Several weeks ago, I started to experience random test failures in a previously stable part of an application. I started where any developer would start, asking myself if there were any changes recently which might have caused these issues. There was nothing, and the real culprit was not even on my radar.
Between Node v10 and Node v11, the behavior of Array.prototype.sort() changed. Previously in Node v10, this method accepted a boolean as a return value. Starting in Node v11, functions returning a boolean will not sort an array as expected.
Here is a guide for setting up
nvm on macOS if you would like to play around with this for yourself.
Simple Demonstration of Changes
In Node v10:
var array = [ 3, 2, 1 ]; array.sort((a,b) => a > b); [ 1, 2, 3 ]
In Node v11:
var array = [ 3, 2, 1 ]; array.sort((a,b) => a > b); [ 3, 2, 1 ] // instead, return a 0, negative, or positive value array.sort((a, b) => a - b); [ 1, 2, 3 ]
What I Learned
After seeing this, I had to go back and check on some other projects which had the same misuse of the
Array.prototype.sort() method. I realized through this experience that it is my job as a developer to be proactive. Being proactive as a developer means staying on top of the latest information relating to technologies I am using as well as making an effort to get in front of those potential problems in applications.