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JavaScript Asynchronous Programming with JavaScript Asynchronous JavaScript with Callbacks Async Programming and Callback Functions

Why not simply pass getJSON() as a callback to the event listener?

At around 3:30 in the video:

// Instead of passing an anonymous arrow function as a callback to the event listener
// which then calls getJSON() inside its body:
btn.addEventListener('click', () => getJSON(astrUrl));

// Why don't we just directly pass getJSON() itself as a callback like this:
btn.addEventListener('click', getJSON(astrUrl));

Is it because in a different use case (other than the one shown here) we would need to have access to the event object that is somehow implicitly present (?) as an argument in the anonymous arrow function?

btn.addEventListener('click', (event) => {
  // do sth. with the event argument

3 Answers

What you're proposing would try to call getJSON(astrosUrl) and use what's returned (null) as the callback function for the click event listener. You need to use a callback function as the second argument to addEventListener so that getJSON has the url you want it to use when the event (click) happens and not before. Event listeners aren't set up to accept an argument to pass to the callback function.

Hi Daniel, sorry but I don't understand that explanation. Why does it return null and why do I have to use a callback function as a second argument. I thought initializing or passing in the function would work too. Could you explain it for dummies? Perhaps with an example?

edit: found this. Seems like it is just how js works... https://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/74f75572-0910-42b1-987b-ba4262c0fd77/pass-parameters-to-function-called-with-addeventlistener?forum=winappswithhtml5

36,121 Points

It's because you are not passing the function as an argument to addEventListener. Instead, you are returning a callback function from addEventListener.

Hi Jenny and thanks for taking the time to read my question.

I am not sure if I understand correctly what you are saying here.

Unless I am missing something, I cannot see where I am "returning a callback function from addEventlistener" as you are saying above. Can you please try to rephrase?

Thanks in advance.

Farid Lavizadeh
Farid Lavizadeh
12,006 Points

Unless a named function is tied to an event, it will just run without the event occurring. Since getJSON(astrosUrl) is not tied to any event, it will run before a user clicks anything. To tie the named function to an event, a preceding anonymous function is used.