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1.0.0 • Public • Published

No Implicit Side Effects Plugin for ESLint

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An ESLint plugin to help writing JS in a pure functional style. Forces programmers to be only introduce (own) side effects knowingly by prefixing them with void, making side effects explicit and thus easy to find.

Why void?

In C-like languages, void is most commonly used to denote a function without a return value, so by definition a side effect. In JavaScript, void is used to make any expression have the value undefined, as in no value. An expression that doesn't result in any value is also by definition a side effect. Considering these, I think void is the perfect keyword for this, especially because prefixing an expression whose value is not used with void doesn't change the program's behavior in any way.


npm install --save-dev eslint-plugin-no-implicit-side-effects

NOTE: This plugin requires node v4.0 or higher.

Then add to the list of plugins in .eslintrc:

"plugins": ["no-implicit-side-effects"]

Instructions for setting up individual rules can be found the rules section.




"no-implicit-side-effects/no-implicit-side-effects": 2


Requires making your side effects explicit. This means that you cannot have statements that only contain an expression, e.g.

// Not OK:
= 1;
b.c = 2;
[1, 2, 3].forEach(n => console.log(n));
(function (){}());
// etc...

instead your functions should be focused on what is being returned. Expressions within a return statement or variable declarations are considered valid. If side effects such as assignment or function calls with unused return value are required, prefix them with void to make them explicit:

// OK:
void (= 1);
void (b.c = 2);
void foo();
void bar.qoo();
void z.y++;
void [1, 2, 3].forEach(n => console.log(n));
void function (){}();
// also OK:
var h = 3;
let i = 4;
const j = 5;
return foo();


External side effects

This rule does not prevent indirect side effects. For example if function foo has a side effect and you declare function bar as:

function bar (v) {
    return foo(+ 1);

the rule will not complain because the violation is not actually in this function.

Arrow functions

Single expression arrow functions can mask a side effect because they appear as a return value. For example return promise.then(v => console.log(v)); will not be caught.

Unary increment/decrement

Unary increment and decrement are always side effects, but this rule doesn't have special treatment for them, which means side effects like this would be considered valid: var x = y++;. You can however use the built-in rule no-plus-plus for catching these.

Recommended built-in rules

These will make it easier to develop in a pure functional style:

  • no-class-assign.
  • no-cond-assign
  • no-const-assign.
  • no-func-assign.
  • no-new.
  • no-param-reassign.
  • no-plusplus.
  • no-return-assign.
  • no-sequences.
  • no-var.
  • operator-assignment ("never").
  • prefer-arrow-callback.
  • prefer-const.


npm i eslint-plugin-no-implicit-side-effects

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