Truthy

JavaScript has a concept of truthy i.e. things that evaluate like true would in certain positions (e.g. if conditions and the boolean && || operators). The following things are truthy in JavaScript. An example is any number other than 0 e.g.

if (123) { // Will be treated like `true`
console.log('Any number other than 0 is truthy');
}

Something that isn't truthy is called falsy.

Here's a handy table for your reference.

Variable Type

When it is falsy

When it is truthy

boolean

false

true

string

'' (empty string)

any other string

number

0 NaN

any other number

null

always

never

undefined

always

never

Any other Object including empty ones like {},[]

never

always

Being explicit

The !! pattern

Quite commonly it helps to be explicit that the intent is to treat the value as a boolean and convert it into a true boolean (one of true|false). You can easily convert values to a true boolean by prefixing it with !! e.g. !!foo. Its just ! used twice. The first ! converts the variable (in this case foo) to a boolean but inverts the logic (truthy -!> false, falsy -!> true). The second one toggles it again to match the nature of the original object (e.g. truthy -!> false -!> true).

It is common to use this pattern in lots of places e.g.

// Direct variables
const hasName = !!name;
// As members of objects
const someObj = {
hasName: !!name
}
// e.g. in ReactJS JSX
{!!someName && <div>{someName}</div>}