flatten an array recursively

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I tried to implement an array flatten function recursively. Here is the code:

function flatten(arr) {
  var flatArr = [];
  for (var i = 0; i < arr.length; i++) {
    if (arr[i] instanceof Array) {
      flatArr.concat(flatten(arr[i]));
    } else {
      flatArr.push(arr[i]);
    }
  }
  return flatArr;
}


console.log(flatten([1, 2, 3, 4, [5]]));
/*
result: [1, 2, 3, 4]
expected: [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
*/

But I don’t know why the result is not correct. Please help me explain it.

Answer

The concat() method returns a new array comprised of the array on which it is called joined with the array(s) and/or value(s) provided as arguments.

flatArr.concat(...) doesn’t change flatArr… you need to assign it like so:

flatArr = flatArr.concat('flatten(arr[i]));

Here is a working example with 3 levels deep array:

function flatten(arr) {
  var flatArr = [];
  for (var i = 0; i < arr.length; i++) {
    if (arr[i] instanceof Array) {
      flatArr = flatArr.concat(flatten(arr[i]));
    } else {
      flatArr.push(arr[i]);
    }
  }
  return flatArr;
}

var arr = [1,2,3,4,[5,6,[7,8]]];
var flatten = flatten(arr);

$('#result').html(JSON.stringify(flatten));
<script src="https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/2.1.1/jquery.min.js"></script>
<div id="result"></div>

You can read more about Array.concat function here



Source: stackoverflow