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Javascript Question

How to inherit from a class in javascript?

In PHP/Java one can do:

class Sub extends Base

And automatically all public/protected methods, properties, fields, etc of the Super class become a part of the Sub class which can be overridden if necessary.

What's the equivalent for that in Javascript?


I have changed how I do this now, I try to avoid using constructor functions and their prototype property, but my old answer from 2010 is still at the bottom. I now prefer Object.create(). Object.create is available in all modern browsers.

I should note that Object.create is usually much slower than using new with a function constructor.

//The prototype is just an object when you use `Object.create()`
var Base = {};

//This is how you create an instance:
var baseInstance = Object.create(Base);

//If you want to inherit from "Base":
var subInstance = Object.create(Object.create(Base));

//Detect if subInstance is an instance of Base:
console.log(Base.isPrototypeOf(subInstance)); //True


One of the big benefits of using Object.create is being able to pass in a defineProperties argument, which gives you significant control over how properties on the class can be accessed and enumerated over, and I also use functions to create instances, these serve as constructors in a way, as you can do initialization at the end instead of just returning the instance.

var Base = {};

function createBase() {
  return Object.create(Base, {
    doSomething: {
       value: function () {
         console.log("Doing something");

var Sub = createBase();

function createSub() {
  return Object.create(Sub, {
    doSomethingElse: {
      value: function () {
        console.log("Doing something else");

var subInstance = createSub();
subInstance.doSomething(); //Logs "Doing something"
subInstance.doSomethingElse(); //Logs "Doing something else"
console.log(Base.isPrototypeOf(subInstance)); //Logs "true"
console.log(Sub.isPrototypeOf(subInstance)); //Logs "true


This is my original answer from 2010:

function Base ( ) {
  this.color = "blue";

function Sub ( ) {

Sub.prototype = new Base( );
Sub.prototype.showColor = function ( ) {
 console.log( this.color );

var instance = new Sub ( );
instance.showColor( ); //"blue"