What is an object?

Objects are structured collections of data and methods.

Like most things at this stage, we're not throwing all the information at you, so this is just a basic introduction. We've purposefully omitted all the complicated things until a later article.

Objects are like arrays but instead of indexing the elements by incremental numbers it allows you to assign a key to each value you store, separated by a ,.

So the basic syntax for declaring an object looks like this:

object = {
    key1: value1,
    key2: value2,
    ...
}

Each key-value-pair behaves just like a variable. This is especially important when you think about what can be stored inside an object. It can be anything ranging from the basic data-types, Arrays, Functions and even other objects.

object = {
    number: 1,
    float: 3.17,
    boolean: true,
    string: "Hello World",
    array: [ "John Doe", 37, 1.95 ],
    object: {
        key: value,
    },
}

The whole concept of an object can be grasped easily when you imagine it as a big cupboard with labelled drawers.

Every time you put something in a draw (e.g. a handful of socks), you assign the draw a purpose (socks) by writing a label on it. With an object we assign a key instead of writing a label:

object = {
    socks: [ "red socks", "blue socks", "black socks" ],
}

That way you can easily determine what is inside all of the drawers.

object = {
    socks: [ "red socks", "blue socks", "black socks" ],
    tops: [ "striped top", "plain top" ],
    trousers: [ "jeans", "tracksuit bottoms", "chinos", "suit bottoms" ]
}

Photo by Jan Antonin Kolar on Unsplash.

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