Skip to content


Subversion checkout URL

You can clone with
Download ZIP
ES5 shim for ES6 Reflect and Proxy objects
JavaScript HTML
Latest commit e66cbac @tvcutsem Merge pull request #62 from mathiasbynens/patch-1
README: Update Node flag name

NPM version Dependencies

This is a shim for the ECMAScript 6 Reflect and Proxy objects.

This library does two things:

  • It defines an ES6-compliant Reflect global object that exports the ECMAScript 6 reflection API.
  • It patches the harmony-era (pre-ES6) Proxy object to be up-to-date with the ES6 spec.

Read Why should I use this library?


For node.js, install via npm:

npm install harmony-reflect


node --harmony-proxies
> var Reflect = require('harmony-reflect');

See release notes for changes to the npm releases.

To use in a browser, just download the single reflect.js file. After loading

<script src="reflect.js"></script>

a global object Reflect is defined that contains reflection methods as defined in the ES6 spec.

This library also updates the "harmony-era" Proxy object in the V8 engine (also used in node.js) to follow the latest ECMAScript 2015 spec. To create such a proxy, call:

var proxy = new Proxy(target, handler);

See below for a list of spec incompatibilities and other gotcha's.

API Docs

This module exports an object named Reflect and updates the global Proxy object (if it exists) to be compatible with the latest ECMAScript 6 spec.

The ECMAScript 6 Proxy API allows one to intercept various operations on Javascript objects.


The Reflect API, with support for proxies, was tested on:

  • Firefox (>= v4.0)
  • node --harmony_proxies (>= v0.7.8)
  • iojs --harmony_proxies (>= 2.3.0)
  • v8 --harmony_proxies (>= v3.6)
  • Any recent js spidermonkey shell

If you need only Reflect and not an up-to-date Proxy object, this library should work on any modern ES5 engine (including all browsers).

Compatibility notes:

  • Chrome (>= v19 && <= v37) used to support proxies behind a flag (chrome://flags/#enable-javascript-harmony) but Chrome v38 removed the Proxy constructor. As a result, this library cannot patch the harmony-era Proxy object on Chrome v38 or above. If you're working with Chromium directly, it's still possible to enable proxies using chromium-browser --js-flags="--harmony_proxies".
  • In older versions of V8, the Proxy constructor was enabled by default when starting V8 with --harmony. For recent versions of V8, Proxy must be explicitly enabled with --harmony_proxies.


  • ECMAScript 5/strict
  • To emulate direct proxies:

After loading reflect.js into your page or other JS environment, be aware that the following globals are patched to be able to recognize emulated direct proxies:


:warning: In node.js, when you require('harmony-reflect'), only the current module's globals are patched. If you pass an emulated direct proxy to an external module, and that module uses the unpatched globals, the module may not interact with the proxy according to the latest ES6 Proxy API, instead falling back on the old pre-ES6 Proxy API. This can cause bugs, e.g. the built-in Array.isArray will return false when passed a proxy-for-array, while the patched Array.isArray will return true. I know of no good fix to reliably patch the globals for all node modules. If you do, let me know.


The examples directory contains a number of examples demonstrating the use of proxies:

  • membranes: wrappers that transitively isolate two object-graphs.
  • observer: a self-hosted implementation of the ES7 Object.observe notification mechanism.
  • profiler: a simple profiler to collect usage statistics of an object.

Other example uses of proxies (not done by me, but using this library):

  • supporting negative array indices a la Python
  • tpyo: using proxies to correct typo's in JS property names
  • persistent objects: shows how one might go about using proxies to save updates to objects in a database incrementally

For more examples of proxies, and a good overview of their design rationale, I recommend reading Axel Rauschmayer's blog post on proxies.

Proxy Handler API

The sister project proxy-handlers defines a number of predefined Proxy handlers as "abstract classes" that your code can "subclass" The goal is to minimize the number of traps that your proxy handlers must implement.

Spec Incompatibilities and other gotcha's

This library differs from the ECMAScript 2015 spec as follows:

  • In ES6, Proxy is a constructor function that requires the use of new. That is, you must write new Proxy(target, handler). This library exports Proxy as an ordinary function which may be called with or without using the new operator.

  • In ES6, Function.prototype.toString and Date.prototype.toString do not operate transparently on Proxies. This shim patches those functions so that stringifying a Proxy-for-a-function or a Proxy-for-a-date "unwraps" the proxy and instead stringifies the target of the Proxy. This behavior may change in the future to be more spec-compatible.

  • This library does not shim Symbol objects. On modern V8 or io.js which supports Symbol objects natively, due to a bug in V8, Symbols and Proxies don't play well together. Read more.

  • Proxies-for-arrays are serialized as JSON objects rather than as JSON arrays. That is, JSON.stringify(new Proxy([], {})) returns "{}" rather than "[]". Read more.

Something went wrong with that request. Please try again.