 'strawberry', 'lemon'];

console.log(fruits);
console.log(moreFruits);

When you run the code you will get this output:

[ 'apple', 'banana', 'kiwi' ]
[ 'apple', 'banana', 'kiwi', 'strawberry', 'lemon' ]

You can use to clone array:

In JavaScript the objects are assigned by reference and not by values.

const fruits = ['banana', 'kiwi'];
const newFruits = fruits;

fruits.push('nectarine');

console.log(fruits);
// Output: [ 'banana', 'kiwi', 'nectarine' ]

console.log(newFruits);
// Output: [ 'banana', 'kiwi', 'nectarine' ]

As you can see you add nectarine to fruits, but you also have it in newFruits.

If you want to copy arrays so that they do not refer to same array, you can use the spread operator.

const fruits = ['banana', 'kiwi'];
const newFruits = [...fruits];

console.log(fruits);
// Output: [ 'banana', 'kiwi' ]
console.log(newFruits);
// Output: [ 'banana', 'kiwi' ]

fruits.push('nectarine');

console.log(fruits);
// Output: [ 'banana', 'kiwi', 'nectarine' ]
console.log(newFruits);
// Output: [ 'banana', 'kiwi' ]

Now you make a copy of fruits that is called newFruits. When you add nectarine to fruits, newFruits stays unchanged.

Use it with objects:

const person = { name: 'Gjoko', lastname: 'Bozhinov' };
const address = { country: 'Slovenia', city: 'Ljubljana'}

const personDetails = {...person, ...address};

console.log(personDetails); 
// You will get this output:
//{
//  name: 'Gjoko',
//  lastname: 'Bozhinov',
//  country: 'Slovenia',
//  city: 'Ljubljana'
//}

Rest parameter

Rest parameters allows you to represent an indefinite number of arguments as an array. You define rest parameter by creating function parameter with ... prefix.

function sum(...numbers) {
    let result = 0;
    for (const number of numbers) {
        result += number;
    }
    console.log('Sum: ' + result);
}

sum(1, 2, 3);
// Output: Sum: 6
function printArguments(a, b, ...c) {
    console.log('a', a);
    console.log('b', b);
    console.log('c', c);
}

printArguments(1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7);

You will get this output:

a: 1
b: 2
c: [ 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 ]

Thanks!

 
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