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Generic Data Binder

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About GDB

Generic Data Binder (GDB) for jQuery is a framework agnostic and extremely easy to use 2 way data binder. GDB binds views and models in realtime with live two-way binding and no hefty framework necessary.

Why Use GDB?

GDB is a simple to use, zero configuration (unless you want to), template engine and framework agnostic little plugin. Drop it in and initialize it. It just works. Updates to the model automagically update the view and changes in the view automagically update the model. Finally, a plugin that allows for bi-directional live bindings between your view and model without the need to learn a hefty framework or change your current work flow.

The GDB Advantage

Example Usage

HTML or Template File

<span data-bindto="teacher.name" contenteditable="true" > Ms. Trunchbull </span>

Use the "data-bindto" attribute in your templates or static HTML file and map the attribute to the location in the data model where the bound data exists. The format must be such that array indexes are specified in bracket notation (ie. "[0]") and object properties are written in dot notation (ie. ".propertyName"). Specifying object properties in backet notation (ie. "['propertyName']") will not work when the model is updated from within the code and so this is discouraged.

JavaScript

$(function(){ //GDB is only available once jQuery is ready.
  GDB({
    teacher: { 
      name: "Ms. Trunchbull" 
    } 
  }) ;
});

The above example shows the most simple implementation. GDB is initialized using the syntax

GDB( objectOfModels, objectOfUserOptions );

The first parameter is a JavaScript object literal whose properties are objects representing the data model. The second parameter is an object containing user specified options.

Using the example above the element bound to the model will update the model in realtime as the data in the element changes. Vice-versa is also true. When data in the data model is changed, the element will update accordingly automatically.

User Options

Property Type Default Value Description
rootElementSelectorString(Deprecated) string "body" null This property specifies what the root element is for whose children are monitored for changes and should be updated in realtime. Default is the body element, but specifying another element may be useful if using multiple instances of GDB for multiple templates.
rootElement string, element, or jQuery "body" This property specifies what the root element is for whose children are monitored for changes and should be updated in realtime. Default is the body element, but specifying another element may be useful if using multiple instances of GDB for multiple templates or if you have an element inside of an iframe
realtime boolean true This property specifies whether or not to update the model with changes as the user makes them. Such as: if the user is typing into an input, textarea, or contenteditable field the model will be updated with everything key press and alteration. If this value is set to false then the model will only be updated when the bound field loses focus.
renderOnInitialization boolean true This property specifies if upon initialization GDB should set element values to be equal to values initalially in the model. If you are using a template engine, it may be faster to use the template engine to set these values, albeit this feature is more convenient.
dataBindToAttr string "data-bindto" This property specifies the name of the attribute which contains the mapping to the location in the model to which a given element's data is bound. Changing this property's value may be useful in the event that there is a conflict with using the data-bindto attribute.
dataWatchingAttr string "data-watching" This property specifies the name of the attribute used for specifying a comma separated list of locations in the model for which this element should react to changes to. Changes are reactived to with a data parsing function as mapped by the attribute specified by the dataParseWithAttr property.
dataParseWithAttr string "data-parsewith" This property specifies the name of the attribute used for specifying a location in the model from where an object containing an "in" and/or "out" function exists. This object's "in" or "out" function will be called if the model or element changes respectively.
dataTemplateAttr string "data-gdb-template" This property specifies the name of the attribute which is used for housing a very simple two-way template.
dataBindOnAttrPrefix string "data-bindon-" This property specifies the beginning of name for the attribute which is used for specifying a location in the model which resolves to a function to be called on a given listened for event. An example usage is data-bindon-click="events.clickHandler". The callback function for this is passed the normal event data that jQuery would normally pass and also some added GDB sweetness such as: gdbBoundData: the current value of the data the element might be bound to; gdbWatchingData: An array of current data the element may be watching; gdbParent: The parent location in the model which houses this callback function. this in the callback function's context is the HTML element the event occurred on, just like in jQuery.
listenForEvents string "click dblclick change input keydown mouseover mouseout keypress keyup mousedown mouseup focus blur" This property specifies a space delimited list of events that will be listened to for event binding purposes.
templateOpeningDelimiter string "<<" This property specifies the opening delimiter for inserting template data.
templateClosingDelimiter string ">>" This property specifies the closing delimiter for inserting template data.
bindAsTextOnly boolean false This property specifies whether to use content of contenteditable elements as HTML or get the plain text.
debugLogging boolean false When is property is set to true, changes made to the model or view are recorded in the console via the console.log() function.
modelChangeCallback function or null null This property may be set to a callback function which is fired when the model has been changed. This function is currently passed an object containing information about the change as an argument. The option contains:locationPathString: The location in the model as a string; $boundElements: The bound elements as a jQuery collection; newValue: The new value of the property; oldValue: The old value of the property.
elementChangeCallback function or null null This property may be set to a callback function which is fired when the model has been changed. This function is currently passed an object containing information about the change as an argument. The option contains:locationPathString: The location in the model as a string; $boundElement: The element changed as a jQuery object; newValue: The new value of the property.

All User Options are entirely optional.

Public Instance Methods

Method Returns Description
GDB.getBoundElementFromModelPath( pathString ) jQuery Bound elements Given a path to a location to the model, this method will return all elements bound to (via the data-bindto attribute).
GDB.getModelPathFromBoundElement( selectorString ) string Model path Given either a DOM element (not a jQuery collection) or a selector string, this method will return a path to which the given element is bound to via the data-bindto attribute.
GDB.getValueFromModelPath( pathString ) any type Value from model Given a path to a location to the model, this method will return the value location at that position in the model.
GDB.render() Nothing This method explicitly sets all current elements in the DOM's values to the current values in the model. This may be useful after significantly changing the DOM. If you are using a template engine for rendering, it may be faster to use the template engine to set these values, albeit this feature is more convenient. This method is not necessary for changes in the model.
GDB.getModelPathFromModelPart( modelPartObject ) string Model path Given an object or array in the model, this method will return a model path location string.
GDB.getBoundElementsForModelPart( modelPartObject ) jQuery Bound elements Given an object or array in the model, this method will return any element who have data bound to any properties of this object.
GDB.destroyInstance() Nothing Stops model observing and event listening, effectively destroying the instance.

Must be used only in GDB instances. These cannot be used statically.

Element Attributes

Attribute Default Name Expected Value(s) Example Value Description
data-bindto A single path to a location in the model teacher.name or teachers[6].students[0].name This attribute is mapped to a location in the model to which the element is bound. Changes to this element are reflected in the model and changes in the model are reflected in this element. This attribute should not be used in conjuction with data-watching or data-parsewith.
data-bindon-(event name) A single path to a location in the model where a callback function will be called for handling an event given an event name. data-bindon-click="events.clickHandler" or data-bindon-mouseout="buttons[13].mouseLeaves" The string which resolves to a callback function for this is passed the normal event data that jQuery would normally pass and also some added GDB sweetness such as: gdbBoundData: the current value of the data the element might be bound to; gdbWatchingData: An array of current data the element may be watching; gdbParent: The parent location in the model which houses this callback function. this in the callback function's context is the HTML element the event occurred on, just like in jQuery.
data-watching A comma separated list of one or more locations in the model teacher.firstName, teacher.firstName,teacher.lastName, teacher[3].students[4].grade, or teacher[3].students[4].grade, teacher[3].students[4].firstName, teacher[3].students[4].lastName This attribute is mapped to one or more locations in the model separated by commas. If any of these properties in the model change, the element's data-parsewith attribute's object's in function is called. If this element is changed, the element's data-parsewith attribute's object's out function is called. This attribute should not be used in conjuction with data-bindto and should be used with data-parsewith. Note: This attribute's value should not have a trailing space. You may, however, have a space after each comma, if you desire.
data-parsewith A single path a location in the model of an object containing an in and/or out function teacher.fullName or teacher[22].students[2].fullName This attribute is mapped to a location in the model which contains an object which houses an in and/or out function. The in function is passed no arguments and is called when some of the watched data is changed. The in function should return the value which the element will be set to. The out function is passed an argument value which contains the value of the element. This function is called when the element changes its value. This function does not require a return value and should be used for setting data based on the elements value where appropriate. This attribute should not be used in conjuction with data-bindto and should be used with data-watching.
data-gdb-template A template composed of a mix of text and open and close delimiters containing a number. <<1>> <<2>> or <<1>> likes to drink <<2>> with lots of <<3>> This attribute is a very simple logicless template which can server as an alternative to a data parsing function. The number between the open and close delimiter should match the place number in the list of some data which is being watched. Templating is two-way, meaning if the templated element is edited from the element side in a way that matches the template, the template will update the model.

Browser Support

Tested in Firefox, Chrome, and IE. Works in IE 9+.

TODO

Changelog

Examples

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