The native `min`

and `max`

functions don’t support arrays as their argument. Instead they take a variable-length argument list of numbers. Sometimes, however, you need to pick the smallest or the biggest number from an array. In this case it’s your responsibility to provide such `min/max`

functions.

For those who can’t wait to copy and paste, scroll down to the third example, that’s what you want.

## Example #1

The following snippet implements both, min and max, with some basic type checking and returning NaN if one element is not a number.

```
var Math1 = {
min: function(values) {
if(values.length == 0) {
return NaN;
} else if(values.length == 1) {
var val = values.pop();
if ( typeof val == "number" ) {
return val;
} else {
return NaN;
}
} else {
var val = values.pop();
return Math.min(val, this.min(values))
}
},
max: function(values) {
if(values.length == 0) {
return NaN;
} else if(values.length == 1) {
var val = values.pop();
if ( typeof val == "number" ) {
return val;
} else {
return NaN;
}
} else {
var val = values.pop();
return Math.min(val, this.max(values))
}
}
}
Math1.min([100,13,3,6]); // 3
Math1.max([100,13,3,6]); // 100
```

## Example #2

The code from the first example works just fine but both functions are pretty much identical except the final `min/max`

operation of the math library. Essentially this is simply code duplication which should always be avoided.

In this example our self-implemented min/max functions use the new function `calculate`

and pass it the Math’s `min/max`

function as an argument.

```
var Math2 = {
min: function(values) {
return this.calculate(values, Math.min);
},
max: function(values) {
return this.calculate(values, Math.max);
},
calculate: function(values, operation) {
if(values.length == 0) {
return NaN;
} else if(values.length == 1) {
var val = values.pop();
if ( typeof val == "number" ) {
return val;
} else {
return NaN;
}
} else {
var val = values.pop();
return operation(val, this.calculate(values, operation))
}
}
}
Math2.min([100,13,3,6]); // 3
Math2.max([100,13,3,6]); // 100
```

## Example #3

Using apply and built-in functions performs much better than the above examples. And the code is far more readable and shorter, it’s just two lines.

```
Math.min.apply(Math, [100,13,3,6]); // 3
Math.max.apply(Math, [100,13,3,6]); // 100
```

I think you technically don’t need to pass in Math:

Math.max.apply(null, numbers);

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I have a question. Is it possible that min/max functions only work on arrays of a certain maximum size? I’m trying to use your Example #3 on array of 250 thousand numbers, and it does not work.

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