10 Lodash Features You Can Replace with ES6

Right now, Lodash is the most depended-on npm package, but if you’re using ES6, you might not actually need it.

In this article, we’re going to look at using native collection methods with arrow functions and other new ES6 features to help us cut corners around many popular use cases.

1. Map, Filter, Reduce

These collection methods make transforming data a breeze and with near universal support. We can pair them with arrow functions to help us write terse alternatives to the implementations offered by Lodash:

_.map([1, 2, 3], function(n) { return n * 3; });
// [3, 6, 9]
_.reduce([1, 2, 3], function(total, n) { return total + n; }, 0);
// 6
_.filter([1, 2, 3], function(n) { return n <= 2; });
// [1, 2]

// becomes

[1, 2, 3].map(n => n * 3);
[1, 2, 3].reduce((total, n) => total + n);
[1, 2, 3].filter(n => n <= 2);

It doesn't stop here, either. If we're using a modern browser, we can also use find, some, every and reduceRight too.

2. Head & Tail

Destructuring syntax allows us to get the head and tail of a list without utility functions:

_.head([1, 2, 3]);
// 1
_.tail([1, 2, 3]);
// [2, 3]

// becomes

const [head, ...tail] = [1, 2, 3];

It's also possible to get the initial elements and the last element in a similar way:

_.initial([1, 2, 3]);
// -> [1, 2]
_.last([1, 2, 3]);
// 3

// becomes

const [last, ...initial] = [1, 2, 3].reverse();

If you find it annoying that reverse mutates the data structure, then you can use the spread operator to clone the array before calling reverse:

const xs = [1, 2, 3];
const [last, ...initial] = [...xs].reverse();

3. Rest and Spread

The rest and spread functions allow us to define and invoke functions that accept a variable number of arguments. ES6 introduced dedicated syntaxes for both of these operations:

var say = _.rest(function(what, names) {
  var last = _.last(names);
  var initial = _.initial(names);
  var finalSeparator = (_.size(names) > 1 ? ', & ' : '');
  return what + ' ' + initial.join(', ') +
    finalSeparator + _.last(names);
});

say('hello', 'fred', 'barney', 'pebbles');
// "hello fred, barney, & pebbles"

// becomes

const say = (what, ...names) => {
  const [last, ...initial] = names.reverse();
  const finalSeparator = (names.length > 1 ? ', &' : '');
  return `${what} ${initial.join(', ')} ${finalSeparator} ${last}`;
};

say('hello', 'fred', 'barney', 'pebbles');
// "hello fred, barney, & pebbles"

4. Curry

Without a higher-level language such as [TypeScript][5] or [Flow][6], we can't give our functions type signatures, which makes currying quite difficult. When we receive curried functions, it's hard to know how many arguments have already been supplied, and which we’ll need to provide next. With arrow functions, we can define curried functions explicitly, making them easier to understand for other programmers:

function add(a, b) {
  return a + b;
}
var curriedAdd = _.curry(add);
var add2 = curriedAdd(2);
add2(1);
// 3

// becomes

const add = a => b => a + b;
const add2 = add(2);
add2(1);
// 3

These explicitly curried arrow functions are particularly important for debugging:

var lodashAdd = _.curry(function(a, b) {
  return a + b;
});
var add3 = lodashAdd(3);
console.log(add3.length)
// 0
console.log(add3);
// function (a, b) {
// /* [wrapped with _.curry & _.partial] */
//   return a + b;
// }

// becomes

const es6Add = a => b => a + b;
const add3 = es6Add(3);
console.log(add3.length);
// 1
console.log(add3);
// function b => a + b

If we're using a functional library like lodash/fp or ramda, we can also use arrows to remove the need for the auto-curry style:

_.map(_.prop('name'))(people);

// becomes

people.map(person => person.name);

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