What is the proper way to check for existence of variable in an EJS template (using ExpressJS)?


Question

On the EJS github page, there is one and only one simple example: https://github.com/visionmedia/ejs

Example

<% if (user) { %>
    <h2><%= user.name %></h2>
<% } %>

This seems to be checking for the existence of a variable named user, and if it exists, do some stuff. Duh, right?

My question is, why in the world would Node throw a ReferenceError if the user variable doesn't exist? This renders the above example useless. What's the appropriate way to check for the existence of a variable? Am I expected to use a try/catch mechanism and grab that ReferenceError?

ReferenceError: user is not defined
    at IncomingMessage.anonymous (eval at <anonymous> (/usr/local/lib/node/.npm/ejs/0.3.1/package/lib/ejs.js:140:12))
    at IncomingMessage.<anonymous> (/usr/local/lib/node/.npm/ejs/0.3.1/package/lib/ejs.js:142:15)
    at Object.render (/usr/local/lib/node/.npm/ejs/0.3.1/package/lib/ejs.js:177:13)
    at ServerResponse.render (/usr/local/lib/node/.npm/express/1.0.7/package/lib/express/view.js:334:22)
    at Object.<anonymous> (/Users/me/Dropbox/Projects/myproject/server.js:188:9)
    at param (/usr/local/lib/node/.npm/connect/0.5.10/package/lib/connect/middleware/router.js:146:21)
    at pass (/usr/local/lib/node/.npm/connect/0.5.10/package/lib/connect/middleware/router.js:162:10)
    at /usr/local/lib/node/.npm/connect/0.5.10/package/lib/connect/middleware/router.js:152:27
    at Object.restrict (/Users/me/Dropbox/Projects/myproject/server.js:94:5)
    at param (/usr/local/lib/node/.npm/connect/0.5.10/package/lib/connect/middleware/router.js:146:21)

I understand that I could make this error go away by simply adding a "user" local variable in my server code, but the whole point here is that I want to check for the existence of such variables at runtime using your every day if/else nullcheck type pattern. An exception for a variable that doesn't exist seems ridiculous to me.

1
103
3/21/2011 12:09:21 AM

Accepted Answer

The same way you would do it with anything in js, typeof foo == 'undefined', or since "locals" is the name of the object containing them, you can do if (locals.foo). It's just raw js :p

128
5/31/2017 4:10:24 PM

Try prepending the variable with locals

Example: if(locals.user){}


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