JS Style Guide

First and Foremost

ALWAYS use JSHint on your code.


There are some exceptions for which JSHint complains about things in node that you can ignore, like how it doesn’t know what ‘const’ is and complains about not knowing what ‘require’ is. You can add keywords to ignore to a .jshintrc file.

Variable Formatting:

// Classes: CapitalizedWords
var MyClass = ...

// Variables and Functions: camelCase
var myVariable = ...

// Backend
const MY_CONST = ...

// Client-side
var MY_CONST = ...


4-space indents (no tabs).

For our projects, always assign var on a newline, not comma separated:

// Bad
var a = 1,
    b = 2,
    c = 3;

// Good
var a = 1;
var b = 2;
var c = 3;

Use [] to assign a new array, not new Array().

Use {} for new objects, as well.

Two scenarios for [] (one can be on the same line, with discretion and the other not so much):

// Okay on a single line
var stuff = [1, 2, 3];

// Never on a single line, multiple only
var longerStuff = [
    'some longer stuff',
    'other longer stuff'

Never assign multiple variables on the same line


var a = 1, b = 'foo', c = 'wtf';

DO NOT line up variable names


var wut    = true;
var boohoo = false;


Use them.

Not because ASI is black magic, or whatever. I’m sure we all understand ASI. Just do it for consistency.

Conditionals and Loops

// Bad
if (something) doStuff()

// Good
if (something) {

Space after keyword, and space before curly

// Bad


// Good
if (something) {



Named Functions

There’s no need to explicitly name a function when you’re already assigning it to a descriptively named symbol:

var updateOnClick = function() { ... };


var someObject = {updateOnClick: function() { ... }

Most modern JS engines will infer the name updateOnClick for the above anonymous function and use it in tracebacks.

Of course, if you’re passing a nontrivial function as an argument, you should still contrive to name it somehow. The meaning here would be needlessly obscured if the anonymous function were, for example, 10 lines long:

.forEach(function() { ... })

In such cases, either name the function, or pass a descriptively named symbol that points to a function.

Whitespacing Functions

No space between name and opening paren. Space between closing paren and brace:

var method = function(argOne, argTwo) {


Anonymous Functions

Anonymous functions are fine if they have a small amount of code in them. See the Named Functions section for info about inferred function names for anonymous functions.


Always use ===.

Only exception is when testing for null and undefined.


if (value != null) {



Always use single quotes: 'not double'

Only exception: "don't escape single quotes in strings. use double quotes"


For node functions, always provide a clear comment in this format:

/* Briefly explains what this does
 * Expects: whatever parameters
 * Returns: whatever it returns

If comments are really long, also do it in the /* ... */ format like above. Otherwise make short comments like:

// This is my short comment and it ends in a period.


Try not to use them.

If a ternary uses multiple lines, don’t use a ternary:

// Bad
var foo = (user.lastLogin > new Date().getTime() - 16000) ? user.lastLogin - 24000 : 'wut';

// Good
return user.isLoggedIn ? 'yay' : 'boo';

General Good Practices

If you see yourself repeating something that can be a constant, refactor it as a single constant declaration at the top of the file.

Cache regex into a constant.

Always check for truthiness:

// Bad
if (blah !== false) { ...

// Good
if (blah) { ...

If code is really long, try to break it up to the next line or refactor (try to keep within the 80-col limit but if you go a bit past it’s not a big deal). Indent the subsequent lines one indent (2-spaces) in.

If it looks too clever, it probably is, so just make it simple.