What does ~~ (“double tilde”) do in Javascript?

What does ~~ (“double tilde”) do in Javascript?

I was checking out an online game physics library today and came across the ~~ operator. I know a single ~ is a bitwise NOT, would that make ~~ a NOT of a NOT, which would give back the same value, wouldn’t it?


Solution 1:

It removes everything after the decimal point because the bitwise operators implicitly convert their operands to signed 32-bit integers. This works whether the operands are (floating-point) numbers or strings, and the result is a number.

In other words, it yields:

function(x) {
  if(x < 0) return Math.ceil(x);
  else return Math.floor(x);

only if x is between -(231) and 231 – 1. Otherwise, overflow will occur and the number will “wrap around”.

This may be considered useful to convert a function’s string argument to a number, but both because of the possibility of overflow and that it is incorrect for use with non-integers, I would not use it that way except for “code golf” (i.e. pointlessly trimming bytes off the source code of your program at the expense of readability and robustness). I would use +x or Number(x) instead.

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How this is the NOT of the NOT

The number -43.2, for example is:

-43.210 = 111111111111111111111111110101012

as a signed (two’s complement) 32-bit binary number. (JavaScript ignores what is after the decimal point.) Inverting the bits gives:

NOT -4310 = 000000000000000000000000001010102 = 4210

Inverting again gives:

NOT 4210 = 111111111111111111111111110101012 = -4310

This differs from Math.floor(-43.2) in that negative numbers are rounded toward zero, not away from it. (The floor function, which would equal -44, always rounds down to the next lower integer, regardless of whether the number is positive or negative.)

Solution 2:

The first ~ operator forces the operand to an integer (possibly after coercing the value to a string or a boolean), then inverts the lowest 31 bits. Officially ECMAScript numbers are all floating-point, but some numbers are implemented as 31-bit integers in the SpiderMonkey engine.

You can use it to turn a 1-element array into an integer. Floating-points are converted according to the C rule, ie. truncation of the fractional part.

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The second ~ operator then inverts the bits back, so you know that you will have an integer. This is not the same as coercing a value to boolean in a condition statement, because an empty object {} evaluates to true, whereas ~~{} evaluates to false.

js>~~{toString: function() {return 4}}

Solution 3:

In ECMAScript 6, the equivalent of ~~ is Math.trunc:

Returns the integral part of a number by removing any fractional digits. It does not round any numbers.

Math.trunc(13.37)   // 13
Math.trunc(42.84)   // 42
Math.trunc(0.123)   //  0
Math.trunc(-0.123)  // -0
Math.trunc("-1.123")// -1
Math.trunc(NaN)     // NaN
Math.trunc("foo")   // NaN
Math.trunc()        // NaN

The polyfill:

function trunc(x) {
    return x < 0 ? Math.ceil(x) : Math.floor(x);

Solution 4:

The ~ seems to do -(N+1). So ~2 == -(2 + 1) == -3 If you do it again on -3 it turns it back: ~-3 == -(-3 + 1) == 2 It probably just converts a string to a number in a round-about way.

See this thread: http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/showthread.php?t=663275

Also, more detailed info is available here: http://dreaminginjavascript.wordpress.com/2008/07/04/28/

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Solution 5:

Given ~N is -(N+1), ~~N is then -(-(N+1) + 1). Which, evidently, leads to a neat trick.

Solution 6:

Just a bit of a warning. The other answers here got me into some trouble.

The intent is to remove anything after the decimal point of a floating point number, but it has some corner cases that make it a bug hazard. I’d recommend avoiding ~~.

First, ~~ doesn’t work on very large numbers.

~~1000000000000 == -727279968

As an alternative, use Math.trunc() (as Gajus mentioned, Math.trunc() returns the integer part of a floating point number but is only available in ECMAScript 6 compliant JavaScript). You can always make your own Math.trunc() for non-ECMAScript-6 environments by doing this:

    Math.trunc = function(value){
        return Math.sign(value) * Math.floor(Math.abs(value));

I wrote a blog post on this for reference: http://bitlords.blogspot.com/2016/08/the-double-tilde-x-technique-in.html