JavaScript variable hoisting

JavaScript has functional scope, this means that any variable you declare within a function will be available anywhere in that function. This might catch you off guard if you come from a block scope language like C# or Java where a variable declared within a for statement stays within that statement. JavaScript engines (V8, SpiderMonkey, Chakra...etc) accomplish this by hoisting variable declarations to the top of the function definition so the following code:

var doStuff = function() {
  console.log('Hello stuff');
  var A = 'Hello';

Will actually end up looking like:

doStuff = function() {
  //only the declaration is hoisted
  //the definition stays in its place.
  var A;
  console.log('Hello stuff');
  A = 'Hello';

This behavior if not anticipated can be a cause of bugs and unexpected results:

//Variable hoisting playground.
(function () {
  'use strict';
  try {
    //These two calls will log 'undefined'
    //as if we had written var i,x; in the line above
    //this will throw a reference error.
    //This variable does not exist and will throw.
  } catch (ex) {
    //reference error.
  //we will create a code block and declare a variable
  for (var i = 0; i <= 2; i++) {
    var x = i;
  //we can access this variable outside of the block
  //this will be undefined as the declaration was hoisted
  //but the definition was not
  console.log('a is %s', a);
  var a = "a";
  console.log('a is %s', a);