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Discussion on: Why you need the tap method

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blindfish3 profile image
Ben Calder • Edited

The reason for not extending built-in objects is well documented and founded on historical experience. It's a similar reason for avoiding global variables: you risk naming clashes and unexpectedly breaking code elsewhere in your application.

I'm not saying the approach is entirely without merit; but I think it's sensible to include a warning about this up-front so people understand the risks ;)

You do (later) add a guard; but you only talk about 'tap' being added to the language. But the problems come when you're working with multiple libraries; each of which extends the same native object with a same named function; each with a different implementation... Welcome to bug hell :(
Extending native prototypes happened a lot in the early days of JS; and people soon realised it was a really bad idea.

Understood on this being example code; and agreed that the solution does boil down to coding style ;)
The suggestion to use map() with a console log was included to show that there was a simple enough alternative to tap that didn't come with the risk of extending the native prototype.

And my comment wasn't meant as a criticism: it's a good article; and if nothing else highlights JavaScript's often misunderstood use of prototype-based inheritance.

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aminnairi profile image
Amin Author

Thanks for clearing that out!

I'm divided between showcasing a feature, but knowing this is a risky one that can be misused or not sharing something that could be useful for others. But in the end, I always end up sharing with the community! That's why I try to add as many guards as possible and experiment a little bit on my own. As shown in this article.

Agreed on saying that using this pattern in a library and sharing that with the OSS community can lead to several and critical bugs, that's why I personally never do that (mostly because I'm only working in a private community and rarely write entire modules for the OSS community, unfortunately!).

But this is a subject I would love to talk about for hours and would greatly deserve an entire post...!

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