Are HTMLCollection and NodeList iterables?

In ES6, an iterable is an object that allows for... of, and has a Symbol.iterator key.

Arrays are iterables, as are Sets and Maps. The question is: are HTMLCollection and NodeList iterables? Are they supposed to be?

MDN documentation seems to suggest a NodeList is an iterable.

for...of loops will loop over NodeList objects correctly, in browsers that support for...of (like Firefox 13 and later)

This appears to corroborate Firefox's behaviour.

I tested the following code in both Chrome and Firefox, and was surprised to find that Firefox seem to think they are iterables, but Chrome does not. In addition, Firefox thinks that the iterators returned by HTMLCollection and NodeList are one and the same.

var col = document.getElementsByClassName('test'); // Should get HTMLCollection of 2 elems
var nod = document.querySelectorAll('.test');      // Should get NodeList of 2 elems
var arr = [];                      // Should get Array of 2 elems

console.log(col[Symbol.iterator]);    // Firefox: iterator function, Chrome: undefined
console.log(nod[Symbol.iterator]);    // Firefox: iterator function, Chrome: undefined
console.log(arr[Symbol.iterator]);    // Firefox & Chrome: iterator function
console.log(col[Symbol.iterator] === nod[Symbol.iterator]);  // Firefox: true
console.log(col[Symbol.iterator] === arr[Symbol.iterator]);  // Firefox: false
<div class="test">1</div>
<div class="test">2</div>

One really weird, confusing thing: running the code snippet produces a different result from copying it and running in an actual file/console in Firefox (particularly last comparison). Any enlightenment on this weird behaviour here would be appreciated too.



Symbol.iterator support for NodeList, HTMLCollection, DOMTokenList, and DOMSettableTokenList was discussed and added to the WHATWG's DOM spec last year.


Unfortunately, not yet. But until they are, you can easily polyfill them like so:

HTMLCollection.prototype[Symbol.iterator] = Array.prototype[Symbol.iterator];

As greiner pointed out, native Symbol.iterator support for NodeList was added to the WHATWG's DOM spec in 2014.

Unfortunately, Chrome 51 is the first version of Chrome to support it, and its Beta has only just been released at the time of writing this answer. Also, there's no support in any version of Internet Explorer or Edge.

To add Symbol.iterator support for NodeList in all browsers to your code, just use the following polyfill :

NodeList.prototype[Symbol.iterator] = Array.prototype[Symbol.iterator];

For anyone arriving here from trying to iterate on NodeList using TypeScript. I found this issue with the fix and this is the tsconfig.json you'll need for it:

  "compilerOptions": {
    "lib": ["es2017", "dom", "dom.iterable"],
    "downlevelIteration": true

The problem error I was getting:

Type 'NodeListOf<Element>' is not an array type.

And this was the code that was triggering that problem:

[...document.querySelectorAll('#md-view a')]


Recent Questions

Top Questions

Home Tags Terms of Service Privacy Policy DMCA Contact Us

©2020 All rights reserved.