A closure is formed when one of those inner functions is made accessible outside of the function in which it was contained, so that it may be executed after the outer function has returned. At which point it still has access to the local variables, parameters and inner function declarations of its outer function.

Nice example on wiki Example from stackoverflow

var closures = [];
function create() {
  for (var i = 0; i < 5; i++) {
    closures[i] = function() {
      alert("i = " + i);

function run() {
  for (var i = 0; i < 5; i++) {


This will print 5,5,5,5,5 since at the time function is created it reference to variable i, but when function is called for loop already set i to 5. More correct is to call inner function when you define it

function create() {
  for (var i = 0; i < 5; i++) {
    closures[i] = (function(tmp) {
        return function() {
          alert("i = " + tmp);

Thats why do exist in coffee script

When using a JavaScript loop to generate functions, it’s common to insert a closure wrapper in order to ensure that loop variables are closed over, and all the generated functions don’t just share the final values. CoffeeScript provides the do keyword, which immediately invokes a passed function, forwarding any arguments.

closures = []
create ->
  for i in [0..5]
    # instead of closuers[i] = ->
    closures[i] = do (i) ->
      -> alert i

Here is example in ruby

def create
  r = []
  # 1.upto 5 do |i| # this will print 1,2,3,4,5 since i is not shared between
  for i in 1..5
    r.push { i }

a = create
a.each {|f| puts } # [5,5,5,5,5] since i is shared for all closures

Resolution of property names on objects

// assignment of values
var objectRef = new Object();
objectRef.testNumber = 5;
objectRef["testNumber"] = 5;
// reading of values

w3 prototypes

All JavaScript objects inherit their properties and methods from their prototype. The Object.prototype is on the top of the prototype chain.

prototype property is on functions only. Prototype is an object. Function by default have Object.prototype prototype object. We can add properties to prototype object even after we create object. Function is constructor function when we use it to create new objects and they are UpperCased. Object, Array, Date are function constructors. The default prototype for the Object constructor has a null prototype.

function People(name) { = name;
function Man(car) { = car;
Man.prototype = new People('dule');
var p = new Man('renault');
People.prototype.age = 30;
Man.prototype.say = function() { return + " (" + this.age +
  ") drive " +;
alert(p.say()); // dule (30) drive renault

Identifier resolution, execution contexts and scope chains


Scope of variable is from a moment of declaration to the end of function where it is declared (global context acts like one big function encompassing the code on the page)

Scope of a function is entire function where it is declared (ie function hoising). Block nesting like in if statement, does not affect scope. Scope of inline function var b=function a(){} is only inside function (this is function expression and hoising is not applied here).

Function context (this variable) is:

  • window for invocation as function a()
  • current object for invocation as method objB={};objB.a=a;objB.a()

Invocation as contructor var n=new A(); creates new object and pass to function as this.

Invocation with a.apply(objB,[1,2]) and,1,2) set manually the context objB of a function (apply and call are function methods).

You can see the source code of a method with objB['a']

When function is called it enters an execution context:

  1. first is “Activation” object is created with arguments property
  2. scope chain (list of objects) from last to first:
    • global object
    • Activation object for inner functions
    • y if y is object for execution of x() in var x;with(y){ x=function(){}; }
  3. variable instantiation to “Variable” object
    • function’s formal parameters with name and value if value is provided
    • inner function definitions are creating function objects with inner function name as key
    • named properties for all local variables, just key, value is not yet defined
  4. value is assigned to this keyword

Identifier Resolution

  1. it starts from first object in the scope chain (it is Activation/Variable)
  2. it also check it’s prototype chain
  3. go to the next object from scope chain, until global object

Functions are objects and are created:

  • during “Variable” instantiation from function declaration
  • during evaluation of function expressions
  • or invoking Function contructor

Upon exiting an execution context all scope chain, Activation/Variable object and any object created (including function objects) are no longer accessible.

Forming closure

A closure is formed by returning a function object that was created withing an execution of a function call and assigning that reference to a property of another object. Or assigning (not returning) reference of such function object to global variable, or a property of global object or object passed by reference as an argument to the outer function call.

Tip: in chrome console when you stop with debugger and try to reference variable than has not been referenced than is could say undefined reference although you can use it



  • closure for function without arguments can be passed to

    function callLater(arg1) {
      return (function() {
        return "I'm " + arg1;
    var fRef=callLater('arg1');
  • associating functions with a lot of object instances

    function associateObjWithEvent(obj, methodName) {
      return (function(e) {
        e = e || window.event;
        return obj[methodName](e, this); // this will be element object
    function DhtmlObject(elementId) {
      var el = getElementWithId(elementId);
      if (el) {
        el.onclick = associateObjWithEvent(this, "doOnClick");
        // el.onclick = this.doOnClick; //
        el.onmouseover = associateObjWithEvent(this, "doMouseOver");
    DhtmlObject.prototype.doOnClick = function(event, element) {
      // doOnClick body
    DhtmlObject.prototype.doMouseOver = function(event, element) {
      // doMouseOver body
  • Encapsulating related functionality. Crete execution context by executing a function expression in-line and return function (or object)

    var getImgInPositionedDivHtml = (function(){
      var innerArray = [
        '<div id="',
        '', // index 1 DIV ID
      return (function(id){
        innerArray[1] = id;
        return innerArray.join;
    })(); /* the inline execution of the outer function expression */
  • Accidental closures. Do not use inner functions as event handlers that will be used in a lot of places since every time new function object is created

    var quantaty = 5;
    function addGlobalQueryOnClick(linkRef) {
      if (linkRef) {
        linkRef.onlick = function() {
          this.href += ('?quantaty='+escape(quantaty));
          return true;
    // better is to define on property
    var quantaty = 5;
    function addGlobalQueryOnClick(linkRef) {
      if (linkRef) {
        linkRef.onlick = forAddQuaryOnClick;
    addGlobalQueryOnClick.prototype.forAddQuaryOnClick = function() {
      this.href += ('?quantaty='+escape(quantaty));
      return true;
    // similar is for object constructor functions for a lot of objects
    // instead
    function ExampleConstuctor(p) {
      this.publicProp = p;
      this.method1 = function() {
        // method body
    // we shuold write
    function ExampleConstuctor(p) {
      this.publicProp = p;
    ExampleConstuctor.prototype.method1 = function() {
      // method body