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Hash-based routing for modern web browsers
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FragRouter is a hash-based routing for web browsers, similar to normal URL routing found in server-side MVC frameworks like Django or Ruby on Rails (and most others). It is 'hash-based' because it uses the fragment identifier (commonly called 'hash') to determine the path.


FragRouter can be used either as stand-alone script using the conventional <script> tag, or as an AMD module with loaders like RequireJS.

To install it standalone, you don't need to worry about dependencies, since FragRouter has none to speak of. However, if your target browser does not support ES5 features, you may want to load the es5-shim before it.

Getting started (short tutorial)

Suppose your web application knows three routes:

On top of that, you also need the root route, which is simply (without the fragment identifier).

To set these up, you first need to define five handler functions. Yes, you read that right. You need one for each route, plus a 404 handler which will inform the user that the route did not match. You don't really need the last one, but then users won't know why nothing happens on the page. Here is what the handler functions might look like:

function page(id) {
  if (!id) {
    // load Home page
  } else {
    // load a specific page
    $('#content').load('/pages/' + id);

function about() {

function missing() {
  alert('Page you are looking for is not there');

Now define which hash will trigger which handler:

var routes = {
  _: page,
  pages: page,
  about: about,
  '404': missing

We are almost there. Now we just need to start the router:


What the above routing setup will do is:

  • for the root path (URL with no fragment identifier), page function will be called with no arguments (root handlers never get any arguments).
  • for the pages path (fragment identifier that starts with #pages), the part after the slash (e.g., '45' in '#pages/45') will be passed in as ID
  • if #pages fragment has more than one slash (e.g., '#pages/45/foo'), the part after the second slash is passed in as second argument, but is ignored by the handler function
  • for about path, (fragment '#about'), about function is called
  • for any other path, missing is called.

Request object

In any handler function, this is a Request object. You should not rely on this being anything else.

The Request object has some (arguably) useful properties that you can read to get more information about the 'request':

  • time: Gives you the exact time hash was accessed
  • path: Gives you an array of path components that have been used for the request (read notes about the path property in "Multi-level routes" below).
  • route: Name of the route
  • parameters: Array of positional parameters passed to handler (same as arguments, but a real Array object)
  • history: A read-only copy of internal history (Array of fragment identifiers without the leading pound character #)
  • frag: The FragRouter module (same as frag global)

The Request object also has a few handy methods:

  • this.back(): Go back in internal history (not same as browser history)
  • this.forward(): Go forward in internal history
  • this.go(): Go to a specific location (see API documentation)

Multi-level routes

If you have a few routes that you want to nest under a common prefix, you can add nested route handlers:

var routes = {
  _: page,
  pages: page,
  about: about,
  clients: {
    _: clientsDefault,
    list: clientsList,
    modify: clientsModify
  '404': missing

For the above, setup, if the fragment looks like '#clients', clientsDefault is called. For '#clients/list', clientsList is called. And finally, for '#clients/modify', the clientsModify is called. Naturally, the two non-root routes can also accept arguments (e.g., '#clients/modify/CLIENT_ID').

The path property on the Request object in the case of multi-level routes looks like a path property for non-multi-level route. In other words, the clients subpath is a world of its own, and you cannot tell whether it has been nested under clients path or not. FragRouter may provide mechanisms for finding this out in future, but for now, you can manually parse the window.location.hash.

Nested routes

Note that it is currently not possible to do nested routes like '#clients/CLIENT_ID/modify'. In other words, any variables in the routes must come last, no matter how deeply your route is nested.

In future FragRouter will provide mechanisms for calling other handlers from within handlers, which will enable you to manually write nested routes.


FragRouter supports rudimentary middlewares. These are functions that are called right before a handler. They can be used to perform tasks that are common for all routes in preparation for route handling.

Let's implement a simple middleware that allows handlers to change the page title so you can get an idea about how it works:

var titleSuffix = " - My awesome site";
function pageTitleMiddleware(next) {
    var request = this;
    request.setTitle = function(title) {
        document.title = title + titleSuffix;

Now, in your request handler, you can set the title like so:

function myHandler() {
    var request = this;

API Documentation


Start routing handlers found in handlers object.

frag.isRouting (boolean)

Boolean flag telling the router if routing is being done.


Missing routes handler is called when no route matches. You can override it by using this method to set your own function. The handler function must accept a single argument, which is a string containing the route that failed to mach.


Push a middleware function to the last possition o the middleware stack. The middleware will be executed once per each hashchange event, before any handler can handle the reuqest. It will accept a single callback function, which allows the stack to continue.

Passing a truthy value to the continuation callback will halt the stack and prevent the handling of the route. This can be useful during debugging, to prevent the code from doing unexpected or unforeseen things.

Within the middleware function, this is a Request object.

Request([path, route, parameters])

Constructor for creating a request object. Within handlers this is a Request object.


Go back one step in internal history (not browser history)


Go forward one step in internal history (not browser history)

Request.prototype.go(location, [params, hide])

Go to specified location with specified parameters and optionally hide the new location from browser history.

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