Declaring Multiple Variables in JavaScript

In JavaScript, it is possible to declare multiple variables like this:

var variable1 = "Hello World!";
var variable2 = "Testing...";
var variable3 = 42;

...or like this:

var variable1 = "Hello World!",
    variable2 = "Testing...",
    variable3 = 42;

Is one method better/faster than the other?

Answers:

Answer

The first way is easier to maintain. Each declaration is a single statement on a single line, so you can easily add, remove, and reorder the declarations.

With the second way, it is annoying to remove the first or last declaration because they contain the var keyword and semicolon. And every time you add a new declaration, you have to change the semicolon in the old line to a comma.

Answer

Besides maintainability, the first way eliminates possibility of accident global variables creation:

(function () {
var variable1 = "Hello World!" // semicolon is missed out accidently
var variable2 = "Testing..."; // still a local variable
var variable3 = 42;
}());

While the second way is less forgiving:

(function () {
var variable1 = "Hello World!" // comma is missed out accidently
    variable2 = "Testing...", // becomes a global variable
    variable3 = 42; // a global variable as well
}());
Answer

It's common to use one var statement per scope for organization. The way all "scopes" follow a similar pattern making the code more readable. Additionally, the engine "hoists" them all to the top anyway. So keeping your declarations together mimics what will actually happen more closely.

Answer

It's much more readable when doing it this way:

var hey = 23;
var hi = 3;
var howdy 4;

But takes less space and lines of code this way:

var hey=23,hi=3,howdy=4;

It can be ideal for saving space, but let JavaScript compressors handle it for you.

Answer

Maybe like this

var variable1 = "hello world"
, variable2 = 2
, variable3 = "how are you doing"
, variable4 = 42;

Except when changing the first or last variable it is easy to maintain and read.

Answer

It's just a matter of personal preference. There is no difference between these two ways, other than a few bytes saved with the second form if you strip out the white space.

Answer

ECMAScript6 introducted destructuring assignment which works pretty nice:

[a, b] = [1, 2] a will equal 1 and b will equal 2.

Answer
var variable1 = "Hello World!";
var variable2 = "Testing...";
var variable3 = 42;

is more readable than:

var variable1 = "Hello World!",
    variable2 = "Testing...",
    variable3 = 42;

But they do the same thing.

Answer

Use ES6 Destructuring assignment : It will unpack values from arrays, or properties from objects, into distinct variables.

let [variable1 , variable2, variable3] = 
["Hello World!", "Testing...", 42];

console.log(variable1); // Hello World!
console.log(variable2); // Testing...
console.log(variable3); // 42

Answer

My only, yet essential use for comma is in a for loop:

for (var i = 0, n = a.length; i < n; i++) {
  var e = a[i];
  console.log(e);
}

I went here to look up whether this is OK in JavaScript.

Even seeing it work, a question remained whether n is local to the function.

This verifies, n is local:

a=[3,5,7,11];
(function l () { for (var i = 0, n = a.length; i < n; i++) {
  var e = a[i];
  console.log(e);
}}) ();
console.log(typeof n == "undefined" ?
  "as expected, n was local" : "oops, n was global");

For a moment I wasn't sure, switching between languages.

Answer

Although both are valid, using the second discourages inexperienced developers from placing var statements all over the place and causing hoisting issues. If there is only one var per function, at the top of the function, then it is easier to debug the code as a whole. This can mean that the lines where the variables are declared are not as explicit as some may like.

I feel that trade-off is worth it, if it means weaning a developer off of dropping 'var' anywhere they feel like.

People may complain about JSLint, I do as well, but a lot of it is geared not toward fixing issues with the language, but in correcting bad habits of the coders and therefore preventing problems in the code they write. Therefore:

"In languages with block scope, it is usually recommended that variables be declared at the site of first use. But because JavaScript does not have block scope, it is wiser to declare all of a function's variables at the top of the function. It is recommended that a single var statement be used per function." - http://www.jslint.com/lint.html#scope

Answer

I think it's a matter of personal preference. I prefer to do it in the following way :

   var /* Vars */
            me = this, that = scope,
            temp, tempUri, tempUrl,
            videoId = getQueryString()["id"],
            host = location.protocol + '//' + location.host,
            baseUrl = "localhost",
            str = "Visit W3Schools",
            n = str.search(/w3schools/i),
            x = 5,
            y = 6,
            z = x + y
   /* End Vars */;
Answer

Another reason to avoid the single statement version (single var) is debugging. If an exception is thrown in any of the assignment lines the stack trace shows only the one line.

If you had 10 variables defined with the comma syntax you have no way to directly know which one was the culprit.

The individual statement version does not suffer from this ambiguity.

Answer

The concept of "Cohesion over Coupling" can be applied more generally than just objects/modules/functions. It can also serve in this situation:

The second example the OP suggested has coupled all the variables into the same statement, which makes it impossible to take one of the lines and move it somewhere else without breaking stuff (high coupling). The first example he gave makes the variable assignments independent of each other (low coupling).

"Low coupling is often a sign of a well-structured computer system and a good design, and when combined with high cohesion, supports the general goals of high readability and maintainability."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coupling_(computer_programming)

So choose the first one.

Answer

An old post, I know, but to add a small detail of perspective for fellow Googlers:

The maintainability issue can be pretty easily overcome with a little formatting, like such.

let
  my_var1 = 'foo',
  my_var2 = 'bar',
  my_var3 = 'baz'
;

I use this formatting strictly as a matter of personal preference. I skip this format for single declarations, of course, or where it simply gums up the works.

Answer

I believe that before we started use ES6, approach with single var declaration was neither good nor bad (in case if you have linters and 'use strict'. It was really taste preference. But now things changed for me. There are my thoughts in favour of multiline declaration:

  1. Now we have two new kinds of variables, and var became obsolete. It is good practice to use const everywhere untill you really need let. So quite often your code will contain variable declarations with assigment in the middle of the code, and because of block scoping you quite often will move variables between blocks in case of small changes. I think that it is more convinient to do that with multiline declarations.

  2. ES6 syntax became more diverse, we got destructors, template strings, arrow functions and optional assigments. When you heavily use all that features with single var declarations it hurts readability.

Answer

I think the first way (multiple vars) is best, as you can otherwise end up with this (from an application that uses Knockout), which is difficult to read in my opinion:

    var categories = ko.observableArray(),
        keywordFilter = ko.observableArray(),
        omniFilter = ko.observable('').extend({ throttle: 300 }),
        filteredCategories = ko.computed(function () {
            var underlyingArray = categories();
            return ko.utils.arrayFilter(underlyingArray, function (n) {
                return n.FilteredSportCount() > 0;
            });
        }),
        favoriteSports = ko.computed(function () {
            var sports = ko.observableArray();
            ko.utils.arrayForEach(categories(), function (c) {
                ko.utils.arrayForEach(c.Sports(), function (a) {
                    if (a.IsFavorite()) {
                        sports.push(a);
                    }
                });
            });
            return sports;
        }),
        toggleFavorite = function (sport, userId) {
            var isFavorite = sport.IsFavorite();

            var url = setfavouritesurl;

            var data = {
                userId: userId,
                sportId: sport.Id(),
                isFavourite: !isFavorite
            };

            var callback = function () {
                sport.IsFavorite(!isFavorite);
            };

            jQuery.support.cors = true;
            jQuery.ajax({
                url: url,
                type: "GET",
                data: data,
                success: callback
            });
        },
        hasfavoriteSports = ko.computed(function () {
            var result = false;
            ko.utils.arrayForEach(categories(), function (c) {
                ko.utils.arrayForEach(c.Sports(), function (a) {
                    if (a.IsFavorite()) {
                        result = true;
                    }
                });
            });
            return result;
        });

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