Sum an Array of Numbers with JavaScript

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It's rare that I'm disappointed by the JavaScript language not having a function that I need. One such case was summing an array of numbers -- I was expecting Math.sum or a likewise, baked in API. Fear not -- summing an array of numbers is easy using Array.prototype.reduce!

const numbers = [1, 2, 3, 4];
const sum = numbers.reduce((a, b) => a + b, 0);

The 0 represents the starting value while with a and b, one represents the running total with the other representing the value to be added. You'll also note that using reduce prevents side effects! I'd still prefer something like Math.sum(...numbers) but a simple reduce will do!

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  1. Chris Zuber

    Initializing with 0 might not be necessary since it takes the value from the first item in the array if not provided (and then skips the first item for the rest). It’s very slightly slower to set it to 0.

    Here’s what I wonder though… Suppose this were in some math.js module. Would it be sum(nums) or sum(...nums)? sum([1,2,3]) or sum(1,2,3)? I kinda prefer the latter.

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