defineProperty inheritance VS defineProperties and create

Andrea Giammarchi andrea.giammarchi at
Fri Nov 30 16:00:22 PST 2012

Another inconsistency just spotted in this (IMHO) funny way
Object.defineProperty consider inherited properties for the descriptor, is
that Object.defineProperties **does not**, so doesn't create.

I believe if there's a use case for recycled, inherited, descriptors,
that's much more defineProperties/create rather than defineProperty.

Here a simple use case showing that this stuff is not consistent:

function Inherited() {
  return Inherited._singleton || (
    Inherited._singleton = new Inherited
Inherited.prototype.test = {value: "test"};

Object.defineProperties({}, Inherited()).test; // udnefined

this will obviously work

function Forced(){
  this.test = this.test;
Forced.prototype.test = {value: "test"};

Object.defineProperties({}, new Forced).test; //"test"

If we would like to reuse inheritance to create hierarchies ... as showed
already, things are also broken.

function P(){}
P.prototype.test = {value: "test"};
Object.create(null, new P).test; // undefined

Why Does This Matter
Specially create, but defineProperties only, are mechanism used to define
object properties in a more powerful way.
These are also promoted as better way than simulated classical OOP in ES5

function enrich(base, current) {
  var self = Object.create(base), k;
  for (k in current) {
    self[k] = current[k];
  return self;

  // Animal Descriptor
  Animal = enrich(null, {
    alive: {
      value: true
  // Cat Descriptor
  Cat = enrich(Animal, {
    tail: {
      value: true

// each Animal
var generic = Object.create(null, Animal);
var cat = Object.create(null, Cat);

generic.alive; // true
cat.tail; // true
cat.alive; // undefined

So, accordingly you find defineProperty consider inheritance a correct
behavior in specs, what do you think about all other cases that are not
behaving consistently or as expected?

Thanks for your attention.

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