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Clever JavaScript does not mean simple or readable

Last week, someone tweeted:

Woah, this is elegant JavaScript. Need to conditionally add a property to an object? Here’s a slick approach. The right-hand side is only applied if the condition is true. If the condition is falsy, the spread operator does nothing.

They shared this code snippet from an article by Andrea Simone Costa:

const obj = {
    ...condition && { prop: value },

This is not a dig at Andrea. That code is really clever!

But we’ve become obsessed as an industry with brevity and clever code, and it results in code that’s sometimes less performant, and typically harder to read and make sense of for most people.

Readibility is way more important than brevity.

The example above could be rewritten like this:

var obj = {};
if (condition) {
	obj[prop] = value;

One extra lines, one less character, and much more obvious what’s actually going on.

And as Lea Verou pointed out, also slightly more performant since you’re not needlessly creating a new object each time.