Book Image

Modern JavaScript Web Development Cookbook

By : Federico Kereki
Book Image

Modern JavaScript Web Development Cookbook

By: Federico Kereki

Overview of this book

JavaScript has evolved into a language that you can use on any platform. Modern JavaScript Web Development Cookbook is a perfect blend of solutions for traditional JavaScript development and modern areas that developers have lately been exploring with JavaScript. This comprehensive guide teaches you how to work with JavaScript on servers, browsers, mobile phones and desktops. You will start by exploring the new features of ES8. You will then move on to learning the use of ES8 on servers (with Node.js), with the objective of producing services and microservices and dealing with authentication and CORS. Once you get accustomed to ES8, you will learn to apply it to browsers using frameworks, such as React and Redux, which interact through Ajax with services. You will then understand the use of a modern framework to develop the UI. In addition to this, development for mobile devices with React Native will walk you through the benefits of creating native apps, both for Android and iOS. Finally, you’ll be able to apply your new-found knowledge of server-side and client-side tools to develop applications with Electron.
Table of Contents (15 chapters)

Documenting your code with JSDoc

A good rule for maintainability is that code should be documented. JSDoc (or JSDoc3; the name reflects the current version, 3.6.0) is an API documentation generator, which can produce an HTML website with full documentation for your code. You only have to add comments (in a specific format) to your source code, and JSDoc will scan the code to pick them up and generate the documentation. Let's first see how those comments should be written, and then turn to a tool to make the work easier with VSC.

The official web page for JSDoc is at, and the source code can be found at

How to do it...

The main idea for JSDoc is to document your APIs, including functions, classes, methods, and whatnot. JSDoc comments are expected to precede the code that is being documented. Comments start with /** and end with */; the double star distinguishes them from normal comments.

Don't go overboard with stars, because if you write three or more, then the comment will also be ignored; JSDoc expects two stars, no more, no less.

The following code block shows the simplest possible example, how you might document a function by providing a description of its goals and arguments:

* Solves the Hanoi Towers puzzle, for any number of disks.
* @param {number} disks - How many disks to move
* @param {string} from - The starting pole's name
* @param {string} to - The destination pole's name
* @param {string} extra - The other pole's name
const hanoi = (disks, from, to, extra) => {
if (disks === 1) {
console.log(`Move disk 1 from post ${from} to post ${to}`);
} else {
hanoi(disks - 1, from, extra, to);
console.log(`Move disk ${disks} from post ${from} to post ${to}`);
hanoi(disks - 1, extra, to, from);

The @param notation is a block tag, which introduces a code item, in this case, a parameter of the function. A (partial) list of common tags is as follows:

@author The developer's name.
@class Defines a class.
@constructor Marks a function a constructor.
@copyright, @license Legal details.
@deprecated Marks a function or method as deprecated.
@exports An exported module member.
@function, @callback Defines a function, and more specifically, one used as a callback.
@param What parameters are expected. The data type may be added within braces.
@property or @prop A property of an object.
@return or @returns What the function or method returns.
@throws or @exception An exception thrown by a method.
@version A library's version.

There are more tags, such as @private, to identify a member as private, but since JS doesn't really provide that feature, I skipped it. Other tags are more specific, and you may not use them, such as @generator or @mixin. If you want to see the complete list of possible block (and also a couple of inline) tags, checkout

A confession: we won't be using JsDoc very much in this book, but only because all the needed explanations will be given in the text itself. For normal work, I'd always use it, but in this book it would mainly be redundant.

How it works...

Writing this sort of comment can quickly become tedious, but you can use the Document This VSC extension to automatically generate the needed template, which you will then complete. You can find the extension at,but it's simpler to install it through VSC itself: search for Document This and it will quickly appear.

After including this extension, if you right-click on the code, a new command will appear that will automatically generate (mostly empty) comments for you to complete.

As for generating the automatic documentation, checkout; we won't go into this because it's fairly straightforward. You can configure JSDoc, and also change the template it uses for the generated page; see and for these topics. See the following screenshot:

A simple example of the JSDoc output

Of course, documenting a single function won't be your use case! But for our purposes, it's enough; for normal use, you'd get an index with links to every class, function, and so on, fully documenting your code.

You have set up your working environment, and you are able to write documented, well-indented code in the latest version of JS, but that's still not proof against some error that may be committed, so let's now look into ways of enhancing your code more deeply.