JavaScript syntax 101. Here is a function declaration :

function foo() {}

Note that there's no semicolon: this is just a function declaration. You would need an invocation, foo(), to actually run the function.

Now, when we add the seemingly innocuous exclamation mark: !function foo() {} it turns it into an expression. It is now a function expression.

The ! alone doesn't invoke the function, of course, but we can now put () at the end: !function foo() {}() which has higher precedence than ! and instantly calls the function.

So what the author is doing is saving a byte per function expression; a more readable way of writing it would be this:


Lastly, ! makes the expression return true. This is because by default all IIFE return undefined, which leaves us with !undefined which is true. Not particularly useful.