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Any Types

Warning: Do not mistake any with mixed. Read more

If you want a way to opt-out of using the type checker, any is the way to do it. Using any is completely unsafe, and should be avoided whenever possible.

For example, the following code will not report any errors:

// @flow
function add(one: any, two: any): number {
  return one + two;
}

add(1, 2);     // Works.
add("1", "2"); // Works.
add({}, []);   // Works.

Even code that will cause runtime errors will not be caught by Flow:

// @flow
function getNestedProperty(obj: any) {
  return obj.foo.bar.baz;
}

getNestedProperty({});

There are only a couple of scenarios where you might consider using any:

  1. When you are in the process of converting a existing code to using Flow types and you are currently blocked on having the code type checked (maybe other code needs to be converted first).
  2. When you are certain your code works and for some reason Flow is unable to type check it correctly. There are a (decreasing) number of idioms in JavaScript that Flow is unable to statically type.

Avoid leaking any

When you have a value with the type any, you can cause Flow to infer any for the results of all of the operations you perform.

For example, if you get a property on an object typed any, the resulting value will also have the type any.

// @flow
function fn(obj: any) {
  let foo /* (:any) */ = obj.foo;
}

You could then use the resulting value in another operation, such as adding it as if it were a number and the result will also be any.

// @flow
function fn(obj: any) {
  let foo /* (:any) */ = obj.foo;
  let bar /* (:any) */ = foo * 2;
}

You could continue this process until any has leaked all over your code.

// @flow
function fn(obj: any) /* (:any) */ {
  let foo /* (:any) */ = obj.foo;
  let bar /* (:any) */ = foo * 2;
  return bar;
}

let bar /* (:any) */ = fn({ foo: 2 });
let baz /* (:any) */ = "baz:" + bar;

Prevent this from happening by cutting any off as soon as possible by casting it to another type.

// @flow
function fn(obj: any) {
  let foo: number = obj.foo;
}

Now your code will not leak any.

// @flow
function fn(obj: any) /* (:number) */ {
  let foo: number = obj.foo;
  let bar /* (:number) */ = foo * 2;
  return bar;
}

let bar /* (:number) */ = fn({ foo: 2 });
let baz /* (:string) */ = "baz:" + bar;

© 2013–present Facebook Inc.
Licensed under the BSD License.
https://flow.org/en/docs/types/any