Javascript's keyword this; THIS is what I'm talking about!

The this keyword in Javascript is something that has often confused me, especial which object it is attached to. I’ve realized trying to explain it a few times that it’s difficult to explain.

The this keyword is a parameter that gets bound to an object. That parameter this is determined by how a function of method is called. It behaves almost exactly like a normal parameter.

Here’s a list of what the keyword this is not bound to:

  • the object created literal
  • the function object it appears in
  • a new function it appears in
  • a object that has a function of the property
  • the objects execution context

Key’s to figuring out what the key work This will be bound to

  • This gets bound to the object left of the dot (period, ‘.’)
  • If the keyword new is used to create a new object This gets bound to that new object
  • If there is not dot & no keyword this will get bound to the global object
  • When using the .call() method another argument is passed in & This takes that value

The 4 ways this is initiated:

  • In a function.
function funcName() {};
  • In a method
var obj = {
     funcName : function() {}
}
  • As a constructor
function myFunc(name) {
  this.name = name;
};

var newMyFunc = new myFunc('Jeff');
document.write(myFunc.name);
  • Using .call(); or .apply(); methods
function juggle() {
  var result = 0;
  for (var n = 0; n < arguments.length; n++) {
   result += arguments[n];
  }
  this.result = result;
};

var ninja1 = {};
var ninja2 = {};

juggle.apply(ninja1, [1, 2, 3, 4]);
juggle.call(ninja2, 5, 6, 7, 8);

example:

var fn = function(one, two) {
    log(one, two);
};

var r = {},
    g = {},
    b = {};

r.method = fn; // This gets bound to r
r.method(g, b); // This gets bound to r
fn(g, b); // This gets bound to the global object
fn.call(r, g, b); // This gets bound to r

After looking at the this key word in a bunch of ways, the best way to describe the this parameter is to say that it is a powerful tool to reference the object that your working with. The only thing to make sure of if you’re confused about what ‘this’ is put it in a console.log() so console.log(this);.