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Exploring Array Some in JavaScript

Mar 26, 2020 5 mins read

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Follow along with the Exploring JavaScript Array Methods series!

What is Array Some?

Array Some is a method that exists on the Array.prototype that was introduced in ECMAScript 5 (ES5) and is supported in all modern browsers.

Array Some tells you whether any element in your array passes your test. If one element passes then Array Some returns true. Some will return false if no elements pass the test.

As soon as Some finds a true result, it will short-circuit the loop and continue no more - giving us a performance boost.

Think of Array Some as: “I want to check if any value(s) in my array meets my condition - a yes/no answer”

Exploring JavaScript Array Methods cover

⚡️ FREE eBook: 🔥 ForEach, Map, Filter, Reduce, Some, Every, Find

Todd Motto “This book is straight to the point, syntax exploration, comprehensive guide, real-world examples, tips and tricks - it covers all you need Todd Motto, author of Exploring JavaScript Array Methods

Here’s the syntax for Array Some:

const returnValue = array.some((value, index, array) => {...}, thisArg);

Our returnValue will contain a Boolean value true or false.

As Some returns a Boolean, its result is commonly used in conditional statements.


Array Some syntax deconstructed:

  • Some’s first argument is a callback function that exposes these parameters:
    • value (the current element)
    • index (the element’s index - sometimes used with Filter)
    • array (the array we are looping - rarely used)
    • Inside the body of the function we need to return an expression which will evaluate to a Boolean (true or false)
  • Some’s second argument thisArg allows the this context to be changed

See the ECMAScript Array Some specification!


In its simplest form, here is how Some behaves:

const greaterThanOne = [1, 2, 3].some(x => x > 1);
// true
console.log(greaterThanOne);

As our array contains values greater than > 1, our expression evaluates to true, and Some returns true.

Similarly, with an expression that checks if our values are greater than > 3, Some will return false:

const greaterThanThree = [1, 2, 3].some(x => x > 3);
// false
console.log(greaterThanThree);

As a performance benefit, Some will short-circuit and stop the loop on a true test result, otherwise it will continuously loop if results are false until the loop exits.

Let’s check some examples out.

Using Array Some

Here’s our data structure that we’ll be using Array Some with (take note of the additional promo property):

const items = [
  { id: '🍔', name: 'Super Burger', price: 399, promo: false },
  { id: '🍟', name: 'Jumbo Fries', price: 199, promo: false },
  { id: '🥤', name: 'Big Slurp', price: 299, promo: true}
];

Let’s use Some to check if any items are in the promo - we should expect to see our Big Slurp '🥤' trigger Some to return true:

const isInPromo = items
  .some(item => item.promo);
  
// true
console.log(isInPromo);

Using a ternary statement to calculate our total - if an item is in the promo we set the price to a flat 600 cents. Otherwise we’ll use Array Reduce to sum the price properties:

const total = isInPromo ? 600 : items.reduce((prev, next) => prev + next.price, 0);

Our example here is simple, but real enough. You can see how we’ve used the isInPromo resulting variable as part of a conditional statement - where it’s most commonly used!

Notice how simple Some is, we’re returning item.promo (either true or false) to get a final true result as one item matched our conditional test.

You can return any type of expression inside Some’s callback function (such as using comparison logic item.price > 99).

Give the live Array Some demo a try, you can toggle promo: true to promo: false and see the result change:

Bonus: Some-ing without Some

Let’s check out a for...in loop example that mimics the behaviour of Array Some:

let isInPromo = false;

for (let i = 0; i < items.length; i++) {
  const item = items[i];
  if (item.promo) {
    isInPromo = true;
    break;
  }
}

First we set isInPromo to false and it’s our job to detect when to set it to true. We’ll loop the items and if one passes, we set isInPromo to true. This is the same behaviour as Some, and if no items match then isInPromo will remain false.

Summary

You’ve now learned how to use Array Some to run a test on your array elements. If at least one element in your array, when returned as part of an expression, evaluates to true then Some will exit the loop and return true.

If no array elements pass the test Some will return false.

No array items are returned back to you, Some is exclusively for returning a Boolean result. If you do want items back, Array Map and Array Filter are better methods to use.

If you are serious about your JavaScript skills, your next step is to take a look at my JavaScript courses, they will teach you the full language, the DOM, the advanced stuff and much more!

Exploring JavaScript Array Methods cover

⚡️ FREE eBook: 🔥 ForEach, Map, Filter, Reduce, Some, Every, Find

Todd Motto “This book is straight to the point, syntax exploration, comprehensive guide, real-world examples, tips and tricks - it covers all you need Todd Motto, author of Exploring JavaScript Array Methods

Further tips and tricks:

  • Don’t forget to return inside your callback, or your values will be undefined and evaluate to false - avoid undetected bugs!
  • You can access the array you’re looping in the third argument of the callback
  • You can change the this context via a second argument to .some(callback, thisArg) so that any references to this inside your callback point to your object
  • You can use arrow functions with Some but remember that this will be incorrect if you also supply a thisArg due to arrow functions not having a this context
  • Using Some will skip empty array slots as if it were a falsy value
  • You shouldn’t need to in this day and age of evergreen browsers, but use a polyfill for older browsers if necessary

Thanks for reading, happy Someing!

Go to the next article in Exploring JavaScript Array Methods - Array Every!