Method definitions

Starting with ECMAScript 2015, a shorter syntax for method definitions on objects initializers is introduced. It is a shorthand for a function assigned to the method's name.

Syntax

var obj = {
  property( parameters… ) {},
  *generator( parameters… ) {},
  async property( parameters… ) {},
  async* generator( parameters… ) {},

  // with computed keys:
  [property]( parameters… ) {},
  *[generator]( parameters… ) {},
  async [property]( parameters… ) {},

  // compare getter/setter syntax:
  get property() {},
  set property(value) {}
};

Description

The shorthand syntax is similar to the getter and setter syntax introduced in ECMAScript 2015.

Given the following code:

var obj = {
  foo: function() {
    /* code */
  },
  bar: function() {
    /* code */
  }
};

You are now able to shorten this to:

var obj = {
  foo() {
    /* code */
  },
  bar() {
    /* code */
  }
};

Generator methods

Generator methods can be defined using the shorthand syntax as well. When using them,

  • the asterisk (*) in the shorthand syntax must be before the generator property name. That is, * g(){} will work but g *(){} will not;
  • non-generator method definitions may not contain the yield keyword. This means that legacy generator functions won't work either and will throw a SyntaxError. Always use yield in conjunction with the asterisk (*).

// Using a named property
var obj2 = {
  g: function* () {
    var index = 0;
    while (true)
      yield index++;
  }
};

// The same object using shorthand syntax
var obj2 = { 
  * g() {
    var index = 0;
    while (true)
      yield index++;
  }
};

var it = obj2.g();
console.log(it.next().value); // 0
console.log(it.next().value); // 1

Async methods

Async methods can also be defined using the shorthand syntax.

// Using a named property
var obj3 = {
  f: async function () {
    await some_promise;
  }
};

// The same object using shorthand syntax
var obj3 = { 
  async f() {
    await some_promise;
  }
};

Async generator methods

Generator methods can also be async.

var obj4 = {
  f: async function* () {
    yield 1;
    yield 2;
    yield 3;
  }
};

// The same object using shorthand syntax
var obj4 = {
  async* f() {
   yield 1;
   yield 2;
   yield 3;
  }
};

Method definitions are not constructable

All method definitions are not constructors and will throw a TypeError if you try to instantiate them.

var obj = { 
  method() {}
};
new obj.method; // TypeError: obj.method is not a constructor

var obj = { 
  * g() {} 
};
new obj.g; // TypeError: obj.g is not a constructor (changed in ES2016)

Examples

Simple test case

var obj = {
  a: 'foo',
  b() { return this.a; }
};
console.log(obj.b()); // "foo"

Computed property names

The shorthand syntax also supports computed property names.

var bar = {
  foo0: function() { return 0; },
  foo1() { return 1; },
  ['foo' + 2]() { return 2; }
};

console.log(bar.foo0()); // 0
console.log(bar.foo1()); // 1
console.log(bar.foo2()); // 2

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
ECMAScript 2015 (6th Edition, ECMA-262)
The definition of 'Method definitions' in that specification.
Standard Initial definition.
ECMAScript 2016 (ECMA-262)
The definition of 'Method definitions' in that specification.
Standard Changed that generator methods should also not have a [[Construct]] trap and will throw when used with new.
ECMAScript Latest Draft (ECMA-262)
The definition of 'Method definitions' in that specification.
Draft  

Browser compatibility

Update compatibility data on GitHub
DesktopMobileServer
ChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafariAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidFirefox for AndroidOpera for AndroidSafari on iOSSamsung InternetNode.js
Method definitionsChrome Full support 39Edge Full support 12Firefox Full support 34IE No support NoOpera Full support 26Safari Full support 9WebView Android Full support 39Chrome Android Full support 39Firefox Android Full support 34Opera Android Full support 26Safari iOS Full support 9Samsung Internet Android Full support 4.0nodejs Full support Yes
Async generator methodsChrome Full support 63Edge No support NoFirefox Full support 55IE No support NoOpera Full support 50Safari No support NoWebView Android Full support 63Chrome Android Full support 63Firefox Android Full support 55Opera Android Full support 46Safari iOS No support NoSamsung Internet Android Full support 8.0nodejs Full support 10.0.0
Full support 10.0.0
Full support 8.10.0
Disabled
Disabled From version 8.10.0: this feature is behind the --harmony runtime flag.
Async methodsChrome Full support 55Edge Full support 15Firefox Full support 52IE No support NoOpera Full support 42Safari No support NoWebView Android Full support 55Chrome Android Full support 55Firefox Android Full support 52Opera Android Full support 42Safari iOS No support NoSamsung Internet Android Full support 6.0nodejs Full support 7.6.0
Full support 7.6.0
Full support 7.0.0
Disabled
Disabled From version 7.0.0: this feature is behind the --harmony runtime flag.
Generator methods are not constructable (ES2016)Chrome Full support 42Edge Full support 13Firefox Full support 43IE No support NoOpera Full support 29Safari No support NoWebView Android Full support 42Chrome Android Full support 42Firefox Android Full support 43Opera Android Full support 29Safari iOS No support NoSamsung Internet Android Full support 4.0nodejs ?

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See also