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Why Should Lodash be Your JavaScript Project's Go-To Library?

Why Should Lodash be Your JavaScript Project's Go-To Library?

Check this post on my web notes.

In almost every project we work on, we use extra tools to make things easier for users and developers alike. I've noticed that "Lodash" is a go-to for not just me but many others. So, today's article is all about "lodash" – a tool that seems to pop up everywhere and makes our projects better. Let's try to find answers on some curious questions.

1. What is Lodash?

2. What Lodash can do?

3. Why I would use Lodash in my next project?

With these questions, we also determined our workflow, and now we need to begin with the first one.

What is Lodash?

Lodash is a comprehensive JavaScript utility library designed to streamline and enhance the development process. It serves as a toolkit for developers, offering a rich collection of functions that address common programming challenges. Whether you're dealing with arrays, objects, strings, or other data structures, Lodash provides a set of well-optimized, reliable functions to simplify your code.

One of the key strengths of Lodash lies in its versatility. It covers a broad spectrum of tasks, including data manipulation, iteration, and functional programming utilities. From sorting arrays to deep cloning objects, Lodash's modular structure allows developers to pick and choose the specific functions they need, promoting a modular and efficient approach to coding.

Lodash is widely appreciated for its consistent API design and compatibility across various JavaScript environments, making it a go-to choice for both frontend and backend development. Its documentation is thorough and user-friendly, making it easy for developers to explore and leverage its capabilities.

In essence, Lodash is not just a library; it's a toolset that empowers developers to write cleaner, more readable code while benefiting from battle-tested utility functions that handle common programming tasks with ease.

What Lodash can do?

Partly we answered this question higher in this article, but now let's be more specific and define some most popular functions in "Lodash" that make it so special:

  • "": Iterates over an array or object's elements, applying a function to each element, and returns a new collection.
const squares =[1, 2, 3, 4], num => num * num);
// Result: [1, 4, 9, 16]
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  • "_.filter": Creates a new array or object with elements that pass a certain condition.
const evens = _.filter([1, 2, 3, 4], num => num % 2 === 0);
// Result: [2, 4]
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  • "_.find": Returns the first element in an array or object that satisfies a given condition.
const firstEven = _.find([1, 2, 3, 4], num => num % 2 === 0);
// Result: 2
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  • "_.sortBy": Sorts an array of objects based on a specified key.
const users = [{ 'user': 'fred', 'age': 48 }, { 'user': 'barney', 'age': 36 }];
const sortedUsers = _.sortBy(users, 'age');
// Result: [{ 'user': 'barney', 'age': 36 }, { 'user': 'fred', 'age': 48 }]
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Nice but we can simply use existing JavaScript methods. What is so special in Lodash?

Okay let's check the icing on the cake:

  • "_.cloneDeep": Creates a deep copy of an object, ensuring that nested objects are also cloned.
const originalObject = { a: 1, b: { c: 2 } };
const clonedObject = _.cloneDeep(originalObject);
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  • "_.merge": Recursively merges two or more objects, combining their properties.
const object1 = { a: 1, b: { c: 2 } };
const object2 = { b: { d: 3 }, e: 4 };
const mergedObject = _.merge(object1, object2);
// Result: { a: 1, b: { c: 2, d: 3 }, e: 4 }
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  • "_.isEmpty": Checks if a given value is empty. Works with arrays, objects, strings, and collections.
_.isEmpty([]);          // true
_.isEmpty({});          // true
_.isEmpty('');          // true
_.isEmpty([1, 2, 3]);    // false
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  • "_.groupBy": Groups an array or collection of objects based on a specified criterion.
const users = [{ name: 'John', age: 30 }, { name: 'Jane', age: 25 }, { name: 'Bob', age: 30 }];
const groupedByAge = _.groupBy(users, 'age');
// Result: { '25': [{ name: 'Jane', age: 25 }], '30': [{ name: 'John', age: 30 }, { name: 'Bob', age: 30 }] }
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  • "_.debounce": Creates a debounced function that delays invoking a function until after a specified amount of time has elapsed since the last time it was invoked.
const debouncedFunc = _.debounce(() => console.log('Debounced function called.'), 1000);
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And many more about which you can find the description in the official documentation. But as for me, even only the "cloneDeep", "isEqual" and "isEmpty" methods are worth loving Lodash.

Why I would use Lodash in my next project?

There are several compelling reasons to consider using Lodash in your next project:

  • Utility Functions: Lodash provides a comprehensive set of utility functions that cover a wide range of tasks, from array and object manipulation to data processing and functional programming. This can save you time and effort in writing custom code for common operations.

  • Cross-Browser Compatibility: Lodash is designed to work consistently across different JavaScript environments and browsers. This helps mitigate the challenges of cross-browser compatibility, ensuring that your code behaves predictably in various scenarios.

  • Performance Optimization: Lodash is known for its optimized implementations of common algorithms. The library is continuously updated to benefit from performance improvements and enhancements, contributing to the overall efficiency of your code.

  • Modularity: Lodash is modular, allowing you to import only the specific functions you need rather than including the entire library. This modularity promotes a more lightweight and efficient use of resources in your project.

  • Community Support and Documentation: Lodash has a large and active community, which means you can find plenty of resources, tutorials, and community support. The documentation is extensive and user-friendly, making it easy to learn and leverage the library's capabilities.

In summary, to all these benefits, using Lodash in your next project can contribute to improved code quality, reduced development time, and enhanced performance, making it a valuable addition to your JavaScript toolkit.

Top comments (7)

marco_cabrera_81e1796f41f profile image
marco cabrera

JavaScript has come a long way, now incorporating features like deep copying, which we once depended on libraries like lodash for. Today, using an entire library for such tasks when JavaScript handles them natively might seem unnecessary.

teamradhq profile image

Yeah but still not for difference, union, unique… and not for the by methods for each of these… Then of course there’s zip and unzip methods too… we haven’t even gotten past the array methods… And don’t get me started on the collection methods.

I think yours is a common misconception though. Lodash is a toolset, it’s not meant to polyfill missing features of JavaScript. Yes some people use it that way. But those people are using a fraction of Lodash’s features.

There are so many common tools - like the ones I’ve mentioned - that are unlikely to be implemented in the JS spec… I doubt we’ll ever see pipe, compose or curry functions, for example.

So I’d caution against writing it off just because JS has added some array methods. And remember, jQuery just dropped the beta for v4 ;)

webcraft-notes profile image
WebCraft Notes

Thank you for sharing your perspective! You're absolutely right that JavaScript has evolved with native features, including deep copying. While it's true that some lodash functionalities can be replicated with native JavaScript, many developers still find Lodash valuable for its comprehensive utility functions, convenience and ease of use in the development process. Also it often comes down to personal preference and project requirements. Appreciate your input!

marco_cabrera_81e1796f41f profile image
marco cabrera

I totally get the thing about personal preference. Lots of folks stick to jQuery for DOM manipulation because it’s comfy and speeds things up. I’ve had my fair share of fun with these libraries, so no issues there. But they do gloss over the details, which isn’t always great for newbies. Even though this blog might not be newbie-central, it’s something to think about. It’s all about understanding what’s under the library’s hood — we should be aiming for a ‘deep copy’ of knowledge, not just a ‘shallow copy.’ After all, we wouldn’t want our learning to be as superficial as a shallow clone, would we? Also good article, can’t wait to read your next ones.

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webcraft-notes profile image
WebCraft Notes

Thank you for sharing your thoughts! You make a valid point about the importance of delving into the details, especially for newcomers. I'm glad you enjoyed the article, and I'll certainly keep your feedback in mind for future posts. 😊

blindfish3 profile image
Ben Calder

You can import individual modules from lodash so you can still benefit from it without importing the entire library.

_ndeyefatoudiop profile image
Ndeye Fatou Diop