ECMAScript 6 Power Tutorial: Template Strings

ECMAScript 6 Power Tutorial: Template Strings

Welcome to
the second part of my series about ECMAScript 6! One of my favorite new
web standards of Microsoft
, the new browser rendering engine we’re
creating at Microsoft, is the extensive support it offers for ECMAScript 6. So
I wrote this series to walk you through some of the cool things you can do with
ECMAScript 6 when writing large applications for the web.

In the
first installment, I covered Class and Inheritance.
In this article, I’ll focus on template
strings based on my personal experience creating embedded expressions.

Resolving the Line Return Problem

working on Babylon.js, I have to deal with shaders code which can be seen, for the sake of
comprehension, like a big bunch of text (which looks like C).

You can
find an example in this GitHub repository.

The problem
when dealing with long text in JavaScript is the line return. How many
times have you written this kind of thing?

When you
have to work with shaders that are 200+ lines long, this quickly becomes a real pain.

ECMAScript 6 comes with the new template strings feature. Among other
wonders, a template string directly supports multiline strings:

Because all characters are significant
inside a template string, I cannot add leading whitespaces.

Now as
JavaScript developers we have three ways to define strings:

  • with “”
  • with ‘’
  • with `` (also known as back-tick or grave accent)

So What About the Template Part Then?

support is not the only feature of template strings. Indeed, you can also use template strings to substitute placeholders with variables values, as you may
have done with printf in C/C++ or string.Format in C#:

This code
produces the following output:

handy, right?

the ECMAScript 5 way:

Going Further With Tags

The final
stage of template strings specification is about adding a custom function
before the string itself to create a tagged template string:

The function
here is used to get access to both the constant string part and the
evaluated variables values.

In the
previous example, strings and values are the following:

  • strings[0] = “You have “ 
  • values[0] = 3 
  • strings[1] = “items in your basket for a total of
  • values[1] = 100.5 
  • strings[2] = “”

As you can
see, every values[n] is surrounded by constants strings (strings[n] and
strings[n + 1]).

This allows
you to control how the final output string is built. In my previous example, I
only reproduced the basic behavior of template strings, but we can go further
and add cool processing on your string.

instance, here is a piece of code to block strings that try to inject custom
DOM elements:

template strings can be used for a lot of things like security, localization,
creating your own domain specific language, etc.

Raw Strings

functions have a special option when accessing strings constants: They can use strings.raw
to get the unescaped string values. For instance, in this case n will not be
seen as only one character but actually two: and n.

The main
goal is to allow you to access the string as it was entered:

This code
generates the following output:

You can
also use a new function of String: String.raw(). This function is a
built-in function that does exactly what my previous example does:


Edge and the latest versions of Chrome (41+), Opera(28+) and Firefox
(35+) support template strings, and you can track the level of overall ECMAScript
6 support here. So if you are targeting the modern web, there is no reason not to embrace
template strings.

For a full
view of what new web standards and features are coming in Microsoft Edge—like
WebAudio—you can see the full list at

More Hands-On With JavaScript

It might surprise you a bit, but Microsoft has a bunch of free learning on
many open source JavaScript topics, and we’re on a mission to create a lot more
with Microsoft
. Check out my own:

Or our team’s learning series:

And some free tools: Visual
Studio Community
, Azure
, and cross-browser
testing tools
for Mac, Linux, or Windows.

article is part of the web dev tech series from Microsoft. We’re excited to
and the new EdgeHTML
rendering engine
with you.
Get free virtual machines or test remotely on your Mac, iOS, Android, or
Windows device @

Source: Tuts Plus

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