Javascript – How to create an abstract base class in JavaScript

abstractjavascriptoop

Is it possible to simulate abstract base class in JavaScript? What is the most elegant way to do it?

Say, I want to do something like: –

var cat = new Animal('cat');
var dog = new Animal('dog');

cat.say();
dog.say();

It should output: 'bark', 'meow'

Best Solution

One simple way to create an abstract class is this:

/**
 @constructor
 @abstract
 */
var Animal = function() {
    if (this.constructor === Animal) {
      throw new Error("Can't instantiate abstract class!");
    }
    // Animal initialization...
};

/**
 @abstract
 */
Animal.prototype.say = function() {
    throw new Error("Abstract method!");
}

The Animal "class" and the say method are abstract.

Creating an instance would throw an error:

new Animal(); // throws

This is how you "inherit" from it:

var Cat = function() {
    Animal.apply(this, arguments);
    // Cat initialization...
};
Cat.prototype = Object.create(Animal.prototype);
Cat.prototype.constructor = Cat;

Cat.prototype.say = function() {
    console.log('meow');
}

Dog looks just like it.

And this is how your scenario plays out:

var cat = new Cat();
var dog = new Dog();

cat.say();
dog.say();

Fiddle here (look at the console output).