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What does the Object.getOwnPropertyNames() method do (and how is it different from the Object.keys() method)?

Yesterday, we looked at the Object.keys() method, which returns an array of keys for an object.

var lunch = {
	sandwich: 'turkey',
	chips: 'cape cod',
	drink: 'soda'

// returns ['sandwich', 'chips', 'drink']
var keys = Object.keys(lunch);

One of my readers asked how this is different from the Object.getOwnPropertyNames() method, which also accepts an object as it’s argument and returns and array of property names.

They even have the same browser support!

// returns ['sandwich', 'chips', 'drink']
var props = Object.getOwnPropertyNames(lunch);

There’s on big difference between the two: Object.getOwnPropertyNames() returns both enumerable and non-enumerable properties, while Object.keys() only returns enumerable ones.

Enumerable properties are ones that show up in a loop. Non-enumerable properties don’t.

With our lunch example, all of the properties are enumerable, so there’s functionally no difference between the two methods. But since everything is an object in JavaScript, we could also pass the Function.prototype object into both of these methods to see the difference more clearly.

// returns an empty array: []

// returns ["length", "name", "arguments", "caller", "constructor", "apply", "bind", "call", "toString"]

Hopefully that clears things up a little bit. If not, let me know!

Here’s a demo you can play with.