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Object.prototype Is Not Verboten: A Redress For The Best Feature Of JavaScript

Hi Everyone,

Please join us for food, drinks (beer!) and another great meetup on Wednesday, August 15th at 6pm at the Evernote office. A description of the talk is below -- hope to see you there!

Take care,



In 2005 Erik Arvidsson coined the term Object.prototype is Verboten out of a growing frustration in the JavaScript community related to the modification of object prototype chains and the built-in data types. The idea spread like wildfire and any software framework that modified the prototype chain was either publicly humiliated until they changed (ahem prototype.js) or they were left for oblivion. That same year I decided to write a framework that did nothing but modify the built-in prototype chains. The result is a great general use utility framework for any application type written in JavaScript.

Brief introduction on the framework itself.

Chief complaints of Object.prototype extensions, and why they are misleading

They break for-in loops on object as hashes

Modifying them can break other applications

Incompatible implementations

Using .hasOwnProperty checks are slow and hinder performance

Namespace collision

Malevolent usage

Benefits of Their use:

Syntax Chaining

Structured meta programming

Intrinsic usage on any variable


Bug fixes

Meta DRY programming

What does ES5 mean for Objects & Verboten.js

Conclusion / the future of Verboten.js

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  • Marcus P.

    Just wanted to say thanks to everyone for the great questions, honest feedback and an overall well engaged atmosphere. I hope the speech wasn't too rough around the edges, as I certainly have some critiques of my own :D For those interested in more info about Verboten.js, you can check out at - which is my markdown wiki running on node.js verboten.js and like everything I do - is a work in progress. If you have any questions or if you figure out a good reason to avoid object.prototype extensions send me an email to any address at And though I'm not much of a facebook user I do keep up with twitter - @marcuspope.

    August 16, 2012

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