Today I learned about the labeled statement construct in Javascript.

While working through The Modern JavaScript Tutorial, I came across this language feature as a way of controlling the flow of an outer loop from within an inner loop (labels for break/continue).

Here’s an example of how you can use a labeled statement to break out of an outer loop from within an inner loop:

function someCondition(i, j) {
  return i === 2 && j === 2;

// Using break with a label
for (let i = 1; i <= 3; i++) {
  for (let j = 1; j <= 3; j++) {
    if (someCondition(i, j)) {
      break outerBreakLoop; // Breaks out of both loops
    console.log(`break example: i = ${i}, j = ${j}`);
    // Output:
    // break example: i = 1, j = 1
    // break example: i = 1, j = 2
    // break example: i = 1, j = 3
    // break example: i = 2, j = 1

Having been coding mainly Ruby for the past few years, I found this feature interesting as Ruby doesn’t have a direct equivalent to labeled statements. I wasn’t sure if Ruby did or didn’t at first, so I went ahead and asked ChatGPT if it did, and it hallucinated some code that is not valid Ruby.

(1..3).each do |i|
  (1..3).each do |j|
    if some_condition(i, j)
      next outer_loop
    puts "#{i}, #{j}"

So I guess today I learned not to trust ChatGPT for Ruby syntax as well 😅 (though it’s usually pretty good).