__proto__ VS. prototype in JavaScript

__proto__ VS. prototype in JavaScript

__proto__ is the actual object that is used in the lookup chain to resolve methods, etc. prototype is the object that is used to build __proto__ when you create an object with new:

( new Foo ).__proto__ === Foo.prototype;
( new Foo ).prototype === undefined;

prototype is a property of a Function object. It is the prototype of objects constructed by that function.

__proto__ is an internal property of an object, pointing to its prototype. Current standards provide an equivalent Object.getPrototypeOf(obj) method, though the de facto standard __proto__ is quicker.

You can find instanceof relationships by comparing a functions prototype to an objects __proto__ chain, and you can break these relationships by changing prototype.

function Point(x, y) {
    this.x = x;
    this.y = y;

var myPoint = new Point();

// the following are all true
myPoint.__proto__ == Point.prototype
myPoint.__proto__.__proto__ == Object.prototype
myPoint instanceof Point;
myPoint instanceof Object;

Here Point is a constructor function, it builds an object (data structure) procedurally. myPoint is an object constructed by Point() so Point.prototype gets saved to myPoint.__proto__ at that time.

__proto__ VS. prototype in JavaScript

prototype property is created when a function is declared.

For instance:

 function Person(dob){
    this.dob = dob

Person.prototype property is created internally once you declare above function.
Many properties can be added to the Person.prototype which are shared by Person instances created using new Person().

// adds a new method age to the Person.prototype Object.
Person.prototype.age = function(){return date-dob}; 

It is worth noting that Person.prototype is an Object literal by default (it can be changed as required).

Every instance created using new Person() has a __proto__ property which points to the Person.prototype. This is the chain that is used to traverse to find a property of a particular object.

var person1 = new Person(somedate);
var person2 = new Person(somedate);

creates 2 instances of Person, these 2 objects can call age method of Person.prototype as person1.age, person2.age.

In the above picture from your question, you can see that Foo is a Function Object and therefore it has a __proto__ link to the Function.prototype which in turn is an instance of Object and has a __proto__ link to Object.prototype. The proto link ends here with __proto__ in the Object.prototype pointing to null.

Any object can have access to all the properties in its proto chain as linked by __proto__ , thus forming the basis for prototypal inheritance.

__proto__ is not a standard way of accessing the prototype chain, the standard but similar approach is to use Object.getPrototypeOf(obj).

Below code for instanceof operator gives a better understanding:

object instanceof Class operator returns true when an object is an instance of a Class, more specifically if Class.prototype is found in the proto chain of that object then the object is an instance of that Class.

function instanceOf(Func){
  var obj = this;
  while(obj !== null){
    if(Object.getPrototypeOf(obj) === Func.prototype)
      return true;
    obj = Object.getPrototypeOf(obj);
  return false;

The above method can be called as: instanceOf.call(object, Class) which return true if object is instance of Class.

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