Treehouse

Unicode JavaScript Variables and Functions

By on  

We all get a kick out of unicode symbols, as we all saw in my Unicode CSS Classes post, and just as we can use them for CSS classes, we can use them for JavaScript variables and functions as well!  Let's say you want to shave a few bytes of post-minified JavaScript byes by setting false equal to a variable.  Why not do so by using a unicode variable?

var ಠ_ಠ = false;

if(someVar === ಠ_ಠ) { // If someVar is false...
	// ...
}

Hilarious.  The evil eyes signal a negative result.  What about saving a few byes on true?  The Beatles once said that "All You Need is Love", so let's use a heart:

var ❤ = true;

if(someVar === ❤) {
	// ...
}

You can do the same with function names.  Functions can be named after unicode symbols:

function ಠ(arg) {
	// ...
}

Of course all of this is a bit ... insane, and you should never use unicode symbols, but nonetheless it's possible.  Imagine starting a new job and seeing those symbols as meaningful variables -- you'd quit immediately!  Hilarious!

ydkjs-3.png

Recent Features

  • Detect DOM Node Insertions with JavaScript and CSS Animations

    I work with an awesome cast of developers at Mozilla, and one of them in Daniel Buchner. Daniel's shared with me an awesome strategy for detecting when nodes have been injected into a parent node without using the deprecated DOM Events API....

  • 9 Mind-Blowing Canvas Demos

    The <canvas> element has been a revelation for the visual experts among our ranks.  Canvas provides the means for incredible and efficient animations with the added bonus of no Flash; these developers can flash their awesome JavaScript skills instead.  Here are nine unbelievable canvas demos that...

Incredible Demos

Discussion

  1. I could see this improving minification when processing files with many variables/methods in the same scope (if they don’t use it already, I’m not sure).

  2. Unicode characters are useless for minification, each unicode character uses 2 bytes instead of 1 in utf8. Also, there is no reason not to use unicode in variable names if you properly declare encoding in your html.

  3. lol, it’s a funny joke. but I think it may be realize if some protocol is developed in the future. so cool!

Wrap your code in <pre class="{language}"></pre> tags, link to a GitHub gist, JSFiddle fiddle, or CodePen pen to embed!

Use Code Editor