JavaScript Wait Function: How to Make Your Code Wait A Certain Amount of Time

Danielle Ellis
Danielle Ellis

Published:

JavaScript is a programming language that allows developers to create interactive websites.

Person on computer learning JavaScript Wait function

One of the features of JavaScript is that it can wait a certain amount of time before continuing to execute code. This feature can be useful when you want to delay the execution of code until a certain condition is met.

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In this blog post, we'll explore what the wait() function does and how you can use it in your own projects. We'll also look at some alternatives to the wait() function that might be a better fit for your project.

Let's get started.

Understanding the JavaScript wait() Function

The wait() function is a built-in JavaScript function that causes the program to pause for a specified amount of time.

The syntax for the wait() function is as follows:

wait( milliseconds)

The wait() function accepts one parameter, which is the number of milliseconds to wait before continuing.

For example, the following code will wait for 1 second before continuing:

wait(1000);

The wait() function can be useful if you want to make sure that a certain condition is true before continuing.

In particular, you might want to check that a user's input is valid before submitting a form. Or, you might want to make sure that an element exists on the page before trying to click it. In these cases, you can use the wait() function to pause the execution of code until the condition is met.

Executing the wait() Function

It's important to understand how the wait() function works in relation to the rest of your code.

The wait() function is a blocking function, which means that it will block the execution of the code that comes after it.

For example, consider the following code:

console.log('Hello, world!'); wait(1000); console.log('Goodbye, world!');

In this code, the first message will be printed immediately. The second message will be printed 1 second later.

This is because the wait() function blocks the execution of the code that comes after it. The code after the wait() function will only be executed after the specified amount of time has elapsed.

Using wait() With APIs

Now that we've seen how the wait() function works, let's take a look at an example of how you might use it in a real-world situation.

Suppose you're working on a project that involves interacting with an API. The API has a rate limit of 10 requests per second.

You want to make sure that you don't exceed the rate limit, so you decide to use the wait() function.

Your code might look something like this:

 for (let i = 0; i < 100; i++) {      // Make an API request      wait(100); // Wait for 1/10th of a second  }

In this code, we're making 100 API requests. We're using the wait() function to make sure that we don't make more than 10 requests in a 1-second period.

This is a simple example, but it illustrates how you might use the wait() function in a real-world situation.  

Alternatives to the JavaScript Wait Function

There are a few alternatives to the wait() function that might be a better fit for your project.

setTimeout()

One alternative is the setTimeout() function. The setTimeout() function is a built-in JavaScript function that calls a function or executes a code snippet after a specified delay.

The syntax for the setTimeout() function is as follows:

setTimeout(function, delay)

The setTimeout() function accepts two parameters. The first parameter is the function to be executed. The second parameter is the delay in milliseconds before executing the function.

For example, the following code will call the myFunction() function after 1 second:

setTimeout(myFunction, 1000);

The setTimeout() function is similar to the wait() function, but there are a few key differences.

First, the setTimeout() function is non-blocking. This means that the code after the setTimeout() function will be executed immediately, regardless of the delay.

Second, the setTimeout() function returns a value that can be used to cancel the timer. This is useful if you want to stop the execution of the code before the delay has elapsed.

setInterval()

Another alternative is the setInterval() function. The setInterval() function is a built-in JavaScript function that calls a function or executes a code snippet at specified intervals.

The syntax for the setInterval() function is as follows:

setInterval(function, delay)

The setInterval() function also accepts two parameters. The first parameter is the function to be executed. The second parameter is the delay in milliseconds before executing the function.

For example, the following code will call the myFunction() function every 1 second:

setInterval(myFunction, 1000);

Like setTimeout() , the setInterval() function is also non-blocking. It also returns a value that can be used to cancel the timer. One difference is that the setInterval() function will continue to call the function at specified intervals until it is explicitly stopped.

Which Function Should You Use?

Now that you know about some of the alternatives to the wait() function, you might be wondering which one you should use.

It really depends on your project. If you only need to pause the program for a specific amount of time, then the wait() function might be the best choice.

If you need to call a function after a specific amount of time, then the setTimeout() function might be a better choice.

And if you need to call a function at regular intervals, then the setInterval() function might be a better choice.

So, whether you're just getting started with JavaScript or you're looking for a better way to handle waiting for pages to load, any of these functions can be useful.

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Topics: Javascript

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