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Creating scalable parameterized functions

Posted on:October 26, 2023 at 08:40 PM


Functions with many parameters are difficult to use and understand. In this post, I want to show you how to refactor this kind of function in a more simple and scalable way.

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Ugly function signature

As an example, I will use the following function:

function myFunction(value, option1, option2, option3) {
  // do something

myFunction(30, null null, 'errorMessage');

In this case null values mean that the parameter should be ignored for the function.

I remember that kind of function being very common in the JQuery age. Maybe because JavaScript was never so used as nowadays.

Notice that the parameters’ function are difficult to understand. I would need to open the function code to see what each parameter is supposed to do.

I will refactor it in a more readable way.

Refactoring the ugly function signature

Generally, a function should expect just one or two essential parameters (generally just one).

In the case of the myFunction function, the essential parameter is value. The other parameters are just options that will be used to customize the behavior of the function.

Well, I will use an object as a second parameter to set the option values that the function accepts.

function myFunction(value, { option1, option2, option3 }) {
  // do something

myFunction(30, { option3: "errorMessage" });

Now, I do not need to pass null values to the function when I want the parameter to be ignored. Instead, I just pass an object with the option values that the function should use.

Typed way

TypeScript is great for defining functions like that. I will refactor myFunction to use TypeScript interfaces.

interface MyFunctionProps {
  option1: boolean;
  option2: boolean;
  option3: string;

function myFunction(
  value: number,
  { option1, option2, option3 }: MyFunctionProps
) {
  // do something

myFunction(30, { option3: "errorMessage" });

Interfaces match very well with this kind of function.

Thank you!

Thank you for reading up to this point, and I hope this article is as useful to you as it is to me.

Until the next time!