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Component API

The base API is mixed into the Component prototype.

What is a Component?

A Component is just a constructor with properties mixed into its prototype. It comes with a set of basic functionality such as event handling and Component registration.

Each Component definition mixes in a set of custom properties which describe its behavior.

When a Component is attached to a DOM node, a new instance of that Component is created. Each Component instance references the DOM node via its node property.

A Component instance cannot be referenced directly; it communicates with other components via events.


flight.component accepts any number of mixin functions and returns a new Component constructor with those mixins applied to its prototype.

Each Component definition should include a function declaration describing its basic behavior (we can think of this function as the Component's core mixin). By passing this function to defineComponent we can define a simple Component:

/* my_simple_component.js */

var flight = require('flightjs');
var withMyMixin = require('with_my_mixin');

module.exports = flight.component(mySimpleComponent, withMyMixin);

// this Component's custom properties
function mySimpleComponent() {
  this.doSomething = function() {

  this.doSomethingElse = function() {

Components make no assumptions about the existence of other objects. If you were to remove all other JavaScript on the site, this Component would still work as intended.


On flight.component (i.e., the object exported by lib/component) this method deletes every instance of every Component and all their event bindings.

var flight = require('flightjs');

module.exports = flight.component(navigationMenu);

function navigationMenu() {
  this.resetEverything = function() {
    // remove every component instance and all event listeners

  // ...

Component.attachTo(selector[, options])

Create a new instance of a Component and attach it to a DOM node.

selector: String | Element | Element collection

Specify the DOM node(s) that this Component should be attached to. A new Component instance will be created for each node.

options: Object

Optional. An object that will be merged into the component's default attr object via the initialize method. Any additional arguments are merged into the first options argument.

In the example below, we are creating an instance of an "inbox" Component and attaching it to a node with id inbox. We're also passing in values for a couple of selectors which will override the values defined in the Component's attr object (if they exist).

/* attach an inbox component to a node with id 'inbox'*/

var Inbox = require('components/inbox');

Inbox.attachTo('#inbox', {
  'nextPageSelector': '#nextPage',
  'previousPageSelector': '#previousPage',

It's important to understand that attachTo does not return the new instance, or any other value. You should never need a reference to Component instances - they should only respond to events.

Interacting with the DOM

Once attached, Component instances have direct access to their node object via the node property. (There's also a jQuery version of the node available via the $node property.)

this.setId = function(n) { = n;

this.hideComponent = function() {


On a Component constructor this method deletes every instance of that Component type and all their event bindings.

var NavigationMenu = require('ui/navigationMenu');

// ...
// remove all instances of NavigationMenu and all their event bindings
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