stmt | JavaScriptSource

stmt

JavaScriptSource Staff Jul 24, 2006
Previous     Contents     Index     Next     
Core JavaScript Reference 1.5



Chapter 3   Chapter 3 Statements


This chapter describes all JavaScript statements. JavaScript statements consist of keywords used with the appropriate syntax. A single statement may span multiple lines. Multiple statements may occur on a single line if each statement is separated by a semicolon.

Syntax conventions: All keywords in syntax statements are in bold. Words in italics represent user-defined names or statements. Any portions enclosed in square brackets, [ ], are optional. {statements} indicates a block of statements, which can consist of zero or more statements delimited by a curly braces { }.

The following table lists statements available in JavaScript.


Table 3.1    JavaScript statements.  

break

 

Terminates the current while or for loop and transfers program control to the statement following the terminated loop.  

const

 

Declares a global constant, optionally initializing it to a value.  

continue

 

Terminates execution of the block of statements in a while or for loop, and continues execution of the loop with the next iteration.  

do...while

 

Executes the specified statements until the test condition evaluates to false. Statements execute at least once.  

export

 

Allows a signed script to provide properties, functions, and objects to other signed or unsigned scripts.  

for

 

Creates a loop that consists of three optional expressions, enclosed in parentheses and separated by semicolons, followed by a block of statements executed in the loop.  

for...in

 

Iterates a specified variable over all the properties of an object. For each distinct property, JavaScript executes the specified statements.  

function

 

Declares a function with the specified parameters. Acceptable parameters include strings, numbers, and objects.  

if...else

 

Executes a set of statements if a specified condition is true. If the condition is false, another set of statements can be executed.  

import

 

Allows a script to import properties, functions, and objects from a signed script that has exported the information.  

label

 

Provides an identifier that can be used with break or continue to indicate where the program should continue execution.  

return

 

Specifies the value to be returned by a function.  

switch

 

Allows a program to evaluate an expression and attempt to match the expression's value to a case label.  

throw

 

Throws a user-defined exception.  

try...catch

 

Marks a block of statements to try, and specifies a response should an exception be thrown.  

var

 

Declares a variable, optionally initializing it to a value.  

while

 

Creates a loop that evaluates an expression, and if it is true, executes a block of statements. The loop then repeats, as long as the specified condition is true.  

with

 

Establishes the default object for a set of statements.  



break



Use the break statement to terminate a loop, switch, or label statement.

Terminates the current loop, switch, or label statement and transfers program control to the statement following the terminated loop.


Implemented in  

JavaScript 1.0, NES 2.0  

ECMA version  

ECMA-262 (for the unlabeled version)
ECMA-262, Edition 3 (for the labeled version)
 


Syntax
break [label]


Parameter


label

 

Identifier associated with the label of the statement.  


Description
The break statement includes an optional label that allows the program to break out of a labeled statement. The statements in a labeled statement can be of any type.


Examples
The following function has a break statement that terminates the while loop when e is 3, and then returns the value 3 * x.

function testBreak(x) {
   var i = 0;
   while (i < 6) {
      if (i == 3)
         break;
      i++;
   }
   return i*x;
}


See also
continue, label, switch



const



Declares a readonly, named constant.

Implemented in  

JavaScript 1.5, NES 6.0 (Netscape extension, C engine only),  


Syntax
const constname [= value] [..., constname [= value] ]


Parameters


varname

 

Constant name. It can be any legal identifier.  

value

 

Value of the constant and can be any legal expression.  


Description
Creates a constant that can be global or local to the function in which it is declared. Constants follow the same scope rules as variables.

The value of a constant cannot change through re-assignment, and a constant cannot be re-declared.

A constant cannot share the same name as a function or variable in the same scope.


Examples
The script:

const a = 7;

document.writeln("a is " + a + ".");

produces the output:

a is 7.



continue



Restarts a while, do-while, for, or label statement.



Implemented in  

JavaScript 1.0, NES 2.0  

ECMA version  

ECMA-262 (for the unlabeled version)
ECMA-262, Edition 3 (for the labeled version)
 


Syntax
continue [label]


Parameter



label

 

Identifier associated with the label of the statement.  


Description
In contrast to the break statement, continue does not terminate the execution of the loop entirely: instead,

  • In a while loop, it jumps back to the condition.

  • In a for loop, it jumps to the update expression.
The continue statement can now include an optional label that allows the program to terminate execution of a labeled statement and continue to the specified labeled statement. This type of continue must be in a looping statement identified by the label used by continue.


Examples
Example 1. The following example shows a while loop that has a continue statement that executes when the value of i is 3. Thus, n takes on the values 1, 3, 7, and 12.

i = 0;
n = 0;
while (i < 5) {
   i++;
   if (i == 3)
      continue;
   n += i;
}

Example 2. In the following example, a statement labeled checkiandj contains a statement labeled checkj. If continue is encountered, the program continues at the top of the checkj statement. Each time continue is encountered, checkj reiterates until its condition returns false. When false is returned, the remainder of the checkiandj statement is completed. checkiandj reiterates until its condition returns false. When false is returned, the program continues at the statement following checkiandj.

If continue had a label of checkiandj, the program would continue at the top of the checkiandj statement.

checkiandj :
while (i<4) {
   document.write(i + "<BR>");
   i+=1;

   checkj :
   while (j>4) {
      document.write(j + "<BR>");
      j-=1;
      if ((j%2)==0)
         continue checkj;
      document.write(j + " is odd.<BR>");
   }
   document.write("i = " + i + "<br>");
   document.write("j = " + j + "<br>");
}


See also
break, label



do...while



Executes the specified statements until the test condition evaluates to false. Statements execute at least once.



Implemented in  

JavaScript 1.2, NES 3.0  

ECMA Version  

ECMA 262, Edition 3  


Syntax
do
   statements
while (condition);


Parameters



statements

 

Block of statements that is executed at least once and is re-executed each time the condition evaluates to true.  

condition

 

Evaluated after each pass through the loop. If condition evaluates to true, the statements in the preceding block are re-executed. When condition evaluates to false, control passes to the statement following do while.  


Examples
In the following example, the do loop iterates at least once and reiterates until i is no longer less than 5.

do {
   i+=1;
   document.write(i);
} while (i<5);



export



Allows a signed script to provide properties, functions, and objects to other signed or unsigned scripts.

This feature is not in ECMA 262, Edition 3.



Implemented in  

JavaScript 1.2, NES 3.0  


Syntax
export name1, name2, ..., nameN
export *


Parameters



nameN

 

List of properties, functions, and objects to be exported.  

*

 

Exports all properties, functions, and objects from the script.  


Description
Typically, information in a signed script is available only to scripts signed by the same principals. By exporting properties, functions, or objects, a signed script makes this information available to any script (signed or unsigned). The receiving script uses the companion import statement to access the information.


See also
import



for



Creates a loop that consists of three optional expressions, enclosed in parentheses and separated by semicolons, followed by a block of statements executed in the loop.



Implemented in  

JavaScript 1.0, NES 2.0  

ECMA version  

ECMA-262  


Syntax
for ([initial-expression]; [condition]; [increment-expression]) {
   statements
}


Parameters



initial-expression

 

Statement or variable declaration. Typically used to initialize a counter variable. This expression may optionally declare new variables with the var keyword. These variables are local to the function, not to the loop.  

condition

 

Evaluated on each pass through the loop. If this condition evaluates to true, the statements in statements are performed. This conditional test is optional. If omitted, the condition always evaluates to true.  

increment-expression

 

Generally used to update or increment the counter variable.  

statements

 

Block of statements that are executed as long as condition evaluates to true. This can be a single statement or multiple statements. Although not required, it is good practice to indent these statements from the beginning of the for statement.  


Examples
The following for statement starts by declaring the variable i and initializing it to 0. It checks that i is less than nine, performs the two succeeding statements, and increments i by 1 after each pass through the loop.

for (var i = 0; i < 9; i++) {
   n += i;
   myfunc(n);
}



for...in



Iterates a specified variable over all the properties of an object. For each distinct property, JavaScript executes the specified statements.



Implemented in  

JavaScript 1.0, NES 2.0  

ECMA version  

ECMA-262  


Syntax
for (variable in object) {
   statements
}


Parameters



variable

 

Variable to iterate over every property, optionally declared with the var keyword. This variable is local to the function, not to the loop.  

object

 

Object for which the properties are iterated.  

statements

 

Specifies the statements to execute for each property.  


Examples
The following function takes as its argument an object and the object's name. It then iterates over all the object's properties and returns a string that lists the property names and their values.

function show_props(obj, objName) {
   var result = "";
   for (var i in obj) {
      result += objName + "." + i + " = " + obj[i] + "\n";
   }
   return result;
}



function



Declares a function with the specified parameters. Acceptable parameters include strings, numbers, and objects.



Implemented in  

JavaScript 1.0, NES 2.0

JavaScript 1.5, NES 6.0: added conditional function declarations (Netscape extension).  

ECMA version  

ECMA-262  


Syntax
function name([param] [, param] [..., param]) {
   statements
}

You can also define functions using the Function constructor and the function operator; see Function and function.


Parameters



name

 

The function name.  

param

 

The name of an argument to be passed to the function. A function can have up to 255 arguments.  

statements

 

The statements which comprise the body of the function.  


Description
To return a value, the function must have a return statement that specifies the value to return.

A function created with the function statement is a Function object and has all the properties, methods, and behavior of Function objects. See Function for detailed information on functions.

Netscape supports conditional function declarations, whereby a function can be declared based on the evaluation of a condition. If the condition evaluates to true, the function is declared. Otherwise it is not declared.

A function can also be declared inside an expression. In this case the function is usually anonymous. See page 254.


Examples
The following code declares a function that returns the total dollar amount of sales, when given the number of units sold of products a, b, and c.

function calc_sales(units_a, units_b, units_c) {
   return units_a*79 + units_b*129 + units_c*699
}

In the following script, the one function is always declared. The zero function is declared because 'if(1)' evaluates to true:

<SCRIPT language="JavaScript1.5">
<!--
function one()
   document.writeln("This is one.");
   if (1)
      function zero()
      {
         document.writeln("This is zero.");
      }
}
</SCRIPT>

However, if the script is changed so that the condition becomes 'if (0)', function zero is not declared and cannot be invoked on the page.


See also
Function, function



if...else



Executes a set of statements if a specified condition is true. If the condition is false, another set of statements can be executed.



Implemented in  

JavaScript 1.0, NES 2.0  

ECMA version  

ECMA-262  


Syntax
if (condition) {
   statements1
}
[else {
   statements2
}]


Parameters



condition

 

Can be any JavaScript expression that evaluates to true or false. Parentheses are required around the condition. If condition evaluates to true, the statements in statements1 are executed.  

statements1,
statements2

 

Can be any JavaScript statements, including further nested if statements. Multiple statements must be enclosed in braces.  


Description
You should not use simple assignments in a conditional statement. For example, do not use the following code:

if(x = y)
{
   /* do the right thing */
}

If you need to use an assignment in a conditional statement, put additional parentheses around the assignment. For example, use if( (x = y) ).


Examples
if (cipher_char == from_char) {
   result = result + to_char
   x++}
else
   result = result + clear_char



import



Allows a script to import properties, functions, and objects from a signed script that has exported the information.

This feature is not in ECMA 262, Edition 3.



Implemented in  

JavaScript 1.2, NES 3.0  


Syntax
import objectName.name1, objectName.name2, ..., objectName.nameN
import objectName.*


Parameters



objectName

 

Name of the object that will receive the imported names.  

name1,
name2,
nameN

 

List of properties, functions, and objects to import from the export file.  

*

 

Imports all properties, functions, and objects from the export script.  


Description
The objectName parameter is the name of the object that will receive the imported names. For example, if f and p have been exported, and if obj is an object from the importing script, the following code makes f and p accessible in the importing script as properties of obj.

import obj.f, obj.p

Typically, information in a signed script is available only to scripts signed by the same principals. By exporting (using the export statement) properties, functions, or objects, a signed script makes this information available to any script (signed or unsigned). The receiving script uses the import statement to access the information.

The script must load the export script into a window, frame, or layer before it can import and use any exported properties, functions, and objects.


See also
export



label



Provides a statement with an identifier that lets you refer to it using a break or continue statement.



Implemented in  

JavaScript 1.2, NES 3.0  

ECMA version  

ECMA 262, Edition 3  

For example, you can use a label to identify a loop, and then use the break or continue statements to indicate whether a program should interrupt the loop or continue its execution.


Syntax
label :
   statement


Parameter



label

 

Any JavaScript identifier that is not a reserved word.  

statement

 

Statements. break can be used with any labeled statement, and continue can be used with looping labeled statements.  


Examples
For an example of a label statement using break, see break. For an example of a label statement using continue, see continue.


See also
break, continue



return



Specifies the value to be returned by a function.



Implemented in  

JavaScript 1.0, NES 2.0  

ECMA version  

ECMA-262  


Syntax
return expression;


Parameters



expression

 

The expression to return.  


Examples
The following function returns the square of its argument, x, where x is a number.

function square(x) {
   return x * x;
}



switch



Allows a program to evaluate an expression and attempt to match the expression's value to a case label.



Implemented in  

JavaScript 1.2, NES 3.0  

ECMA version  

ECMA-262, Edition 3  


Syntax
switch (expression){
   case label :
      statements;
      break;
   case label :
      statements;
      break;
   ...
   default : statements;
}


Parameters



expression

 

Value matched against label.  

label

 

Identifier used to match against expression.  

statements

 

Block of statements that is executed once if expression matches label.  


Description
If a match is found, the program executes the associated statement. If multiple cases match the provided value, the first case that matches is selected, even if the cases are not equal to each other.

The program first looks for a label matching the value of expression and then executes the associated statement. If no matching label is found, the program looks for the optional default statement, and if found, executes the associated statement. If no default statement is found, the program continues execution at the statement following the end of switch.

The optional break statement associated with each case label ensures that the program breaks out of switch once the matched statement is executed and continues execution at the statement following switch. If break is omitted, the program continues execution at the next statement in the switch statement.


Examples
In the following example, if expression evaluates to "Bananas", the program matches the value with case "Bananas" and executes the associated statement. When break is encountered, the program breaks out of switch and executes the statement following switch. If break were omitted, the statement for case "Cherries" would also be executed.

switch (i) {
   case "Oranges" :
      document.write("Oranges are $0.59 a pound.<BR>");
      break;
   case "Apples" :
      document.write("Apples are $0.32 a pound.<BR>");
      break;
   case "Bananas" :
      document.write("Bananas are $0.48 a pound.<BR>");
      break;
   case "Cherries" :
      document.write("Cherries are $3.00 a pound.<BR>");
      break;
   default :
      document.write("Sorry, we are out of " + i + ".<BR>");
}
document.write("Is there anything else you'd like?<BR>");



throw



Throws a user-defined exception.



Implemented in  

JavaScript 1.4  

ECMA version  

ECMA-262, Edition 3  


Syntax
throw expression;


Parameters



expression

 

The value to throw.  


Description
Use the throw statement to throw an exception. When you throw an exception, an expression specifies the value of the exception. The following code throws several exceptions.

throw "Error2";    // generates an exception with a string value
throw 42;          // generates an exception with the value 42
throw true;        // generates an exception with the value true


Examples

Example 1: Throw an object. You can specify an object when you throw an exception. You can then reference the object's properties in the catch block. The following example creates an object myUserException of type UserException and uses it in a throw statement.

function UserException (message) {
   this.message=message;
   this.name="UserException";
}
function getMonthName (mo) {
   mo=mo-1; // Adjust month number for array index (1=Jan, 12=Dec)
   var months=new Array("Jan","Feb","Mar","Apr","May","Jun","Jul",
      "Aug","Sep","Oct","Nov","Dec");
   if (months[mo] != null) {
      return months[mo];
   } else {
      myUserException=new UserException("InvalidMonthNo");
      throw myUserException;
   }
}

try {
   // statements to try;
   monthName=getMonthName(myMonth)
}
catch (e) {
   monthName="unknown";
   logMyErrors(e.message,e.name); // pass exception object to err handler
}

Example 2: Throw an object. The following example tests an input string for a U.S. zip code. If the zip code uses an invalid format, the throw statement throws an exception by creating an object of type ZipCodeFormatException.

/*
 * Creates a ZipCode object.
 *
 * Accepted formats for a zip code are:
 *    12345
 *    12345-6789
 *    123456789
 *    12345 6789
 *
 * If the argument passed to the ZipCode constructor does not
 * conform to one of these patterns, an exception is thrown.
 */

function ZipCode(zip) {
   zip = new String(zip);
   pattern = /[0-9]{5}([- ]?[0-9]{4})?/;
   if (pattern.test(zip)) {
      // zip code value will be the first match in the string
      this.value = zip.match(pattern)[0];
      this.valueOf = function (){return this.value};
      this.toString = function (){return String(this.value)};
   } else {
      throw new ZipCodeFormatException(zip);
   }
}

function ZipCodeFormatException(value) {
   this.value = value;
   this.message =
      "does not conform to the expected format for a zip code";
   this.toString =
      function (){return this.value + this.message};
}

/*
 * This could be in a script that validates address data
 * for US addresses.
 */

var ZIPCODE_INVALID = -1;
var ZIPCODE_UNKNOWN_ERROR = -2;

function verifyZipCode(z) {
   try {
      z = new ZipCode(z);
   }
   catch (e) {
      if (e instanceof ZipCodeFormatException) {
         return ZIPCODE_INVALID;
      }
      else {
         return ZIPCODE_UNKNOWN_ERROR;
      }
   }
   return z;
}

a=verifyZipCode(95060);         // returns 95060
b=verifyZipCode(9560;)          // returns -1
c=verifyZipCode("a");           // returns -1
d=verifyZipCode("95060");       // returns 95060
e=verifyZipCode("95060 1234");  // returns 95060 1234

Example 3: Rethrow an exception. You can use throw to rethrow an exception after you catch it. The following example catches an exception with a numeric value and rethrows it if the value is over 50. The rethrown exception propagates up to the enclosing function or to the top level so that the user sees it.

try {
   throw n // throws an exception with a numeric value
}
catch (e) {
   if (e <= 50) {
      // statements to handle exceptions 1-50
   }
   else {
      // cannot handle this exception, so rethrow
      throw e
   }
}


See also
try...catch



try...catch



Marks a block of statements to try, and specifies a response should an exception be thrown.



Implemented in  

JavaScript 1.4

JavaScript 1.5, NES 6.0: added multiple catch clauses (Netscape extension).  

ECMA version  

ECMA-262, Edition 3  


Syntax
try {
   statements
}
[catch (exception_var if expression)
   {statements}] . . .
[catch (exception_var) {statements}]
[finally {statements}]


Parameters



statements

 

Block of statements that executes once. The statements can be declarative statements (such as var) or executable statements (such as for).  

catch

 

A block of statements to be executed if an exception is thrown in the try block.  

exception_var

 

An identifier to hold an exception object.  

expression

 

A test expression.  

finally

 

A block of statements that is executed before the try...catch statement completes. This block of statements executes whether or not an exception was thrown or caught.  


Description
The try...catch statement consists of a try block, which contains one or more statements, and one or more catch blocks, containing statements that specify what to do if an exception is thrown in the try block. That is, you want the try block to succeed, and if it does not succeed, you want control to pass to the catch block. If any statement within the try block (or in a function called from within the try block) throws an exception, control immediately shifts to the catch block. If no exception is thrown in the try block succeed, the catch block is skipped. The finally block executes after the try and catch blocks execute but before the statements following the try...catch statement.

You can nest one or more try...catch statements. If an inner try...catch statement does not have a catch block, the enclosing try...catch statement's catch block is entered.

You also use the try...catch statement to handle Java exceptions. See the Core JavaScript Guide for information on Java exceptions.

Unconditional catch Block. When a single, unconditional catch block is used, the catch block entered when any exception is thrown. For example, the following code throws an exception. When the exception occurs, control transfers to the catch block.

try {
   throw "myException" // generates an exception
}
catch (e) {
   // statements to handle any exceptions
   logMyErrors(e) // pass exception object to error handler
}

Conditional catch Blocks. You can also use one or more conditional catch blocks to handle specific exceptions. In this case, the appropriate catch block is entered when the specified exception is thrown. In the following example, code in the try block can potentially throw three exceptions: TypeError, RangeError, and EvalError. When an exception occurs, control transfers to the appropriate catch block. If the exception is not one of the specified exceptions, control transfers to the unconditional catch block at the end. If you use an unconditional catch block with one or more conditional catch blocks, the unconditional catch block must be specified last.

try {
   myroutine(); // may throw three exceptions
}
catch (e if e instanceof TypeError) {
   // statements to handle TypeError exceptions
}

catch (e if e instanceof RangeError) {
   // statements to handle RangeError exceptions
}

catch (e if e instanceof EvalError) {
   // statements to handle EvalError exceptions
}

catch (e){
   // statements to handle any unspecified exceptions
   logMyErrors(e) // pass exception object to error handler
}

The exception Identifier. When an exception is thrown in the try block, the exception_var holds the value specified by the throw statement; you can use this identifier to get information about the exception that was thrown. JavaScript creates this identifier when the catch block is entered; the identifier lasts only for the duration of the catch block; after the catch block finishes executing, the identifier is no longer available.

The finally Block. The finally block contains statements to execute after the try and catch blocks execute but before the statements following the try...catch statement. The finally block executes whether or not an exception is thrown. If an exception is thrown, the statements in the finally block execute even if no catch block handles the exception.

You can use the finally block to make your script fail gracefully when an exception occurs; for example, you may need to release a resource that your script has tied up. The following example opens a file and then executes statements that use the file (server-side JavaScript allows you to access files). If an exception is thrown while the file is open, the finally block closes the file before the script fails.

openMyFile()
try {
   // tie up a resource
   writeMyFile(theData)
}
finally {
   closeMyFile() // always close the resource
}


Examples
See the examples for throw.


See also
throw



var



Declares a variable, optionally initializing it to a value.



Implemented in  

JavaScript 1.0, NES 2.0  

ECMA version  

ECMA-262  


Syntax
var varname [= value] [..., varname [= value] ]


Parameters



varname

 

Variable name. It can be any legal identifier.  

value

 

Initial value of the variable and can be any legal expression.  


Description
The scope of a variable is the current function or, for variables declared outside a function, the current application.

Using var outside a function is optional but recommended; you can declare a variable by simply assigning it a value. However, it is good style to use var, and it is necessary in functions in the following situations:

  • If a global variable of the same name exists.

  • If recursive or multiple functions use variables with the same name.

Examples
var num_hits = 0, cust_no = 0



while



Creates a loop that evaluates an expression, and if it is true, executes a block of statements. The loop then repeats, as long as the specified condition is true.



Implemented in  

JavaScript 1.0, NES 2.0  

ECMA version  

ECMA-262  


Syntax
while (condition) {
   statements
}


Parameters



condition

 

Evaluated before each pass through the loop. If this condition evaluates to true, the statements in the succeeding block are performed. When condition evaluates to false, execution continues with the statement following statements.  

statements

 

Block of statements that are executed as long as the condition evaluates to true. Although not required, it is good practice to indent these statements from the beginning of the statement.  


Examples
The following while loop iterates as long as n is less than three.

n = 0;
x = 0;
while(n < 3) {
   n ++;
   x += n;
}

Each iteration, the loop increments n and adds it to x. Therefore, x and n take on the following values:

  • After the first pass: n = 1 and x = 1

  • After the second pass: n = 2 and x = 3

  • After the third pass: n = 3 and x = 6
After completing the third pass, the condition n < 3 is no longer true, so the loop terminates.



with



Establishes the default object for a set of statements.



Implemented in  

JavaScript 1.0, NES 2.0  

ECMA version  

ECMA-262  


Syntax
with (object){
   statements
}


Parameters



object

 

Specifies the default object to use for the statements. The parentheses around object are required.  

statements

 

Any block of statements.  


Description
JavaScript looks up any unqualified names within the set of statements to determine if the names are properties of the default object. If an unqualified name matches a property, then the property is used in the statement; otherwise, a local or global variable is used.

Note that using a with statement will significantly slow down your code. Do not use it when performance is critical.


Examples
The following with statement specifies that the Math object is the default object. The statements following the with statement refer to the PI property and the cos and sin methods, without specifying an object. JavaScript assumes the Math object for these references.

var a, x, y
var r=10
with (Math) {
   a = PI * r * r
   x = r * cos(PI)
   y = r * sin(PI/2)
}


Previous     Contents     Index     Next     
Content is available under these licenses.
Last Updated September 28, 2000

Leave a Response

(0 comments)