ES6 Classes

Classes are an essential part of object-oriented programming (OOP). Classes are used to define the blueprint for real-world object modeling and organize the code into reusable and logical parts.

Before ES6, it was hard to create a class in JavaScript. But in ES6, we can create the class by using the class keyword. We can include classes in our code either by class expression or by using a class declaration.

A class definition can only include constructors and functions. These components are together called as the data members of a class. The classes contain constructors that allocates the memory to the objects of a class. Classes contain functions that are responsible for performing the actions to the objects.

Note
Note: Instead of data properties, the body of the class only contains methods.

Syntax: Class Expression

snippet
var var_name = new class_name {
}

Syntax: Class Declaration

snippet
class Class_name{
}

Let us see the illustration for the class expression and class declaration.

Example - Class Declaration

snippet
class Student{
    constructor(name, age){
    this.name = name;
    this.age = age;
    }

}

Example - Class Expression

snippet
var Student = class{
    constructor(name, age){
    this.name = name;
    this.age = age;
    }
}

Instantiating an Object from class

Like other object-oriented programming languages, we can instantiate an object from class by using the new keyword.

Syntax

snippet
var obj_name = new class_name([arguements])

Example

snippet
var stu = new Student('Peter', 22)

Accessing functions

The object can access the attributes and functions of a class. We use the '.' dot notation (or period) for accessing the data members of the class.

Syntax

snippet
obj.function_name();

Example

snippet
'use strict' 
class Student { 
   constructor(name, age) { 
      this.n = name; 
      this.a = age;
   } 
   stu() { 
      console.log("The Name of the student is: ", this.n) 
      console.log("The Age of the student is: ",this. a) 
   } 
} 

var stuObj = new Student('Peter',20); 
stuObj.stu();

In the above example, we have declared a class Student. The constructor of the class contains two arguments name and age, respectively. The keyword 'this' refers to the current instance of the class. We can also say that the above constructor initializes two variables 'n' and 'a' along with the parameter values passed to the constructor.

The function stu() in the class will print the values of name and age.

Output

Output
The Name of the student is: Peter The Age of the student is: 20
Note
Note: Including a constructor definition is mandatory in class because, by default, every class has a constructor.

The Static keyword

The static keyword is used for making the static functions in the class. Static functions are referenced only by using the class name.

Example

snippet
'use strict' 
class Example { 
   static show() { 
      console.log("Static Function") 
   } 
} 
Example.show() //invoke the static method

Output

Output
Static Function

Class inheritance

Before the ES6, the implementation of inheritance required several steps. But ES6 simplified the implementation of inheritance by using the extends and super keyword.

Inheritance is the ability to create new entities from an existing one. The class that is extended for creating newer classes is referred to as superclass/parent class, while the newly created classes are called subclass/child class.

A class can be inherited from another class by using the 'extends' keyword. Except for the constructors from the parent class, child class inherits all properties and methods.

Syntax

snippet
class child_class_name extends parent_class_name{
}

A class inherits from the other class by using the extends keyword.

Example

snippet
'use strict' 
class Student { 
   constructor(a) { 
    this.name = a;
   } 
} 
class User extends Student { 
   show() { 
      console.log("The name of the student is:  "+this.name) 
   } 
} 
var obj = new User('Sahil'); 
obj.show()

In the above example, we have declared a class student. By using the extends keyword, we can create a new class User that shares the same characteristics as its parent class Student. So, we can see that there is an inheritance relationship between these classes.

Output

Output
The name of the student is: Sahil

Types of inheritance

Inheritance can be categorized as Single-level inheritance, Multiple inheritance, and Multi-level inheritance. Multiple inheritance is not supported in ES6.

Single-level Inheritance

It is defined as the inheritance in which a derived class can only be inherited from only one base class. It allows a derived class to inherit the behavior and properties of a base class, which enables the reusability of code as well as adding the new features to the existing code. It makes the code less repetitive.

ES6 Classes

Multiple Inheritance

In multiple inheritance, a class can be inherited from several classes. It is not supported in ES6.

ES6 Classes

Multi-level Inheritance

In Multi-level inheritance, a derived class is created from another derived class. Thus, a multi-level inheritance has more than one parent class.

ES6 Classes

Let us understand it with the following example.

Example

snippet
class Animal{  
   eat(){
      console.log("eating...");
   }  
   }  
   class Dog extends Animal{  
    bark(){
       console.log("barking...");
   }  
   }  
   class BabyDog extends Dog{  
    weep(){
       console.log("weeping...");
      }  
   }  
   var d=new BabyDog();  
   d.eat();  
   d.bark();  
   d.weep();

Output

Output
eating... barking... weeping...

Method Overriding and Inheritance

It is a feature that allows a child class to provide a specific implementation of a method which has been already provided by one of its parent class.

There are some rules defined for method overriding -

  • The method name must be the same as in the parent class.
  • Method signatures must be the same as in the parent class.

Let us try to understand the illustration for the same:

Example

snippet
'use strict' ;
class Parent { 
   show() { 
      console.log("It is the show() method from the parent class");
   }
}
class Child extends Parent { 
   show() { 
      console.log("It is the show() method from the child class");
   } 
} 
var obj = new Child(); 
obj.show();

In the above example, the implementation of the superclass function has changed in the child class. You will get the following output after the successful execution of the above code:

Output

Output
It is the show() method from the child class

The super keyword

It allows the child class to invoke the properties, methods, and constructors of the immediate parent class. It is introduced in ECMAScript 2015 or ES6. The super.prop and super[expr] expressions are readable in the definition of any method in both object literals and classes.

Syntax

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