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Queues are the foundation for all animations in jQuery, they allow a series functions to be executed asynchronously on an element. Methods such as .slideUp(), .slideDown(), .fadeIn(), and .fadeOut() all use .animate(), which leverages queues to build up the series of steps that will transition one or more CSS values throughout the duration of the animation.

We can pass a callback function to the .animate() method, which will execute once the animation has completed.

$( ".box" )
    .animate( {
        height: 20
    }, "slow", function() {
        $( "#title" ).html( "We're in the callback, baby!" );
    } );

Queues As Callbacks

Instead of passing a callback as an argument, we can add another function to the queue that will act as our callback. This will execute after all of the steps in the animation have completed.

$( ".box" )
    .animate( {
        height: 20
    }, "slow")
    .queue( function() {
        $( "#title" ).html( "We're in the animation, baby!" );

        // This tells jQuery to continue to the next item in the queue
        $( this ).dequeue();
    } );

In this example, the queued function will execute right after the animation.

jQuery does not have any insight into how the queue items function, so we need to call .dequeue(), which tells jQuery when to move to the next item in the queue.

Another way of dequeuing is by calling the function that is passed to your callback. That function will automatically call .dequeue() for you.

.queue( function( next ) {
    console.log( "I fired!" );
    next();
} );

Custom Queues

Up to this point all of our animation and queue examples have been using the default queue name which is fx. Elements can have multiple queues attached to them, and we can give each of these queues a different name. We can specify a custom queue name as the first argument to the .queue() method.

$( ".box" )
    .queue( "steps", function( next ) {
        console.log( "Step 1" );
        next();
    } )
    .queue( "steps", function( next ) {
        console.log( "Step 2" );
        next();
    } )
    .dequeue( "steps" );

Notice that we have to call the .dequeue() method passing it the name of our custom queue to start the execution. Every queue except for the default, fx, has to be manually kicked off by calling .dequeue() and passing it the name of the queue.

Clearing The Queue

Since queues are just a set of ordered operations, our application may have some logic in place that needs to prevent the remaining queue entries from executing. We can do this by calling the .clearQueue() method, which will empty the queue.

$( ".box" )
    .queue( "steps", function( next ) {
        console.log( "Will never log because we clear the queue" );
        next();
    } )
    .clearQueue( "steps" )
    .dequeue( "steps" );

In this example, nothing will happen as we removed everything from the steps queue.

Another way of clearing the queue is to call .stop( true ). That will stop the currently running animations and will clear the queue.

Replacing The Queue

When you pass an array of functions as second argument to .queue(), that array will replace the queue.

$( ".box" )
    .queue( "steps", function( next ) {
        console.log( "I will never fire as we totally replace the queue" );
        next();
    } )
    .queue( "steps", [
        function( next ) {
            console.log( "I fired!" );
            next();
        }
    ] )
    .dequeue( "steps" );

You can also call .queue() without passing it functions, which will return the queue of that element as an array.

$( ".box" ).queue( "steps", function( next ) {
    console.log( "I fired!" );
    next();
} );

console.log( $( ".box" ).queue( "steps" ) );

$( ".box" ).dequeue( "steps" );
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