A same behaviour EventTarget prototype, that can work with any object from JavaScript
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A same behaviour EventTarget prototype, that can work with any object from JavaScript


You know as everybody knows how to use the EventTarget today, because every Node instance (HTML Elements) prototype it. And that's make it awesome. You can prototype your objects with this and you will have support to events.

Also it can be used as prototype of a shim to EventTarget in non-modern browsers. Because it's compatible with ES3.


To use in your browser, you just need to add the script before the place you are using it.

<script src="ObjectEventTarget.js"></script>

To install on NodeJS:

npm install objecteventtarget --save

Projects using it

  • Chronometer.js This is just a chronometer constructor in JavaScript, that uses ObjectEventTarget as prototype to support events listeners, demo page.
  • Entity This is a JavaScript micro lib that allows you to create entity with events of attribute manipulation.

How to use

Prototype your constructor like this:

function Foo(){}
Foo.prototype = ObjectEventTarget.prototype;

Now you have access to EventTarget methods, so let's implement a mehtod that dispatch a event type:

function AsyncFoo(){
  this.bar = function(){
    if (this.dispatchEvent({type: 'beforebar'})){
      console.log('The beforebar default behaviour');
    // Do something then...
    var self = this;
    setTimeout(function (){
      // I'm async
      if (self.dispatchEvent(new ObjectEvent('bar', {cacelable: true})){
        console.log('The bar default behaviour');
      console.log('End of bar method');
    }, 1e3);
AsyncFoo.prototype = ObjectEventTarget.prototype;

Now you can add some events to you AsyncFoo instances like this:

instanceOne = new AsyncFoo();
instanceOne.addEventListener('beforebar', function (){
  console.log('You triggered bar from a AsyncFoo instance');
instanceOne.addEventListener('bar', function (event){
  console.log('The method bar was async and finished calling "bar" event type');
// #1: You triggered bar from a AsyncFoo instance
// #2: The beforebar default behaviour
// after a seccond
// #3: The method bar was async and finished calling "bar" event type
// #4: End of bar method

The rest you know...

Using with NodeJS

After installing on NodeJS you can use require('objecteventtarget') to get a object with ObjectEventTarget and ObjectEvent.


var ObjectEventTarget = require('objecteventtarget').ObjectEventTarget;
var ObjectEvent = require('objecteventtarget').ObjectEvent;

/* ... your code implemetation ... */


The methods aren't enumerables, but only for modern-browsers and nodejs, if you are supporting IE9- if you use for in in your object, make sure to check the hasOwnProperty, because if not, you will touch the methods.

  • addEventListener( eventType, callback )
  • removeEventListener( eventType, callback )
  • dispatchEvent( event ) The event can be any object that has "type" propertie as string, recomends to use new ObjectEvent('type name').


You can use new ObjectEvent('type name', options) to generate a event compatible with non-modern browsers and Nodejs.

Or you can just use a literal object with at least type property aka {type: 'type name'}.

I don't encorage you to use the browser Event, but it will work with it events like Event, CustomEvent and anyone that prototypes Event, also you can use modern constructor or non-moderns, it will work where the browser supports it, but when using this way, it will never change the path property.

There is properties in a event that after start the type dispatch callback queue, becomes read-only properties, you should not try to force change their values.

  • type string (read) the name/type of the event
  • immediatePropagationStopped boolean (read/write) when a callback stoped the event chain (recomend to use the Event or CustomEvent constructor to use this)
  • cancelable boolean (read) define if the event can be cancelable when preventDefault is triggered
  • defaultPrevented boolean (read/write) when true will set the returnValue to be false if the event is cancelable
  • returnValue boolean (read) same value that is returned by the dispatchEvent method
  • eventPhase number (read) expose the phase where the event is been triggered
  • path array (read) a array with the objects in the orther that the event has triggered in it phases

Events Methods

When not available, because you probably used a literal object in the dispatchEvent, the event methods will be added to your object by mixing the methods in it.

  • initEvent() executed before the first callback in the queue be called, also keeps the integrity of your object with every required property and method been setup
  • preventDefault() will set defaultPrevented true when cancelable is true
  • stopImmediatePropagation() will stop the immidiate propagation of the callbacks of the event type in the current queue

Events Error Handling

When a callback from a event type throw an error, it will result in same as stopImmediatePropagation.

The throw will be show in your console, but will not stop your code flow that is expecting by the dispatchEvent result.

Projects Using it

Overloading internals

The ObjectEventTarget let you to overload it internal constructors to you personalize how it should work in your enviroment.

  • EventsMap( type, callback ) is created to store the events and callbacks, where type must become a property where contains a array of callbacks. If the instance exists it will decorate with new types with array and it callbacks.
  • WeakMap is used to map the instances to it EventsMap, and must contain the methods get( object ), set( object, value ), has( object ), delete( object ).

To do the overloading, before the lib is loaded you must create a object called ObjectEventTarget with the property options.

window.ObjectEventTarget = {
  options: {
    EventsMap: MyCustomEventsMap,
    WeakMap: MyCustomWeakMap