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Element Core

Here is the documentation for Element.js.

The Element object gets a LOT of love in MooTools. Most of the functions in the Element object are pretty self explanatory. Element.getTag does what you'd think it would.

Element Constructor

This just creates a new element object - same as document.createElement, but it also applies the MooTools extensions to that element.

var img = new Element("img");

new Element also lets you set any properties when you create it:

new Element('a', {
	styles: {
		'display': 'block',
		'border': '1px solid black'
	},
	events: {
		click: function(){
			//something to do on click
		},
		mousedown: function(){
			//something to do on mousedown
		}
	},
	/*	class must be in quotes; it is a reserved word in IE	*/
	'class': 'myClassSuperClass',
	href: 'http://mootools.net'
});

The key 'styles' will be used as setStyles, the key 'events' will be used as addEvents. Any other key is used a property with set. Note that you don't have to write the keys with quotes ('styles' or 'events' - these can just be {styles: '...', events: '...'} - but class DOES have to be in quotes as it's a reserved word in IE.

Note that this doesn't insert the element into the DOM, you need to use Element.adopt, .inject, .wraps, etc. to put the element into the document:

new Element('img', {src: 'http//...'}).inject($(myElement));

$()

The $ function has 2 purposes: getting an element by its id, and applying all the elements methods to that element. $ can take 2 types of arguments: a string representing the id of an element in the dom, or an element reference:

//by a string representing the id of an element:
var element1 = $('getElementByIdExample');
 
//by element reference:
var element2 = $(element1.childNodes[0]);
execute this code

now both element1 and element2 will have the mootools elements extensions applied.

Final Note:

In firefox and other modern browsers such as Safari and Opera, the elements extensions are automatically applied to all the elements in the dom. For the more unfortunate and crippled browsers like Internet Explorer, running the $ function is mandatory to have the extensions applied.

$$()

The $$ (double dollar) function has one big important role in MooTools: transforming a bunch of elements in an instance of the Elements class.

$$ can take any number of different types of arguments:

  • element references
  • arrays of elements ids
  • native html collections (such as document.getElementByTagName, or element.childNodes)

Note: If you included Selectors.js, $$ can also target elements using a CSS selector.

 //all the pre and p tag elements on this page.
$$('pre', 'p');
 
//all the pres contained in the element with id=myElement
var myElement = $('myElement');
$$(myElement.getElementsByTagName('pre'));
 
//here we pass in several collections (all either Arrays
//or instances of Elements)
var myElements = $$(myElement.childNodes, myElement, ['anotherElementId']);

Note: the collection returned will be first all the elements matching the first argument, in order, then all the elements that match the second, in order, and so on. If you have alternating pre and p tags, the above example will still return all the pre tags, then all the p tags.

Elements

The Elements class is really just an array of elements, but it's been extended to allow you to execute any of the extensions that you could execute on an element. So, for example:

/* turn all the paragraphs on this page red */
$$('p').setStyle('color','red');
/* ok, that's ugly, let's turn it back */
(function(){$$('p').setStyle('color','#000')}).delay(1000);
execute this code

The same is true for every method listed down below. The Elements class can be extended like the Element class and every Elements object will get the properties. There's a catch though.

THIS IS IMPORTANT

When you execute a method on a collection of elements, it will iterate through all the elements and execute that method on each. This is fine when you only need to execute one method, but if you need to execute more than one method, you should loop through the elements. Multiple method calls on an Elements object will loop through them all each time, and this will be very slow.

So, this is bad:

$$('p').setStyle('color','red');
$$('p').effect('opacity').start(0,1);
//This is the same thing (and also bad):
$$('p').setStyle('color','red').effect('opacity').start(0,1);

In this example, it's far better to use a loop:

$$('p').each(function(p){
  p.setStyle('color','red').effect('opacity').start(0,1);
});

$$() returns an instance of the Elements class, which is also an array, so it inherits all the methods in the Array object.

Element.set

You can set events, styles and properties with this shortcut; same syntax as the second argument when calling new Element. Basically, any native property is available (src, href, value).

$(el).set({events: ..., styles: ..., etc.});
//which is the same as
$(el).setStyles({...}).addEvents({...}).etc.
$(myImg).set('src', newUrl);
$(myImg).set('alt', 'The cake is a lie');

Element.get

The obverse of Element.set is Element.get, which retrieves the properties of an element.

$(myImg).get('src'); //http://....

Note that Element.get('value') will return the value of an element, but only that. It won't, for example, return the selected option's value if you do mySelect.get('value'), as value is not a property of a select list.

Custom Setters / Getters

MooTools provides methods to create custom methods used with set. This goes hand in hand with element storage (see the next topic below) and is used to create "built in" instances of Fx.Tween, Fx.Morph, Request and others. To reference these "built in" references you use the storage methods (again, see below), but you can set the options for these things with set and get. For instance, if you want to use the "built in" tween method for an element you would do:

$(el).tween('opacity', 0); //fade out

If you wanted to set the options for this "built in" method, you would do:

$(el).set('tween', {
	duration: 1000
});

You can define your own "built in" instances and use set and get to configure them. I won't go into how to do that here, but you can look at the source for Fx.Tween to get an idea of how it's done.

Default Custom Getters / Setters

Element comes with a few default custom getters. The ones for the effects (like Fx.Tween in the example above) are added when you include Fx.Tween and are covered elsewhere. But Element.js includes several defaults:

  • html - gets and sets the inner html
  • text - gets and sets the text value of a node
  • tag - gets the tag of a node
  • value - gets the value of an input

Element.getSelected

Returns the selected options in a select list (note, it's always an array):

$(mySelect).getSelected(); //an array of options that are selected

Element.toQueryString

Returns a query string of all the key/values for the form elements inside the element (doesn't have to be a form but typically is):

$(myForm).toQueryString(); //foo=bar&something=else...

Element Storage

This is probably one of the nicest new features in MooTools 1.2. There's a great post about it on the MooTools blog that's very instructive. Basically, storage lets you associate something in JavaScript land with a DOM element (or even DOM elements to other DOM elements). It manages all the connections so that you don't have to worry about memory leaks.

This means you can do things like this:

$(draggable).store('handle', $(handle));
$(form).store('validator', new FormValidator());
$(thumbnail).store('fullSizeImage', $(someImage));

Previously, when writing code that had a collection of dom elements related to other things, you had to maintain arrays and keep track of the indexes. All the slides in a slideshow related to all their thumbnails, but that meant you had an array of thumbnails and an array of slides. Now you can simplify this greatly.

It also means that you can easily find a class from the element(s) it manages and vice versa. I can do:

var myForm = $('myForm');
myForm.store('validator', myValidator);
myForm.retrieve('validator'); //get the validator from the form
myValidator.form; //and the form from the validator

There's more to it than this of course but you get the idea. It's very convenient.

MooTools uses this functionality to store "built in" instances of classes. For example, Fx.Tween:

$(el).tween('opacity', 0); //fade out

If you were to use .tween to fade back in later, MooTools just retrieves the same instance and fades back in.

Element.inject

Pretty much what it looks like. Injects the element relative to the one passed in as an argument.

html:
<div id="myElement"></div>
<div id="mySecondElement"></div>
<script>$('mySecondElement').inject('myElement', 'before');</script>
resulting html:
<div id="mySecondElement"></div>
<div id="myElement"></div>

.inject is basically .appendChild on the passed in element:

html:
<div id="myElement"></div>
<div id="mySecondElement"></div>
<script>$('mySecondElement').inject('myElement');</script>
resulting html:
<div id="myElement"><div id="mySecondElement"></div></div>

.inject::top:

html:
<div id="myElement">
	<div id="childOne"></div>
	<div id="childTwo"></div>
	<div id="childThree"></div>
</div>
<script>$('childTwo').inject('myElement', 'top');</script>
resulting html:
<div id="myElement">
	<div id="childTwo"></div>
	<div id="childOne"></div>
	<div id="childThree"></div>
</div>

Element.dispose

Removes the element from the DOM:

<div id="myElement">
	<div id="childOne"></div>
	<div id="childTwo"></div>
	<div id="childThree"></div>
</div>
<script>$('childTwo').dispose();</script>
resulting html:
<div id="myElement">
	<div id="childOne"></div>
	<div id="childThree"></div>
</div>

Note that disposed elements can still be referenced and even inserted back into the DOM:

var child2 = $('childTwo');
child2.dispose();
//...later
child2.inject('someNewParent');

Element.destroy

This is the same as Element.dispose, except it removes the element from memory so that it can no longer be referenced or re-injected into the DOM.

Element.clone

Clones the Element and returns the copy:

var clone = $('myElement').clone().inject('myElement');
//clones the Element and append the clone after the Element.

Element.clone takes an argument (a boolean): true will clone the node's children (this is the default), false will only clone the node:

<div id="myElement">
	<div id="childOne"></div>
	<div id="childTwo"></div>
	<div id="childThree"></div>
</div>
<script>$('myElement').clone(false).inject('myElement');</script>
resulting html:
<div id="myElement">
	<div id="childOne"></div>
	<div id="childTwo"></div>
	<div id="childThree"></div>
</div>
<div id="myElement"></div>

Element.adopt

This is just like .inject, but in reverse (it appends the supplied element to the applied one). Note that adopt can take more than one element to adopt (Element.adopt(child1, child2, etc)):

html:
<div id="myElement"></div>
<div id="mySecondElement"></div>
<script>$('mySecondElement').adopt('myElement');</script>
resulting html:
<div id="mySecondElement"><div id="myElement"></div></div>

Element.wraps

wraps will move the element from its current location and insert it as the new parent of the wrapped element.

	<div id="child"></div>
	<hr/>
	<div id="newParent"></div>
$('newParent').wraps('child');

result:

	<div id="newParent">
		<div id="child"></div>
	</div>
	<hr/>

Element.grab

Sorta like wraps, except that grab moves the child into the parent. This is identical to adopt, but adopt allows you to pass it more than one element.

	<div id="child"></div>
	<hr/>
	<div id="newParent"></div>
$('newParent').grab('child');

result:

	<hr/>
	<div id="newParent">
		<div id="child"></div>
	</div>

Element.replaces

$('myNewElement').replaces($('myOldElement'));

$('myOldElement') is gone, and $('myNewElement') is in its place.

Element.appendText

<div id="myElement">hey</div>
<script>
	$('myElement').appendText(' howdy'); 
	//myElement innerHTML is now "hey howdy"
</script>

Element.addClass, .removeClass, .hasClass, .toggleClass

These do pretty much what they look like they'd do.

This paragraph has id = cssClassesExample for the examples below.

/*does the paragraph above have the className blue?*/
$('cssClassesExample').hasClass('blue');
execute this code
/*let's add it*/
$('cssClassesExample').addClass('blue');
execute this code
/*now let's remove it*/
$('cssClassesExample').removeClass('blue');
execute this code
/*now let's toggle it on and off*/
$('cssClassesExample').toggleClass('blue');
execute this code

Element.match

Returns true of the passed in selector would include the element.

$(el).match('div'); //returns true if el is a div
//if you have Selectors.js included
$(el).match('div#someId p.someClass'); //true of el matches

Element.getProperties, removeProperty, removeProperties

	/*fetch info about the log on this page*/
	$E('img').getProperties('alt', 'src', 'id');
	//returns {alt: 'a cnet developer blog', src:'http//clienside...', id: 'redball'}
execute this code
	$E('img').removeProperty('alt');//img no longer has alt value
	//you can use removeProperties to remove more than one at a time.
execute this code

Element.set('html')

MooTools 1.1 had Element.setHTML but now uses Element.set('html', newHtml):

Let's change this content...

$('setHTMLExample').set('html', 'see? changed!');
execute this code

You might ask yourself why use this or even something like .get when javascript has methods to do this on it's own; we're just swapping one syntax for another. You could just as easily do:

$('setHTMLExample').innerHTML = 'see? changed!';

So why do it? Well, by making this function available you can do things like call .delay and .pass in more complex applications. It also allows for chaining things together like so:

$('myExample').set('example').addClass('something').removeClass('somethingElse').addEvent(....) etc.

It also helps protect us from browser inconsistencies.

Element.get('tag')

$('redball').get('tag') // returns 'img'
execute this code

Element.getNext, .getPrevious, .getFirst, .getLast

These all get neighboring elements relative to the one you apply this method do.

Here's the html in the example below:

<ul id="getSiblingExamples">
	<li id="firstLI">first</li>
	<li id="secondLI">second</li>
	<li id="thirdLI">third</li>
</ul>

  • first
  • second
  • third

$('secondLI').getNext(); //third li
execute this code
$('secondLI').getPrevious(); //first li
execute this code
$('getSiblingExamples').getFirst(); //first li
execute this code
$('getSiblingExamples').getLast(); //third li
execute this code

All of these methods can take selectors, too:

<div id="getSiblingExample2">
	<p id="firstSibling">first</p>
	<div id="secondSibling">second</div>
	<b id="thirdSibling">third</b>
</div>

first

second
third

$('firstSibling').getNext('b'); //b#thirdSibling
execute this code

Element.getParent, .getChildren

.getParent is really just a wrapper for $(element.parentNode); which returns the parent node with all the MooTools element extensions applied to it. .getChildren is the same as element.childNodes, with each also wrapped with the MooTools element extensions.

$('secondLI').getParent() //gets ul element
execute this code
$('getSiblingExamples').getChildren() //gets all the list items
execute this code

However, you can also specify a selector when you use these methods which will return only those that match. When used with getParent the element's parent will be inspected for a match on the selector, and if it doesn't match, then the element's parent's parent will be inspected and so on up the dom. For children, only direct children will be inspected.

$('secondLI').getParent('div') //get the first parent that's a div
execute this code
$('getSiblingExample2').getChildren('b'); //only the bold tags
execute this code

Element.getElements, .getElement

Element.getElements gets all the decendents of an element (so, not just the immediate children). You can pass in a selector to filter the group.

$('leftCol').getElements('p');
execute this code

The filter can be any css expression when you include Selectors.js, just like $$.

Element.getElement just returns the first item found.

Element.hasChild

<div id="myElement">
	<div id="childOne"></div>
	<div id="childTwo"></div>
	<div id="childThree"></div>
</div>
<script>$('myElement').hasChild('childOne');//true</script>

Deprecated Methods

The following element methods are deprecated:

  • Element.remove (see Element.dispose)
  • Element.getValue (see Element.get('value'))
  • Element.getHTML/setHTML (see Element.get('html') and Element.set('html'))
  • Element.replaceWith (see Element.replaces)
  • Element.setOpacity (see Element.setStyle)
  • Element.getTag (see Element.get('tag'))

mootorial/04-element/00-element.1273804601.txt.gz · Last modified: 2010/05/13 20:36 by nilbus