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Call, Apply & Bind

Use .call() or .apply() when you want to invoke the function immediately, with modification of the context. Use .bind() when you want that function to later be called with a certain context, useful in events.


var bankInterest = {
  interestRate: 1,
  total: function(balance) {
    return (this.interestRate / 100) * balance;


Call allows you change the context of the function on the fly, eg in this case changing the interest rate

bankInterest.total.call(context, function arguments)

bankInterest.total.call({interestRate: 50}, 300)


Apply is exactly the same, but function arguments are passed as an array

bankInterest.total.apply({interestRate: 50}, [300])

Call or apply?

Use apply if you don't know the number of arguments you will be passing, or if they are already in an array or array-like object (like the arguments object to forward your own arguments. Use call otherwise, since there's no need to wrap the arguments in an array. Matthew Crumley


Bind attaches a brand new this to a given function. In bind’s case, the function is not executed instantly like Call or Apply.

// binding - but NOT immediatly calling - the interest rate
var something = bankInterest.total.bind({interestRate: 50});

// Later on...

Bind allows us to inject a new context and call it whenever we like after. This is especailly useful as we can change the values of {% ihighlight js %} this {% endihighlight %} to be whatever we like, eg changing interest rates for different customers

var paul = bankInterest.total.bind({interestRate: 50});
var john = bankInterest.total.bind({interestRate: 51});