Thursday, July 3, 2008

Trick to use static variables in javascript

Maybe people that have background in C language know how to do this because in C language there is a static keyword to declare a static variable. What is about Javascript?

Well, Javascript doesn't have static keyword. One way to solve this problem, you may use global variable. However, for some people, it will pollute the global namespace. Last night, I read a javascript book, Javascript - The Definitive Guide, 5th edition. The author used closure to achieve this by returning back the anonymous function.

var uniqueID = (function() {
var id = 0; // This is the private persistent value
// The outer function returns a nested function that has access
// to the persistent value. It is this nested function we're storing
// in the variable uniqueID above.
return function() { return id++; }; // Return and increment
})(); // Invoke the outer function after defining it.

uniqueID(); // 0

uniqueID(); // 1

uniqueID(); // 2


_es said...

with({n:0})var id=function(){return n++;};

chamnap said...

great, thanks

George Garchagudashvili said...

good job really :)

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Edu said...

This is good. The problem is if you put that static var inside a simulated object.

function test(){
//your code (suppose static_var)

var test1 = new test();
var test2 = new test();

Your code doest work here, because we have two different "objects".

Do you know a way to do this?


Edu said...

If you want to do that (i've found out now):

is a lot of code for a static variable but:

function FormEl(options){
if(typeof FormEl.n_objects == 'undefined')
var n_objects = FormEl.n_objects;

alert("One More");

var o1 = new FormEl();
var o2 = new FormEl();

chamnap said...

Edu: Your solution is fine, but it adds a public property "n_objects" to FormEl object.

Anonymous said...

var Foo = (function() {

// number times instantiated
var instances = 0

return function() {

// unique instance number
var _instance = ++instances;

// get object instance number
this.getInstanceNum = function() {
return _instance;



var foo1 = new Foo();
var foo2 = new Foo();
var foo3 = new Foo();



chamnap said...

Yes, that's fine too. You use singleton pattern in javascript.

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Super Awesome Technique..
Thanks a lot for sharing.

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Claudia D said...


Very good solution! I am new to javascript and I want to send a parameter in order to start from another number dinamically.
For example I want to call uniqueId(3) and in the function the id should start from 3. How would the function would look like?

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