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Proxy Performance

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The Flash API has a gem of a class in Proxy. You can use it to customize the behavior of the dot (.), index ([]), delete, and in operators as well as the for-in and for-each-in loops. Today’s article answers a recent comment by exploring the performance implications of all this fancy customizing that Proxy allows.

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Accessing Objects

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There are three main ways to access the contents of objects in AS3: the dot (.) operator, the index ([]) operator, and the in operator. The first two are well known and functionally-equivalent because obj.property evaluates to the same value as obj["property"]. The in operator is different as I’ve described before: it returns a Boolean indicating whether or not the object has the given property. There are a lot of cases—error checking, for example—where we only care if an object has a property and not what that property is. So, can we improve performance by using the is operator rather than the index or dot operators? (UPDATE: hasOwnProperty results added)

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