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no-undef-init

Disallow initializing variables to undefined

🛠 Fixable

Some problems reported by this rule are automatically fixable by the --fix command line option

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 var and let variable declarations that initialize to undefined.

Examples of incorrect code for this rule:

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

var foo = undefined;
let bar = undefined;

Examples of correct code for this rule:

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

var foo;
let bar;

Please note that this rule does not check const declarations, destructuring patterns, function parameters, and class fields.

Examples of additional correct code for this rule:

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

const foo = undefined;

let { bar = undefined } = baz;

[quux = undefined] = quuux;

(foo = undefined) => {};

class Foo {
bar = 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 v0.0.6.

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