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Chapter 8. Objects > Object-Oriented JavaScript

8.5. Object-Oriented JavaScript

Although JavaScript supports a data type we call an object, it does not have a formal notion of a class. This makes it quite different from classic object-oriented languages such as C++ and Java. The common conception about object-oriented programming languages is that they are strongly typed and support class-based inheritance. By these criteria, it is easy to dismiss JavaScript as not being a true object-oriented language. On the other hand, we've seen that JavaScript makes heavy use of objects and that it has its own type of prototype-based inheritance. JavaScript is a true object-oriented language. It draws inspiration from a number of other (relatively obscure) object-oriented languages that use prototype-based inheritance instead of class-based inheritance.

Although JavaScript is not a class-based object-oriented language, it does a good job of simulating the features of class-based languages such as Java and C++. I've been using the term class informally throughout this chapter. This section more formally explores the parallels between JavaScript and true class-based inheritance languages such as Java and C++.[4]

[4] You should read this section even if you are not familiar with those languages and that style of object-oriented programming.


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