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Marionette.CollectionView

The CollectionView will loop through all of the models in the specified collection, render each of them using a specified childView, then append the results of the child view's el to the collection view's el. By default the CollectionView will maintain a sorted collection's order in the DOM. This behavior can be disabled by specifying {sort: false} on initialize.

CollectionView has the base functionality provided by the View Mixin.

Documentation Index

CollectionView's childView

Specify a childView in your collection view definition. This must be a Backbone view class definition, not an instance. It can be any Backbone.View or be derived from Marionette.View.

var Mn = require('backbone.marionette');

var MyChildView = Mn.View.extend({});

Mn.CollectionView.extend({
  childView: MyChildView
});

Child views must be defined before they are referenced by the childView attribute in a collection view definition.

Alternatively, you can specify a childView in the options for the constructor:

var Mn = require('backbone.marionette');

var MyCollectionView = Mn.CollectionView.extend({...});

new MyCollectionView({
  childView: MyChildView
});

If you do not specify a childView, an exception will be thrown stating that you must specify a childView.

You can also define childView as a function. In this form, the value returned by this method is the ChildView class that will be instantiated when a Model needs to be initially rendered. This method also gives you the ability to customize per Model ChildViews.

var Bb = require('backbone');
var Mn = require('backbone.marionette');

var FooBar = Bb.Model.extend({
  defaults: {
    isFoo: false
  }
});

var FooView = Mn.View.extend({
  template: '#foo-template'
});
var BarView = Mn.View.extend({
  template: '#bar-template'
});

var MyCollectionView = Mn.CollectionView.extend({
  collection: new Bb.Collection(),
  childView: function(item) {
    // Choose which view class to render,
    // depending on the properties of the item model
    if  (item.get('isFoo')) {
      return FooView;
    }
    else {
      return BarView;
    }
  }
});

var collectionView = new MyCollectionView();
var foo = new FooBar({
  isFoo: true
});
var bar = new FooBar({
  isFoo: false
});

// Renders a FooView
collectionView.collection.add(foo);

// Renders a BarView
collectionView.collection.add(bar);

Live example

CollectionView's childViewOptions

There may be scenarios where you need to pass data from your parent collection view in to each of the childView instances. To do this, provide a childViewOptions definition on your collection view as an object literal. This will be passed to the constructor of your childView as part of the options.

var Mn = require('backbone.marionette');

var ChildView = Mn.View.extend({
  initialize: function(options) {
    console.log(options.foo); // => "bar"
  }
});

var CollectionView = Mn.CollectionView.extend({
  childView: ChildView,

  childViewOptions: {
    foo: 'bar'
  }
});

Live example

You can also specify the childViewOptions as a function, if you need to calculate the values to return at runtime. The model will be passed into the function should you need access to it when calculating childViewOptions. The function must return an object, and the attributes of the object will be copied to the childView instance's options.

var Mn = require('backbone.marionette');

var CollectionView = Mn.CollectionView.extend({
  childViewOptions: function(model, index) {
    // do some calculations based on the model
    return {
      foo: 'bar',
      childIndex: index
    }
  }
});

Live example

CollectionView's emptyView

When a collection has no children, and you need to render a view other than the list of childViews, you can specify an emptyView attribute on your collection view. The emptyView just like the childView can also be passed as an option on instantiation or can be a function that returns the emptyView.

var Mn = require('backbone.marionette');

var MyEmptyView = Mn.View.extend({
  template: _.template('Nothing to display.')
});

var MyCollectionView = Mn.CollectionView.extend({
  // ...

  emptyView: MyEmptyView
});

Live example

CollectionView's emptyViewOptions

Similar to childView and childViewOptions, there is an emptyViewOptions property that will be passed to the emptyView constructor. It can be provided as an object literal or as a function.

If emptyViewOptions aren't provided the CollectionView will default to passing the childViewOptions to the emptyView.

var Mn = require('backbone.marionette');

var EmptyView = Mn.View({
  initialize: function(options){
    console.log(options.foo); // => "bar"
  }
});

var CollectionView = Mn.CollectionView({
  emptyView: EmptyView,

  emptyViewOptions: {
    foo: 'bar'
  }
});

Live example

CollectionView's isEmpty

If you want to control when the empty view is rendered, you can override isEmpty:

var Mn = require('backbone.marionette');

var MyCollectionView = Mn.CollectionView.extend({
  isEmpty: function(options) {
    // some logic to calculate if the view should be rendered as empty
    return this.collection.length < 2;
  }
});

Live example

CollectionView's render

The render method of the collection view is responsible for rendering the entire collection. It loops through each of the children in the collection and renders them individually as a childView. By default when a collectionView is fully rendered it buffers the DOM changes for a single attachBuffer DOM change.

var Mn = require('backbone.marionette');

var MyCollectionView = Mn.CollectionView.extend({...});

// all of the children views will now be rendered.
new MyCollectionView().render();

Live example

For more information on rendering techiniques see: Rendering CollectionViews.

Automatic Rendering

After the initial render the collection view binds to the add, remove and reset events of the collection that is specified.

When the collection for the view is "reset", the view will call render on itself and re-render the entire collection.

When a model is added to the collection, the collection view will render that one model in to the collection of child views.

When a model is removed from a collection (or destroyed / deleted), the collection view will destroy and remove that model's child view.

When the collection for the view is sorted, the view will automatically re-sort its child views. If the reorderOnSort option is set it will attempt to reorder the DOM and do this without a full re-render, otherwise it will re-render if the order has changed. Please Note that if you apply a filter to the collection view and the filtered views change during a sort then it will always re-render.

var Bb = require('backbone');
var Mn = require('backbone.marionette');

var collection = new Bb.Collection();

var MyChildView = Mn.View.extend({
  template: false
});

var MyCollectionView = Mn.CollectionView.extend({
  childView: MyChildView,
  collection: collection,
});

var myCollectionView = new MyCollectionView();

// Collection view will not re-render as it has not been rendered
collection.reset([{foo: 'foo'}]);

myCollectionView.render();

// Collection view will re-render displaying the new model
collection.reset([{foo: 'bar'}]);

Live example

Re-render the CollectionView

If you need to re-render the entire collection, you can call the view.render method. This method takes care of destroying all of the child views that may have previously been opened.

CollectionView's attachHtml

By default the collection view will append the HTML of each ChildView into the element buffer, and then call jQuery's .append once at the end to move the HTML into the collection view's el.

You can override this by specifying an attachHtml method in your view definition. This method takes three parameters and has no return value.

var Mn = require('backbone.marionette');

Mn.CollectionView.extend({

  // The default implementation:
  attachHtml: function(collectionView, childView, index){
    if (collectionView._isBuffering) {
      // buffering happens on reset events and initial renders
      // in order to reduce the number of inserts into the
      // document, which are expensive.
      collectionView._bufferedChildren.splice(index, 0, childView);
    } else {
      // If we've already rendered the main collection, append
      // the new child into the correct order if we need to. Otherwise
      // append to the end.
      if (!collectionView._insertBefore(childView, index)){
        collectionView._insertAfter(childView);
      }
    }
  }

});

The first parameter is the instance of the collection view that will receive the HTML from the second parameter, the current child view instance.

The third parameter, index, is the index of the model that this childView instance represents, in the collection that the model came from. This is useful for understanding the sort order of the children.

Overrides of attachHtml that don't take into account the element buffer will work fine, but won't take advantage of the 60x performance increase the buffer provides.

CollectionView's attachBuffer

When overriding attachHtml it may be necessary to also override how the buffer is attached. This method receives two parameters. The collectionView and the buffer HTML of all of the child views.

var Mn = require('backbone.marionette');

var MyCollectionView = Mn.CollectionView.extend({
  // The default implementation:
  // Called after all children have been appended into the buffer
  attachBuffer: function(collectionView, buffer) {
    collectionView.$el.append(buffer);
  }
});

CollectionView's destroy

CollectionView implements a destroy method which automatically destroys its children and cleans up listeners.

var Bb = require('backbone');
var Mn = require('backbone.marionette');

var MyChildView = Mn.View.extend({
  template: _.template('ChildView'),
  onDestroy: function() {
    console.log('I will get destroyed');
  }
})

var myCollectionView = new Mn.CollectionView({
  childView: MyChildView,
  collection: new Bb.Collection([{ id: 1 }])
});

myCollectionView.render();

myCollectionView.destroy(); // logs "I will get destroyed"

Live example

Events

The CollectionView, like View, is able to trigger and respond to events occurring during their lifecycle. The Documentation for Events has the complete documentation for how to set and handle events on views.

Child Event Bubbling

The collection view is able to monitor and act on events on any children they own using childViewEvents and childViewTriggers. Additionally when a child view triggers an event, that event will bubble up one level to the parent collection view. For an example:

var Mn = require('backbone.marionette');

var Item = Mn.View.extend({
  tagName: 'li',

  triggers: {
    'click a': 'select:item'
  }
});

var Collection = Mn.CollectionView.extend({
  tagName: 'ul',

  onChildviewSelectItem: function(childView) {
    console.log('item selected: ' + childView.model.id);
  }
});

Live example

The event will receive a childview: prefix before going through the magic method binding logic. See the documentation for Child View Events for more information.

Lifecycle Events

The CollectionView contains its own lifecycle events, on top of the regular View event lifecycle. For more information on what these are, and how to use them, see the Documentation on CollectionView lifecycle events

Rendering CollectionViews

Marionette 3 has deprecated the CompositeView (for removal in v4) in favor of making the View and CollectionView a lot more flexible. This section will cover the most common use cases for CollectionView and how to replace CompositeView.

Rendering Lists

Lists are possibly the simplest use of CollectionView - simply set a childView option:

var Bb = require('backbone');
var Mn = require('backbone.marionette');

var ListItemView = Mn.View.extend({
  tagName: 'li',
  template: '#list-item-text'
});

var ListView = Mn.CollectionView.extend({
  tagName: 'ul',
  className: 'list-unstyled',

  childView: ListItemView
});

var list = new Bb.Collection([
  {id: 1, text: 'My text'},
  {id: 2, text: 'Another Item'}
]);

var listView = new ListView({
  collection: list
});

listview.render();

With the template:

<%- text %>

This will render the following:

<ul class="list-unstyled">
  <li>My text</li>
  <li>Another Item</li>
</ul>

Live example

Rendering Tables

Marionette 3 introduced a major improvement to View to make it possible to implement tables using only View and CollectionView. This section will demonstrate how to build a table in Marionette 3, with the equivalent in Marionette 2 using CompositeView.

Tables Using Marionette 2

Note The following code is deprecated and for demonstration purposes only

To build a table in Marionette 2 requires the CompositeView which we'll build as such:

var Bb = require('backbone');
var Mn = require('backbone.marionette');

var RowView = Mn.LayoutView.extend({
  tagName: 'tr',
  template: '#table-row'
});

var TableView = Mn.CompositeView.extend({
  tagName: 'table',
  className: 'table table-hover',
  template: '#table',
  childView: RowView,
  childViewContainer: 'tbody'
});

var list = new Bb.Collection([
  {id: 1, text: 'My text'},
  {id: 2, text: 'Another Item'}
]);

var myTable = new TableView({
  collection: list
});

myTable.render();

Given the following #table and #table-row templates:

<thead>
  <tr>
    <th>ID</th>
    <th>Body</th>
  </tr>
</thead>
<tbody></tbody>
<td><%- id %></td>
<td><%- text %></td>

Will render the following:

<table class="table table-hover">
  <thead>
    <tr>
      <th>ID</th>
      <th>Body</th>
    </tr>
  </thead>
  <tbody>
    <tr>
      <td>1</td>
      <td>My text</td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
      <td>2</td>
      <td>Another Item</td>
    </tr>
  </tbody>
</table>

A major downside of this method was that it was impossible to add extra regions inside the CompositeView - if a header item needed to be re-rendered based on user input, then the entire table must be re-rendered, or the DOM must be manipulated with ui items.

To resolve this issue, Marionette 3 improves the View to make it possible to build tables without CompositeView.

Tables Using Marionette 3

Marionette 3 doesn't use CompositeView any more. We now build tables using Views and regions. The following code will render the same table as in Marionette 2:

var Bb = require('backbone');
var Mn = require('backbone.marionette');

var RowView = Mn.View.extend({
  tagName: 'tr',
  template: '#row-template'
});

var TableBody = Mn.CollectionView.extend({
  tagName: 'tbody',
  childView: RowView
});

var TableView = Mn.View.extend({
  tagName: 'table',
  className: 'table table-hover',
  template: '#table',

  regions: {
    body: {
      el: 'tbody',
      replaceElement: true
    }
  },

  onRender: function() {
    this.showChildView('body', new TableBody({
      collection: this.collection
    }));
  }
});

var list = new Bb.Collection([
  {id: 1, text: 'My text'},
  {id: 2, text: 'Another Item'}
]);

var myTable = new TableView({
  collection: list
});

myTable.render();

Live example

We can leave the templates as-is for this example. The major advantage of this style is that we can create a region in any part of TableView as well as in RowView and treat it just as any independent widget.

Rendering Trees

Tree structures are extremely useful layouts for nesting the same type of data over and over. A common example of this would be the Windows Explorer file picker.

Trees in Marionette 2

var Bb = require('backbone');
var Mn = require('backbone.marionette');

var TreeView = Mn.CompositeView.extend({
  tagName: 'ul',
  template: '#tree-template'
});

var TreeRoot = Mn.CollectionView.extend({
  tagName: 'ul',
  childView: TreeView
});


var tree = new Bb.Collection([
  {
    id: 5,
    nodes: [
      {id: 9, nodes: []},
      {id: 1, nodes: [...]}
    ],
  },
  {
    id: 12,
    nodes: []
  }
]);

new TreeRoot({
  collection: tree
});

In Marionette 2, the CompositeView defaults to setting childView to itself. While good for building tree structures, this behavior changed for Marionette 3 with the introduction of a more general view.

Trees in Marionette 3

As in tables, trees in Marionette 3 require us to combine View and CollectionView to build up the tree in a more explicit manner than the implicit version provided by Marionette 2.

var Bb = require('backbone');
var Mn = require('backbone.marionette');

var TreeNode = Mn.View.extend({
  tagName: 'li',
  template: '#tree-template',

  regions: {
    tree: {
      el: 'ul',
      replaceElement: true
    }
  },

  onRender: function() {
    var nodes = this.model.get('nodes');

    //show child nodes if they are present
    if (nodes.length) {
      var treeView = new TreeView({
        collection: new Bb.Collection(nodes)
      });

      this.showChildView('tree', treeView);
    }
  }
});

var TreeView = Mn.CollectionView.extend({
  tagName: 'ul',
  childView: TreeNode
});

var tree = new Bb.Collection([
  {
    id: 5,
    nodes: [
      {id: 9, nodes: []},
      {id: 1, nodes: [...]}
    ],
  },
  {
    id: 12,
    nodes: []
  }
]);

new TreeView({
  collection: tree
});

Live example

This more explicit style gives us two major benefits:

  • Fewer bugs - it's no longer possible to accidentally create a tree structure
  • More regions to hook different views in, something that's impossible with CompositeView

Advanced CollectionView Usage

For getting advanced information about filtering, sorting or managing CollectionView look at Advanced CollectionView usage

Managing Children

The CollectionView can store and manage its child views. This allows you to easily access the views within the collection view, iterate them, find them by a given indexer such as the view's model or collection, and more. Additional Information...

Filtering

CollectionView allows for a custom filter option if you want to prevent some of the underlying collection's models from being rendered as child views. Additional Information...

Sorting

By default the CollectionView will maintain a sorted collection's order in the DOM. Additional Information...