two - javascript equals string




Which equals operator(== vs===) should be used in JavaScript comparisons? (20)

I'm using JSLint to go through JavaScript, and it's returning many suggestions to replace == (two equals signs) with === (three equals signs) when doing things like comparing idSele_UNVEHtype.value.length == 0 inside of an if statement.

Is there a performance benefit to replacing == with ===?

Any performance improvement would be welcomed as many comparison operators exist.

If no type conversion takes place, would there be a performance gain over ==?


*Operators === vs == *

1 == true    =>    true
true == true    =>    true
1 === true    =>    false
true === true    =>    true

Equality comparison:

Operator ==

Returns true, when both operands are equal. The operands are converted to the same type before being compared.

>>> 1 == 1
true
>>> 1 == 2
false
>>> 1 == '1'
true

Equality and type comparison:

Operator ===

Returns true if both operands are equal and of the same type. It's generally better and safer if you compare this way, because there's no behind-the-scenes type conversions.

>>> 1 === '1'
false
>>> 1 === 1
true

The equal comparison operator == is confusing and should be avoided.

If you HAVE TO live with it, then remember the following 3 things:

  1. It is not transitive: (a == b) and (b == c) does not lead to (a == c)
  2. It's mutually exclusive to its negation: (a == b) and (a != b) always hold opposite Boolean values, with all a and b.
  3. In case of doubt, learn by heart the following truth table:

EQUAL OPERATOR TRUTH TABLE IN JAVASCRIPT

  • Each row in the table is a set of 3 mutually "equal" values, meaning that any 2 values among them are equal using the equal == sign*

** STRANGE: note that any two values on the first column are not equal in that sense.**

''       == 0 == false   // Any two values among these 3 ones are equal with the == operator
'0'      == 0 == false   // Also a set of 3 equal values, note that only 0 and false are repeated
'\t'     == 0 == false   // -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
'\r'     == 0 == false   // -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
'\n'     == 0 == false   // -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
'\t\r\n' == 0 == false   // -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

null == undefined  // These two "default" values are not-equal to any of the listed values above
NaN                // NaN is not equal to any thing, even to itself.

Why == is so unpredictable?

What do you get when you compare an empty string "" with the number zero 0?

true

Yep, that's right according to == an empty string and the number zero are the same time.

And it doesn't end there, here's another one:

'0' == false // true

Things get really weird with arrays.

[1] == true // true
[] == false // true
[[]] == false // true
[0] == false // true

Then weirder with strings

[1,2,3] == '1,2,3' // true - REALLY?!
'\r\n\t' == 0 // true - Come on!

It get's worse:

When is equal not equal?

let A = ''  // empty string
let B = 0   // zero
let C = '0' // zero string

A == B // true - ok... 
B == C // true - so far so good...
A == C // **FALSE** - Plot twist!

Let me say that again:

(A == B) && (B == C) // true
(A == C) // **FALSE**

And this is just the crazy stuff you get with primitives.

It's a whole new level of crazy when you use == with objects.

At this point your probably wondering...

Why does this happen?

Well it's because unlike "triple equals" (===) which just checks if two values are the same.

== does a whole bunch of other stuff.

It has special handling for functions, special handling for nulls, undefined, strings, you name it.

It get's pretty wacky.

In fact, if you tried to write a function that does what == does it would look something like this:

function isEqual(x, y) { // if `==` were a function
    if(typeof y === typeof x) return y === x;
    // treat null and undefined the same
    var xIsNothing = (y === undefined) || (y === null);
    var yIsNothing = (x === undefined) || (x === null);

    if(xIsNothing || yIsNothing) return (xIsNothing && yIsNothing);

    if(typeof y === "function" || typeof x === "function") {
        // if either value is a string 
        // convert the function into a string and compare
        if(typeof x === "string") {
            return x === y.toString();
        } else if(typeof y === "string") {
            return x.toString() === y;
        } 
        return false;
    }

    if(typeof x === "object") x = toPrimitive(x);
    if(typeof y === "object") y = toPrimitive(y);
    if(typeof y === typeof x) return y === x;

    // convert x and y into numbers if they are not already use the "+" trick
    if(typeof x !== "number") x = +x;
    if(typeof y !== "number") y = +y;
    // actually the real `==` is even more complicated than this, especially in ES6
    return x === y;
}

function toPrimitive(obj) {
    var value = obj.valueOf();
    if(obj !== value) return value;
    return obj.toString();
}

So what does this mean?

It means == is complicated.

Because it's complicated it's hard to know what's going to happen when you use it.

Which means you could end up with bugs.

So the moral of the story is...

Make your life less complicated.

Use === instead of ==.

The End.


A simple example is

2 == '2'  -> true, values are SAME because of type conversion.

2 === '2'  -> false, values are NOT SAME because of no type conversion.

An interesting pictorial representation of the equality comparison between == and ===.

Source: http://dorey.github.io/JavaScript-Equality-Table/


var1 === var2

When using === for JavaScript equality testing, everything is as is. Nothing gets converted before being evaluated.


var1 == var2

When using == for JavaScript equality testing, some funky conversions take place.

Moral of the story:

Use === unless you fully understand the conversions that take place with ==.


From the core javascript reference

=== Returns true if the operands are strictly equal (see above) with no type conversion.


I tested this in Firefox with Firebug using code like this:

console.time("testEquality");
var n = 0;
while(true) {
    n++;
    if(n==100000) 
        break;
}
console.timeEnd("testEquality");

and

console.time("testTypeEquality");
var n = 0;
while(true) {
    n++;
    if(n===100000) 
        break;
}
console.timeEnd("testTypeEquality");

My results (tested five times each and averaged):

==: 115.2
===: 114.4

So I'd say that the miniscule difference (this is over 100000 iterations, remember) is negligible. Performance isn't a reason to do ===. Type safety (well, as safe as you're going to get in JavaScript), and code quality is.


In PHP and JavaScript, it is a strict equality operator. Which means, it will compare both type and values.


In a typical script there will be no performance difference. More important may be the fact that thousand "===" is 1 KB heavier than thousand "==" :) JavaScript profilers can tell you if there is a performance difference in your case.

But personally I would do what JSLint suggests. This recommendation is there not because of performance issues, but because type coercion means ('\t\r\n' == 0) is true.


It checks if same sides are equal in type as well as value.

Example:

'1' === 1 // will return "false" because `string` is not a `number`

Common example:

0 == ''  // will be "true", but it's very common to want this check to be "false"

Another common example:

null == undefined // returns "true", but in most cases a distinction is necessary

It means equality without type coercion type coercion means JavaScript do not automatically convert any other data types to string data types

0==false   // true,although they are different types

0===false  // false,as they are different types

2=='2'    //true,different types,one is string and another is integer but 
            javaScript convert 2 to string by using == operator 

2==='2'  //false because by using === operator ,javaScript do not convert 
           integer to string 

2===2   //true because both have same value and same types 

JSLint sometimes gives you unrealistic reasons to modify stuff. === has exactly the same performance as == if the types are already the same.

It is faster only when the types are not the same, in which case it does not try to convert types but directly returns a false.

So, IMHO, JSLint maybe used to write new code, but useless over-optimizing should be avoided at all costs.

Meaning, there is no reason to change == to === in a check like if (a == 'test') when you know it for a fact that a can only be a String.

Modifying a lot of code that way wastes developers' and reviewers' time and achieves nothing.


JavaScript === vs == .

0==false   // true
0===false  // false, because they are of a different type
1=="1"     // true, auto type coercion
1==="1"    // false, because they are of a different type

Let me add this counsel:

If in doubt, read the specification!

ECMA-262 is the specification for a scripting language of which JavaScript is a dialect. Of course in practice it matters more how the most important browsers behave than an esoteric definition of how something is supposed to be handled. But it is helpful to understand why new String("a") !== "a".

Please let me explain how to read the specification to clarify this question. I see that in this very old topic nobody had an answer for the very strange effect. So, if you can read a specification, this will help you in your profession tremendously. It is an acquired skill. So, let's continue.

Searching the PDF file for === brings me to page 56 of the specification: 11.9.4. The Strict Equals Operator ( === ), and after wading through the specificationalese I find:

11.9.6 The Strict Equality Comparison Algorithm
The comparison x === y, where x and y are values, produces true or false. Such a comparison is performed as follows:
  1. If Type(x) is different from Type(y), return false.
  2. If Type(x) is Undefined, return true.
  3. If Type(x) is Null, return true.
  4. If Type(x) is not Number, go to step 11.
  5. If x is NaN, return false.
  6. If y is NaN, return false.
  7. If x is the same number value as y, return true.
  8. If x is +0 and y is −0, return true.
  9. If x is −0 and y is +0, return true.
  10. Return false.
  11. If Type(x) is String, then return true if x and y are exactly the same sequence of characters (same length and same characters in corresponding positions); otherwise, return false.
  12. If Type(x) is Boolean, return true if x and y are both true or both false; otherwise, return false.
  13. Return true if x and y refer to the same object or if they refer to objects joined to each other (see 13.1.2). Otherwise, return false.

Interesting is step 11. Yes, strings are treated as value types. But this does not explain why new String("a") !== "a". Do we have a browser not conforming to ECMA-262?

Not so fast!

Let's check the types of the operands. Try it out for yourself by wrapping them in typeof(). I find that new String("a") is an object, and step 1 is used: return false if the types are different.

If you wonder why new String("a") does not return a string, how about some exercise reading a specification? Have fun!


Aidiakapi wrote this in a comment below:

From the specification

11.2.2 The new Operator:

If Type(constructor) is not Object, throw a TypeError exception.

With other words, if String wouldn't be of type Object it couldn't be used with the new operator.

new always returns an Object, even for String constructors, too. And alas! The value semantics for strings (see step 11) is lost.

And this finally means: new String("a") !== "a".


Simply

== means comparison between operands with type conversion

&

=== means comparison between operands without type conversion

Type conversion in javaScript means javaScript automatically convert any other data types to string data types.

For example:

123=='123'   //will return true, because JS convert integer 123 to string '123'
             //as we used '==' operator 

123==='123' //will return false, because JS do not convert integer 123 to string 
            //'123' as we used '===' operator 

The identity (===) operator behaves identically to the equality (==) operator except no type conversion is done, and the types must be the same to be considered equal.

Reference: Javascript Tutorial: Comparison Operators

The == operator will compare for equality after doing any necessary type conversions. The === operator will not do the conversion, so if two values are not the same type === will simply return false. Both are equally quick.

To quote Douglas Crockford's excellent JavaScript: The Good Parts,

JavaScript has two sets of equality operators: === and !==, and their evil twins == and !=. The good ones work the way you would expect. If the two operands are of the same type and have the same value, then === produces true and !== produces false. The evil twins do the right thing when the operands are of the same type, but if they are of different types, they attempt to coerce the values. the rules by which they do that are complicated and unmemorable. These are some of the interesting cases:

'' == '0'           // false
0 == ''             // true
0 == '0'            // true

false == 'false'    // false
false == '0'        // true

false == undefined  // false
false == null       // false
null == undefined   // true

' \t\r\n ' == 0     // true

The lack of transitivity is alarming. My advice is to never use the evil twins. Instead, always use === and !==. All of the comparisons just shown produce false with the === operator.


Update:

A good point was brought up by @Casebash in the comments and in @Phillipe Laybaert's answer concerning reference types. For reference types == and === act consistently with one another (except in a special case).

var a = [1,2,3];
var b = [1,2,3];

var c = { x: 1, y: 2 };
var d = { x: 1, y: 2 };

var e = "text";
var f = "te" + "xt";

a == b            // false
a === b           // false

c == d            // false
c === d           // false

e == f            // true
e === f           // true

The special case is when you compare a literal with an object that evaluates to the same literal, due to its toString or valueOf method. For example, consider the comparison of a string literal with a string object created by the String constructor.

"abc" == new String("abc")    // true
"abc" === new String("abc")   // false

Here the == operator is checking the values of the two objects and returning true, but the === is seeing that they're not the same type and returning false. Which one is correct? That really depends on what you're trying to compare. My advice is to bypass the question entirely and just don't use the String constructor to create string objects.

Reference
http://www.ecma-international.org/ecma-262/5.1/#sec-11.9.3


The problem is that you might easily get into trouble since JavaScript have a lot of implicit conversions meaning...

var x = 0;
var isTrue = x == null;
var isFalse = x === null;

Which pretty soon becomes a problem. The best sample of why implicit conversion is "evil" can be taken from this code in MFC / C++ which actually will compile due to an implicit conversion from CString to HANDLE which is a pointer typedef type...

CString x;
delete x;

Which obviously during runtime does very undefined things...

Google for implicit conversions in C++ and STL to get some of the arguments against it...


There is unlikely to be any performance difference between the two operations in your usage. There is no type-conversion to be done because both parameters are already the same type. Both operations will have a type comparison followed by a value comparison.


Using the == operator (Equality)

true == 1; //true, because 'true' is converted to 1 and then compared
"2" == 2;  //true, because "2" is converted to 2 and then compared

Using the === operator (Identity)

true === 1; //false
"2" === 2;  //false

This is because the equality operator == does type coercion, meaning that the interpreter implicitly tries to convert the values before comparing.

On the other hand, the identity operator === does not do type coercion, and thus does not convert the values when comparing.





identity-operator