inline window.setTimeout / deferred method chaining
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inline window.setTimeout

jQuery.wait allows you to easily insert a delay into a chain of jQuery methods. This allows you to use timeouts without uglifying your code and without having to use a custom queue. You can also now delay execution inline by passing a promise to .wait().

How is this different than .delay()?

The built-in .delay() method provided by jQuery uses the built-in queue implementation. Queues in jQuery require one of two things:

  • function calls in the queue must be manually dequeued or
  • functions in the queue must support auto-dequeuing by calling the .dequeue() internally

This basically means that jQuery methods must opt-in to the queue. Most common jQuery methods do not do this, and thus ignore the queue completely. Here's an example. Let's say we need to add a class to the body, wait 5 seconds, then remove it. Without .wait(), that would look like this:


This may look like it would do the right thing, but what actually happens is that the delay call is completely ignored. Non-animation methods in jQuery don't support queueing out of the box, so they are executed immediatly.
jQuery.wait uses its own queueing implementation, allowing it to support any jQuery method that returns a jQuery object, including methods of other plugins.

Example 1 - Setting a Timeout Inline

Here is a trivial example of how .wait() can be used to pause execution using a timeout. I'll use the same example as above. Here's what it looks like normally:


 }, 5000);

Not exactly elegant. The .wait() method allows us to define this timeout in-line and keep things nice and neat.


Example 2 - Deferring Execution with a Promise

The .wait() method recently added support for creating a promise-based delay inline. To use the same example as above, without .wait() :

var deferred = $.Deferred();
var promise = deferred.promise();

promise.then(function () {

As with the first example, having to break up the method chain is a little ugly. With .wait(), we can keep it all in-line:

var deferred = $.Deferred();
var promise = deferred.promise();


Example 3 - One-time event binding

You can also pass an event name in as a string, and the remaining commands will execute the next time that event occurs. Example time:

Without wait


$('body').one('click', function () {

With wait


Disclaimer - Using with CSS Transistions

If you are using .wait() to add/remove classes that controls css transitions, the duration of the wait needs to be slightly longer than the transition time. So, if in the example above the class foo added a 5 second transition of some sort, I would need to make the wait time longer. I recommend 100ms longer, though your needs may vary depending on the complexity of the animation.

If you are chaining jQuery transitions, it is better to use the built-in .delay() method, which has the same syntax but works with jQuery queues.