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array.prototype.puresplice

Array method to return a new array with a specified number of elements removed, but without changing the source array.

array.prototype.pureSplice()

Array method to return a new array with a specified number of elements removed. Unlike JavaScript's native array.splice() method, array.pureSplice does not modify the source array. This is important if immutability of data is important to you and/or you are using libraries such as Redux.

Issues with JavaScript's native splice()

Running the code below, using JavaScript's native .splice() method, the original array is actually modified. This could cause unintended side effects if you're not aware of this behaviour. Also, the .splice() method actually returns an array of the elements that you removed, rather than an array without those elements. Again, this is not that useful, IMHO.

var sourceArray = ["wombat", "koala", "emu", "kookaburra"]
var newArray = sourceArray.splice(1, 1);    // Should return 'koala' as the single item in the new array 
console.log(JSON.stringify(newArray)); // ["koala"] 
console.log(JSON.stringify(sourceArray)); // ["wombat", "emu", "kookaburra"]. 

Using pureSplice()

Syntax

var newArray = sourceArray.pureSplice(start, deleteCount);

start: index at which you want to start dropping elements. Remember, JavaScript array counts are zero-based, so element 1 is actually the second element in the array.

deleteCount: How many elements you want to drop from the array.

Example

Running the same code below, substituting .pureSplice() for .splice(), returns a new array with the specified elements removed. Crucially, the source array is not changed:

var sourceArray = ["wombat", "koala", "emu", "kookaburra"]
var newArray = sourceArray.pureSplice(1, 1);    // Should remove 'koala' from returned newArray 
console.log(JSON.stringify(newArray)); // ["wombat", "emu", "kookaburra"] 
console.log(JSON.stringify(sourceArray)); // ["wombat", "koala", "emu", "kookaburra"] 
 

How to use/install

Install from npm with:

npm install --save array.prototype.puresplice

Require or import like so for ES6:

import 'array.prototype.puresplice';

or like this for CommonJS:

require("array.prototype.puresplice");

Don't assign the package to any variable when you import/require it. When imported, the package will add the .pureSplice() method directly to JavaScript's Array.prototype.

The index.js is implemented in UMD format, so should also work for AMD/RequireJS, but I've not tested that. You can also add it as a script tag.

Development Instructions

First run npm install to update the dev dependencies, basically the Babel command line tool and its dependences.

The source code is in the src/getsourcearray.js file, and is in ES2015 (aka ES6) format. Run npm run build to have Babel transpile the code to es5 format to the project's main file, i.e. index.js in the root.

The source code uses ES2015's array spread operator, together with JavaScript's native .slice() method (not to be confused with the .splice() method!). I lifted this idea from one of Dan Abramov's free Redux videos on Egghead.

Tests

Tests are built with mocha + chai. Run with npm test.

Tests check that a new array can be returned from a source array with:

  1. A single element removed in the returned array
  2. The source array remaining unchanged.