Why JavaScript Is Not Object Oriented Programming Language?


Angela Bailey

Why JavaScript Is Not Object Oriented Programming Language?

JavaScript is a popular programming language that is primarily used for web development. While it has some object-oriented features, it is not considered a purely object-oriented programming language. In this article, we will explore the reasons why JavaScript falls short of being fully object-oriented.

The Four Pillars of Object-Oriented Programming

Object-oriented programming (OOP) is based on four fundamental principles:

  • Encapsulation: This principle allows data and methods to be encapsulated within an object, preventing direct access from outside.
  • Inheritance: Inheritance enables objects to inherit properties and methods from other objects, forming a hierarchical structure.
  • Polymorphism: Polymorphism allows objects to take on multiple forms and behave differently based on the context.
  • Abstraction: Abstraction focuses on hiding unnecessary details and exposing only the essential features of an object.

Limited Support for Encapsulation

In JavaScript, there are no native keywords or modifiers like private or protected to enforce encapsulation. All properties and methods are accessible from outside the object unless explicitly specified otherwise. Although developers can use naming conventions or closures to achieve encapsulation, it lacks the inherent support offered by languages like Java or C++.

No Built-in Class-based Inheritance

In traditional object-oriented languages such as Java or Python, inheritance is achieved through classes. However, JavaScript uses prototype-based inheritance, which means that objects can inherit directly from other objects without the need for classes. While this approach offers flexibility, it also makes inheritance less straightforward and more error-prone.

Lack of Polymorphism

Polymorphism is an essential aspect of object-oriented programming, allowing objects to have multiple forms and behaviors. JavaScript, being a dynamically typed language, does not provide explicit support for polymorphism. Instead, it relies on duck typing, where the suitability of an object for a particular operation is determined by its shape and behavior rather than its type.

Minimal Abstraction Features

Abstraction helps in simplifying complex systems by hiding unnecessary details. While JavaScript supports basic abstraction through functions and closures, it lacks some advanced features like interfaces or abstract classes, which are commonly found in other object-oriented languages. These features provide a clear contract for classes to implement and help enforce consistency and structure in larger codebases.

The Hybrid Nature of JavaScript

In conclusion, while JavaScript incorporates some object-oriented principles like objects, inheritance (through prototyping), and encapsulation (to some extent), it falls short in providing comprehensive support for the four pillars of object-oriented programming. JavaScript’s hybrid nature makes it a versatile language suitable for various purposes but not a purely object-oriented programming language.

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