How are javascript properties added and searched on objects?

When adding properties to a JavaScript object are they added in an ordered way (alphabetical etc). And if so does that mean when you lookup a property on a JavaScript object that a quick algorithm is used like a binary tree search? I did a search for this and just found lots of explanations for prototype inheritance which I already understand I’m just interested in how a property is looked up within a single level of the prototype chain.

That entirely depends on the implementation. Google’s V8 engine probably does it differently than Firefox’s JagerMonkey. And they almost certainly does it different than IE6. Looking up a property in an object is just an interface (a fairly common Map interface as programmers would call it). The only thing Javascript guarantees you is the methods of the interface, no details about implementation, and that’s a good thing. It could be a hash table (probably) or it could be a linked list (less likely, but possible) or it could even be a binary search tree.

The point is that we don’t know how it’s implemented, nor should we. And you should make no assumptions about the implementation. As is common with abstraction in programming, just assume it’s magic. :)

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