JavaScript Nested function

98

I got a piece of code for javascript which I just do not understand:

function dmy(d) {
    function pad2(n) {
        return (n < 10) ? '0' + n : n;
    }

    return pad2(d.getUTCDate()) + '/' +
       pad2(d.getUTCMonth() + 1) + '/' +
       d.getUTCFullYear();
}

function outerFunc(base) {
    var punc = "!";

    //inner function
    function returnString(ext) {
       return base + ext + punc;
    }

    return returnString;
}

How can a function be defined within another function? Can we call pad2() from outside of my() function?

Please put some light on it. Thanks

This question is tagged with javascript nested-function

~ Asked on 2011-09-03 20:16:02

The Best Answer is


142

Functions are another type of variable in JavaScript (with some nuances of course). Creating a function within another function changes the scope of the function in the same way it would change the scope of a variable. This is especially important for use with closures to reduce total global namespace pollution.

The functions defined within another function won't be accessible outside the function unless they have been attached to an object that is accessible outside the function:

function foo(doBar)
{
  function bar()
  {
    console.log( 'bar' );
  }

  function baz()
  {
    console.log( 'baz' );
  }

  window.baz = baz;
  if ( doBar ) bar();
}

In this example, the baz function will be available for use after the foo function has been run, as it's overridden window.baz. The bar function will not be available to any context other than scopes contained within the foo function.

as a different example:

function Fizz(qux)
{
  this.buzz = function(){
    console.log( qux );
  };
}

The Fizz function is designed as a constructor so that, when run, it assigns a buzz function to the newly created object.

~ Answered on 2011-09-03 20:28:18


35

It is called closure.

Basically, the function defined within other function is accessible only within this function. But may be passed as a result and then this result may be called.

It is a very powerful feature. You can see more explanation here:

javascript_closures_for_dummies.html mirror on Archive.org

~ Answered on 2011-09-03 20:30:25


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