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assert: avoid potentially misleading reference to object identity

Often, the word “identical” when referring to JS objects will
be read as referring to having the same object identity (which is
called “reference equality” here), but what the error message is
trying to say here is that the objects are different but yield the
same `util.inspect()` output.

Since `util.inspect()` output represents the structure rather than
the identity of objects, (hopefully) clarify the error message to
reflect that.

PR-URL: #28824
Reviewed-By: Colin Ihrig <>
Reviewed-By: Luigi Pinca <>
Reviewed-By: Rich Trott <>
Reviewed-By: Trivikram Kamat <>
Reviewed-By: Ruben Bridgewater <>
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addaleax authored and targos committed Jul 23, 2019
1 parent e0951c8 commit d3426ee9f187db92671cec1e1e3f1ace4c04c89b
Showing with 2 additions and 2 deletions.
  1. +1 −1 lib/internal/assert/assertion_error.js
  2. +1 −1 test/parallel/test-assert.js
@@ -22,7 +22,7 @@ const kReadableOperator = {
'Expected "actual" not to be reference-equal to "expected":',
notDeepEqual: 'Expected "actual" not to be loosely deep-equal to:',
notIdentical: 'Values identical but not reference-equal:',
notIdentical: 'Values have same structure but are not reference-equal:',
notDeepEqualUnequal: 'Expected values not to be loosely deep-equal:'

@@ -1100,7 +1100,7 @@ assert.throws(() => { throw null; }, 'foo');
() => assert.strictEqual([], []),
message: 'Values identical but not reference-equal:\n\n[]\n'
message: 'Values have same structure but are not reference-equal:\n\n[]\n'

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