Plug-in query string parameters for Ember.js
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Query string parameters for Ember.js

Update: Now that this pull request has been merged, we will soon have native query params in Ember. That pr has features very similar to this plugin, but they come with unit tests and everything and are therefore more awesome. I will maintain this until there is a stable version of Ember with query params, after that this will be obsolete. Many thanks to Alex Speller for doing al the hard work on the pull request!


  • Compatible with Ember.JS RC6+ (works with 1.0)
  • Location API independent - it doesn't matter if you use HashLocation or HistoryLocation.
  • Global query parameters (I'd prefer local ones, but this really does not seem possible without modifying the internal RouteRecogizer). The syntax is what you know from the web: "/url/to/something?key=value&key2=value2"
  • Updates only route contexts whose parameters change.
  • Very little configuration - only requires an observesParameters property in your route handlers (see "How to use").
  • Automatically maintains parent query parameters when traversing to child routes.
  • Query parameters can be updated with an Ember.Router.QueryParameter object through existing transitionTo methods.
  • Works with URL generation / links.

Known issues and limitation

I just finished this.. so no real issues at the moment ;).

Parameter serialization / deserialization is pretty limited a this point - honestly I built this for myself and I only require plain key / value params. You can always do some more processing after you retrieve the parameters though.

Working examples

There is a LiveWeave I quickly put together: Unfortunately LiveWeave wraps the app so you cannot see the URL, but if you copy-paste the code to an HTML file it should work right away.

GitHub use @cavneb has also created a basic example:

How to use

File setup

Just include the supplied Router.js file somewhere in your project. Right after Ember.js should be fine - it's important that it's executed before routing starts.

Route configuration

The most simple setup to work with query parameters looks something like this:

	App.PostsRoute = Ember.Route.extend({
		observesParameters: ['sort', 'search'],
		model: function() {
			return App.Post.find(this.get('queryParameters'));

The full configuration options are:

  • An observesParameters property. This is either a boolean or an array, where a boolean true indicates all possible parameters are observed, whereas an array would specify exactly which parameters are observed.
  • An optional modelWithQuery() method, returns the model based on the most recent query parameters. I've chosen for this approach because it's not possible for this implementation to respect model()'s method signature (there's no transition when it is called). I've found that in most cases these methods will be identical though - so by default modelWithQuery simply aliases model. If you don't do anything fancy in model (like redirecting or checking the transition) there's no need to implement modelWithQuery. Like model, modelWithQuery can return a promise.

Changing parameters

Because transitionTo is included in three places (router, route, controller) I wanted to avoid having to create a different transitionToWithQuery everywhere. I therefore introduced the Ember.Router.QueryParameters object, an instance of which can be passed as the first context to transitionTo, containing key/value pairs of the query parameters you want to update:

	var params = Ember.Router.QueryParameters.create({ sort: 'date:desc' });
	this.transitionTo('posts.index', params);

To remove an existing parameter, set a "falsy" value (null/undefined/false) in the QueryParameters object.

This approach means automatic compatibility with the linkTo helper and the LinkView, so assuming you have a params object in your context this should both create a valid link and direct to the correct route:

	{{#linkTo "posts.index" params}}Click{{/linkTo}

When transitioning to a child route, parent query string parameters are maintained Say you have a route setup like this:

	this.resource('posts', function() {

Where posts actually loads the list of posts, not posts.index. If your current URL is /posts?sort=date:asc (so the sort parameter belongs to the PostsRoute), this link:

	{{#linkTo "posts.view" post}}post.title{{/linkTo}}

Would yield the following HTML:

<a href="/posts/23?sort=date:asc">Title</a>

How it works

The main problem this implementation is solving is updating contexts of routes that weren't updated by the Ember router because they were already active at the time of the transition. When the app is loaded handleURL is called with the initial URL, determining the initial state of the application. From this initial state, transitions can be made either by URL-changes or transitions. This implementation hooks into both handleURL and transitionTo, chaining a callback to the end of their transitions' promises. This callback loops over the list of handlers active after the transition, for each handler checking:

  • Was it also active before the last transition?
  • Does it listen to parameters?
  • Did its parameters change, while its context remained the same?

If all of these questions can be answered with "yes", the modelWithQuery method is called for the route, followed by setupController to actually update its values.

Another important feature is maintaining query parameters of active routes throughout transitions. This is solved by partially copying an internal function that finds the match point of a route, and maintaining all query parameters below it.