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An EventBroker for Backbone

branch: master
README.md

EventBroker API

Provides a general purpose Backbone Event Broker implementation based on the Backbone Events API.

Run the Specs / Example

The EventBroker can be used directly to serve as a centralized event management mechanism for an entire application. Namespaced brokers can also be created in order to provide context specific brokers within an application.

Basic Usage

The EventBroker can be used directly to publish and subscribe to events of interest:

var Users = Backbone.Collection.extend{{
    initialize: function(){
      // subscribe to an event ...
      this.listenTo(Backbone.EventBroker, 'users:add', this.add);
    },
    add: function(user) {
      console.log(user.get('id'));
    }
};

var UserEditor = Backbone.View.extend({
     el: '#user-editor',
     initialize: function(broker){
        this.$userId = this.$('.user-id');
     },
     add: function() {
       // publish an event ...
       Backbone.EventBroker.trigger('users:add', new User({
           'id': this.$userId().val()
           //other values ...
       }));
    }
};
// ...

Creating namespaced EventBrokers

The EventBroker API can be used to create and retrieve any number of specific namespaced EventBrokers. A namespaced EventBroker ensures that all events are published and subscribed against a specific namespace.

Namespaced EventBrokers are retrieved via Backbone.EventBroker.get([namespace]). If an EventBroker has not been created for the given namespace, it will be created and returned. All subsequent retrievals will return the same EventBroker instance for the specified namespace; i.e. only one unique EventBroker is created per namespace.

var Users = Backbone.Collection.extend{{
    // use the 'users' broker
    usersBroker: Backbone.EventBroker.get('users'),
    initialize: function(broker){
      this.listenTo(this.usersBroker, 'add', this.add);
    },
    add: function(user) {
      console.log(user.get('id'));
    }
};

var UserEditor = Backbone.View.extend({
    el: '#user-editor',
    events: {
        'click .add-user' : 'addUser'
      , 'click .add-role' : 'addRole'
    },
    // use the 'users' broker
    usersBroker: Backbone.EventBroker.get('users'),
    // also use the 'roles' broker
    rolesBroker: Backbone.EventBroker.get('roles'),

    addUser: function(evt) {
      // publish an event to the usersBroker
      this.usersBroker.trigger('add', new User({
           'id': this.$('.user-id').val()
           //other values ...
      }));
    },
    addRole: function(evt) {
      // publish an event to the rolesBroker
      this.rolesBroker.trigger('add', new Role({
           'type': this.$('.user-id').val()
      }));
    }
};

Since namespaced EventBrokers ensure events are only piped thru the EventBroker of the given namespace, it is not necessary to prefix event names with the specific namespace to which they belong. While this can simplify implementation code, you can still prefix event names to aid in readability if desired.

var Users = Backbone.Collection.extend{{
    // use the 'users' broker
    usersBroker: Backbone.EventBroker.get('users'),

    initialize: function(broker){
      // prefix the namespace if desired
      this.listenTo(this.usersBroker, 'users:add', this.add);
    },
    add: function(user) {
      console.log(user.get('id'));
    }
};

var UserEditor = Backbone.View.extend({
    el: '#user-editor',
    events: {
        'click .add-user' : 'addUser'
      , 'click .add-role' : 'addRole'
    },
    // use the 'users' broker
    usersBroker: Backbone.EventBroker.get('users'),
    // also use the 'roles' broker
    rolesBroker: Backbone.EventBroker.get('roles'),

    addUser: function(evt) {
      // publish an event to the usersBroker
      this.usersBroker.trigger('users:add', new User({
           'id': this.$('.user-id').val()
           //other values ...
      }));
    },
    addRole: function(evt) {
      // publish an event to the rolesBroker
      this.rolesBroker.trigger('roles:add', new Role({
           'type': this.$('.user-id').val()
      }));
    }
};

Registering Interests

Modules can register events of interest with an EventBroker via the default 'on' method or the register method. The register method allows for registering multiple event/callback mappings declaratively for a given context in a manner similar to that of the events hash in a Backbone.View.

// Register event/callbacks based on a hash and associated context
var Users = Backbone.Collection.extend({
    initialize: function() {
      Backbone.EventBroker.register({
        'user:select'   : 'select'
      , 'user:deselect' : 'deselect'
      , 'user:edit'     : 'edit'
      , 'user:update'   : 'update'
      , 'user:remove'   : 'remove'
      }, this );
    },
    select: function() { ... },
    deselect: function() { ... },
    edit: function() { ... },
    update: function() { ... },
    remove: function() { ... }
});

Alternatively, modules can define an "interests" property which provides specific event/callback mappings, allowing for declarative registration with an EventBroker:

// Register event/callbacks based on a hash and associated context
var Users = Backbone.Collection.extend({
    // defines events of interest and their corresponding callbacks
    interests: {
        'user:select'   : 'select'
      , 'user:deselect' : 'deselect'
      , 'user:edit'     : 'edit'
      , 'user:update'   : 'update'
      , 'user:remove'   : 'remove'
    },
    initialize: function() {
      // register this object with the EventBroker
      Backbone.EventBroker.register(this);
    },
    select: function() { ... },
    deselect: function() { ... },
    edit: function() { ... },
    update: function() { ... },
    remove: function() { ... }
});

Objects can also implement their "interests" as a function which returns an object of specific event/callback mappings, allowing for runtime configurations of interests:

// Register event/callbacks based on a hash and associated context
var Users = Backbone.Collection.extend({
    // defines events of interest and their corresponding callbacks
    this.interests: function(){
        return _.extend({
            'user:select'   : 'select'
          , 'user:deselect' : 'deselect'
        }, ( this.isAdmin() ? {
            'user:edit'     : 'edit'
          , 'user:update'   : 'update'
          , 'user:remove'   : 'remove'
        } : {} ));
    },
    initialize: function() {
      // register this object with the EventBroker
      Backbone.EventBroker.register(this);
    },
    select: function() { ... },
    deselect: function() { ... },
    edit: function() { ... },
    update: function() { ... },
    remove: function() { ... }
});

As of version 1.0.0, if a given callback is not a function, the EventBroker will throw an exception, similar to declaratively mapping an event callback in a Backbone.View.

Modules can use different namespaced EventBrokers for different things...

// Register event/callbacks with different EventBrokers...
var CartView = Backbone.View.extend({
    // reference the 'items' EventBroker...
    itemsBroker: Backbone.EventBroker.get('items'),

    // reference the 'inventory' EventBroker...
    inventoryBroker: Backbone.EventBroker.get('inventory'),

    initialize: function() {
      // register events/callbacks with 'items' EventBroker...
      this.itemsBroker.register({
        'add'      : 'add'
      , 'update'   : 'update'
      , 'remove'   : 'remove'
      }, this );
      // register events/callbacks with 'inventory' EventBroker...
      this.inventoryBroker.register({
        'select'   : 'select'
      , 'deselect' : 'deselect'
      , 'edit'     : 'edit'
      }, this );
    },
    add: function() { ... },
    update: function() { ... },
    remove: function() { ... },
    select: function() { ... },
    deselect: function() { ... },
    edit: function() { ... }
});

Determining if an EventBroker has been created

To test if an EventBroker has been created for a given namespace, invoke the has method:

// determines if an event broker for the given namespace exists
var broker = Backbone.EventBroker;
broker.get('roles'); // returns the 'roles' EventBroker
broker.has('roles'); //true
broker.has('users'); //false

Destroying an EventBroker

To destroy an existing EventBroker for a given namespace, invoke the destroy method:

// deletes the event broker for the given namespace
var broker = Backbone.EventBroker;
broker.get('permissions');
broker.destroy('permissions'); // returns the 'permissions' EventBroker
broker.has('permissions'); //false

Destroying all EventBrokers

To destroy all existing EventBrokers, invoke the destroy method with no arguments:

// deletes the event broker for the given namespace
var broker = Backbone.EventBroker;
broker.get('permissions'); // returns the 'permissions' EventBroker
broker.get('users'); // returns the 'users' EventBroker
broker.get('roles'); // returns the 'roles' EventBroker
broker.destroy();

broker.has('permissions' ); //false
broker.has('users'); //false
broker.has('roles'); //false

Undefined and null Events

As of version 1.1.1, invoking EventBroker.trigger with null or undefined will result in an error being thrown. This can help mitigate tracking down unhandled events due to erroneously undefined event names being referenced.

var Events = {
    LOGIN: 'login'
};
// Events.LOGIN is defined
Backbone.EventBroker.trigger(Events.LOGIN); // triggers

// Events.LOGOUT is undefined
Backbone.EventBroker.trigger(Events.AUTHENTICATION); // error thrown
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