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Google Web Components Style Guide

This guide serves as an extension to the Google JavaScript Style Guide with additional style guidance around authoring Web Components, particuarly those in this element collection. It is targeted at Google engineers, but may be useful for others too :)

General conventions

  • All elements should use seed-element as a starting point. This provides a clean base for authoring elements that are reusable. It includes a component page for documentation and a setup for unit-testing.
  • Where possible try to follow the SRP (Single-responsibility principle) & first for elements you are authoring. “Do one thing and do it well”.
  • Extend existing elements over re-implementing functionality yourself. Alternatively, reuse base components (e.g. <google-client-api>) in your own.
  • Ensure your element, methods, events, attributes, and properties are well documented.
  • Use @attribute, @property, @method, @event to document the API for your element.
  • Ensure any styling hooks or accepted light DOM are documented in the element summary.
  • Follow the Web Component best practices guide where possible.
  • Ensure your elements are accessible from the get-go.
  • In your bower.json, depend on a specific version of Polymer (e.g. "polymer": "Polymer/polymer#~0.4.0")


  • Elements should contain a dash in their name (e.g <my-tabs> vs <tabs>), per the Custom Element specification,
  • Google elements should be prefixed with “google” (e.g <google-sheets> vs <g-sheets>).
  • Where multiple words are required for the name, they should be separated with a dash (e.g <google-street-view-pano> vs <google-streetviewpano>) for readability.
  • Unless for private use, elements should use a unique name to avoid clashing with existing elements.


  • Published attributes should be camel-cased where multiple words are in use.
  • Provide sensible default values as part of your API if values will be bound and displayed anywhere in your template. Default property values in attributes are null.
  • Use @default and @required for parameters that either have a default value or are required.


  • Event names should have a prefix strongly related to the name of the element in use (e.g drive-upload-success vs upload-succeeded). This allows you to drop in multiple elements in the page without event namespacing clashing.
  • It’s fine to simplify things a bit if your element name is complex, as long as the relationship is unambiguous (e.g., for a load event on a <google-client-api-loader> element, use google-client-api-load instead of google-client-api-loader-load).
  • A unique event name should be fired for unique actions in your element that will be of interest to the outside world.
  • Events should either end in verbs in the infinitive form (e.g. google-client-api-load) or nouns (e.g google-drive-upload-success).
  • Use declarative event handlers over JS based (e.g. don't write addEventListener in your element code).


  • Do not use $ to prepend your own object properties and variables. Consider this style of naming reserved for use by Polymer and jQuery. Polymer allows you to use $.* within <template> and this.$.* within script to access the content of element children.
  • Define constants outside of the Polymer() constructor, wrapped in an anonymous self-executing function.
  • If you need to define private or static variables, wrap your script using standard techniques like anonymous self-calling functions.


  • Methods should be camel-cased where multiple verbs/words are in use (e.g selectFile() vs selectfile()).


  • <seed-element> has a setup using Mocha and Chai that should be adapted to exercise your own element’s functionality. Examples of existing tests written by the Polymer team can be found in core-tests.


  • Assets such as icons, graphics and other forms of media should live inside an assets directory. One example of an element that does this is yt-video.
  • Assets should be optimized (e.g using tools such as ImageOptim) to minimize the size of resources package consumers need to download.

Polymer-specific recommendations

  • Where possible, use on-tap instead of on-click to benefit from additional help provided for touch screens
  • Avoid using the <template> tag inside <table>, <select> and other potentially problematic native elements documented in the FAQ.
  • Avoid excluding the outer <template> when attempting to use a conditional or repeat template
  • Avoid binding to native attributes that can cause issues. See the Polymer data-binding docs for more information.
  • Be careful when placing content inside the <shadow> element. This will not render.


Note, that this section is mostly relevant to Google engineers working on elements and follows current requirements around open-source projects.


Google Web Component Style Guide






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