Disallow Initializing to undefined (no-undef-init)

The --fix option on the command line automatically fixes problems reported by this rule.

In JavaScript, a variable that is declared and not initialized to any value automatically gets the value of undefined. For example:

var foo;

console.log(foo === undefined);     // true

It’s therefore unnecessary to initialize a variable to undefined, such as:

var foo = undefined;

It’s considered a best practice to avoid initializing variables to undefined.

Rule Details

This rule aims to eliminate variable declarations that initialize to undefined.

Examples of incorrect code for this rule:

/*eslint no-undef-init: "error"*/
/*eslint-env es6*/

var foo = undefined;
let bar = undefined;

Examples of correct code for this rule:

/*eslint no-undef-init: "error"*/
/*eslint-env es6*/

var foo;
let bar;
const baz = undefined;

When Not To Use It

There is one situation where initializing to undefined behaves differently than omitting the initialization, and that’s when a var declaration occurs inside of a loop. For example:

Example of incorrect code for this rule:

for (i = 0; i < 10; i++) {
    var x = undefined;
    console.log(x);
    x = i;
}

In this case, the var x is hoisted out of the loop, effectively creating:

var x;

for (i = 0; i < 10; i++) {
    x = undefined;
    console.log(x);
    x = i;
}

If you were to remove the initialization, then the behavior of the loop changes:

for (i = 0; i < 10; i++) {
    var x;
    console.log(x);
    x = i;
}

This code is equivalent to:

var x;

for (i = 0; i < 10; i++) {
    console.log(x);
    x = i;
}

This produces a different outcome than defining var x = undefined in the loop, as x is no longer reset to undefined each time through the loop.

If you’re using such an initialization inside of a loop, then you should disable this rule.

Example of correct code for this rule, because it is disabled on a specific line:

/*eslint no-undef-init: "error"*/

for (i = 0; i < 10; i++) {
    var x = undefined; // eslint-disable-line no-undef-init
    console.log(x);
    x = i;
}

Version

This rule was introduced in ESLint 0.0.6.

Resources