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What's new in ECMAScript 2020

The list of new ECMAScript 2020 features is set in stone. Similarly, how I did it in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, let’s have a look at what’s coming this year and a few practical examples.

String.prototype.matchAll by Jordan Harband

The match() method from String.prototype returns only complete matches, but doesn’t return any information about particular Regex groups. Thanks to Jordan Harband for the String.prototype.matchAll proposal that returns a lot more info than match(). The returned iterator apart from exact matches give us an access to all Regex pattern capture groups. Do you remember named capture groups by Gorkem Yakin and Daniel Ehrenberg added to ECMAScript 2018? The matchAll() method works really well with it. The example will clarify it.

const text = "From 2019.01.29 to 2019.01.30";
const regexp = /(?<year>\d{4}).(?<month>\d{2}).(?<day>\d{2})/gu;
const results = text.match(regexp);

// [ '2019.01.29', '2019.01.30' ]
const text = "From 2019.01.29 to 2019.01.30";
const regexp = /(?<year>\d{4}).(?<month>\d{2}).(?<day>\d{2})/gu;
const results = Array.from(text.matchAll(regexp));

// [
//   [
//     '2019.01.29',
//     '2019',
//     '01',
//     '29',
//     index: 5,
//     input: 'From 2019.01.29 to 2019.01.30',
//     groups: [Object: null prototype] { year: '2019', month: '01', day: '29' }
//   ],
//   [
//     '2019.01.30',
//     '2019',
//     '01',
//     '30',
//     index: 19,
//     input: 'From 2019.01.29 to 2019.01.30',
//     groups: [Object: null prototype] { year: '2019', month: '01', day: '30' }
//   ]
// ]

import() by Domenic Denicola

In contrast to static modules introduced in ECMAScript 2015, dynamic imports proposed by Domenic Denicola can be fetched on-demand. This function-like format (it doesn’t inherit from Function.prototype) returns a promise and it is very powerful. Things like: on-demand import, computed module name and execution inside of a script became possible.

const modulePage = 'page.js';
    .then((module) => {
(async () => {
  const helpersModule = 'helpers.js';
  const module = await import(helpersModule)
  const total = module.sum(2, 2);

BigInt – arbitrary precision integers by Daniel Ehrenberg

Thanks to Daniel Ehrenberg Number.MAX_SAFE_INTEGER is no longer a restriction in JavaScript land. BigInt is a new primitive that can represent integers with arbitrary precision. You can convert a number to new bigint type using BigInt function or by appending n suffix to a numeric value.

// 9007199254740991

Number.MAX_SAFE_INTEGER + 10 -10
// 9007199254740990 👎

BigInt(Number.MAX_SAFE_INTEGER) + 10n -10n
// 9007199254740991n 👍

Promise.allSettled by Jason Williams, Robert Pamely and Mathias Bynens

Since the ECMAScript ES2015 JavaScript has supported only two promise combinators: Promise.all() and Promise.race(). Thanks to Jason Williams, Robert Pamely and Mathias Bynens we now have access to Promise.allSettled(). Use it to handle when all promises are settled regardless of the result (fulfilled or rejected). Look ma, no catch!

  fetch("").then(data => data.json()),
  fetch("").then(data => data.json())
  .then(result => console.log(`All profile settled`));

There is a Promise.any() potentially joining ECMAScript language soon. I described them all in “Promise combinators explained” some time ago.

globalThis by Jordan Harband

So what is a global this in JavaScript? It is a window in the browser, self in a worker, global in Node.js and what else… This mess is over! Thanks to Jordan Harband we now have access to globalThis keyword.

for-in mechanics by Kevin Gibbons

ECMAScript left behind a detailed description of for-in loop order. Thanks to Kevin Gibbons who finally put some TLC and defined a set in stone set of rules for for-in mechanics.

Optional chaining by Gabriel Isenberg, Claude Pache, Dustin Savery

Long chains of object property accesses can be error-prone and unconformable to read. Thanks to Gabriel Isenberg, Claude Pache and Dustin Savery this thing cannot be simpler now. If you are a TypeScript user you won’t find anything new here because this feature has been implemented in version 3.7. Love it!

// before
const title = data && data.article && data.article.title

// after
const title = data?.article?.title

Nullish coalescing Operator by Gabriel Isenberg

The nullish coalescing proposal adds a new short-circuiting operator to handle default values. Gabriel Isenberg did fantastic work. This feature goes hand in hand with optional chaining. In contrast to || operator, nullish coalescing operator ?? evaluating only when left-hand side value is strictly null or undefined.

"" || "default value"
// default value

"" ?? "default value"
// ""
const title = data?.article?.title ?? "What's new in ECMAScript 2020"

import.meta by Domenic Denicola

The import.meta proposal by Domenic Denicola adds a host-specific metadata object to the currently running module.

// file:///Users/pawelgrzybek/main.js

export * as ns from “mod”

This is a useful addition to the specification that allows developers to export another module’s namespace exotic object under the new name.

export * as ns from "mod"


  • T
    Tech Flu

    Great and very useful!

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    • Pawel Grzybek
      Pawel Grzybek

      Thanks. Have a fab weekend!

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