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JQuery Mobile Angular Adapter


Integration between jquery mobile and angular.js. Needed as jquery mobile enhances the pages with new elements and styles and so does angular. With this adapter, all widgets in jquery mobile can be used directly in angular, without further modifications.

Note that this adapter also provides special utilities useful for mobile applications.

Integration strategy

Jquery mobile has two kinds of markup:

  • Stateless markup/widgets: Markup, that does not hold state or event listeners, and just adds css classes to the dom. E.g. $.fn.buttonMarkup, which is created using <a href="..." data-role="button">
  • Stateful markup/widgets: Markup that holds state (e.g. event listeners, ...). This markup uses the jquery ui widget factory. E.g. $.mobile.button, which is created using <button>.

Integration strategy:

  1. We have angular widgets for all possible jqm markup.

  2. In the compile function, we trigger the jqm create and pagecreate event. Before this, we instrument all stateful jqm widgets (see above), so they do not really create the jqm widget, but only add the attribute jqm-widget=<widgetName> to the corresponding element. By this, all stateless markup can be used by angular for stamping (e.g. in ng-repeat), without calling a jqm method again, so we are fast. Furthermore, we have a simple attribute by which we can detect elements that contain stateful jqm widgets. Furthermore, we do a precompile for those jqm widgets that wrap themselves into new elements (checkboxradio, slider, button, selectmenu, search input), as the angular compiler does not like this.

  3. For jqm pages, we do the following: Call in the pre link phase, however without the pagecreate event. By this, we only create the page instance, but do not modify the dom (as this is not allowed in the pre link phase).

  4. For stateful jqm widgets: We create them in the post link phase. Here we also listen for changes in the model and refresh the jqm widgets when needed. By this, the jqm widgets also work nicely with angular stamping (e.g. in ng-repeat, ng-switch, ...).

  5. All together: This minimizes the number DOM traversals and DOM changes

    • We use angular's stamping for stateless widget markup, i.e. we call the jqm functions only once, and let angular do the rest.
    • We do not use the jqm create event for refreshing widgets, but angular's directives. By this, we prevent unneeded executions of jquery selectors.

Ohter possibilities not chosen:

  • Calling the jqm "create"-Event whenever the DOM changes (see the jqm docs). However, this is very slow, as this would lead to many DOM traversals by the different jqm listeners for the "create"-Event.


  • angular 1.0.0
  • jquery 1.7.1
  • jquery mobile 1.1.0 Final



This deactivates angular's feature to change urls via the $browser or $location services. This was needed as angular's url handling is incompatibly with jquery mobile and leads to unwanted navigations.


Include this adapter after angular and jquery mobile (see below).

Attention: The directive ng-app for the html element is required, as in all angular applications.

<html xmlns:ng="" xmlns:ngm="" ng-app>
    <link rel="stylesheet" href="lib/"/>
    <script src="lib/jquery-1.7.1.js"></script>
    <script src="lib/"></script>
    <script src="lib/angular-1.1.0.js"></script>
    <script src="lib/jquery-mobile-angular-adapter.js"></script>

Directory layout

This follows the usual maven directory layout:

  • src/main/webapp: The production code
  • src/test/webapp: The test code
  • compiled: The result of the javascript compilation
  • compiled/min: Contains the minified files.


The build is done using maven and node js.

  • mvn clean package: This will create a new version of the adapter and put it into /compiled.

The build also creates a standalone library including jquery, jquery-mobile and angular. If you want to do something during the initialization of jquery-mobile, use the following callback: window.mobileinit = function() { ... }

Running the tests

  • mvn clean integration-test -Ptest: This will do a build and execute the tests using js-test-driver. The browser that is used can be specified in the pom.xml.
  • mvn clean package jetty:run: This will start a webserver under localhost:8080/jqmng. The unit-tests can be run via the url localhost:8080/jqmng/UnitSpecRunner.html The ui-tests can be run via the url localhost:8080/jqmng/UiSpecRunner.html


Every page of jquery mobile gets a separate scope. The $digest of the global scope only evaluates the currently active page, so there is no performance interaction between pages.

For communicating between the pages use the ngm-shared-controller directive (see below).

Widgets, Directives and Services

Directive ngm-shared-controller

Syntax: <div ngm-shared-controller="name1:Controller1,name2:Controller2, ...">

Mobile pages are small, so often a usecase is split up into multiple pages. To share common behaviour and state between those pages, this directive allows shared controllers.

The directive will create an own scope for every given controllers and store it in the variables as name1, name2, .... If the controller is used on more than one page, the instance of the controller is shared.

Note that the shared controller have the full scope functionality, e.g. for dependecy injection or using $watch.

Directive ngm-event

Syntax: <div ngm-event="{event1:'handler1',event2:'handler2',...}">

General event handler that integrates with jquery events, and also with jquery mobile events. The value of the attribute is json and defines the event - handler mapping.

Usage: E.g. <a href="#" ngm-event="{swiperight:'myFn()'}">


The following event directives are supported:

  • ngm-click
  • ngm-tap
  • ngm-taphold
  • ngm-swipe
  • ngm-swiperight
  • ngm-swipeleft
  • ngm-pagebeforeshow
  • ngm-pagebeforehide
  • ngm-pageshow
  • ngm-pagehide

For the mentioned events there are special directives to simplify the markup. Each of them is equivalent to using the ngm-event directive with the corresponding event name.

Usage: E.g. <a href="#" ngm-swipeleft="myFn()">

Attribute Widget ngm-if

The attribute widget @ngm-if allows to add/remove an element to/from the dom, depending on an expression. This is especially useful at places where we cannot insert an ng-switch into the dom. E.g. jquery mobile does not allow elements between an ul and an li element.

Usage: E.g. <div ngm-if="myFlag">asdfasdf</div>

Service $navigate

Syntax: $navigate('[transition]:pageId'[,activateFn][,activateFnParam1, ...])

Service to change the given page.

  • The pageId is the pageId of $.mobile.changePage, e.g. #homepage for navigation within the current page or somePage.html for loading another page.
  • If the transition has the special value back than the browser will go back in history to the defined page, e.g. back:#hompage.
  • The transition may be omitted, e.g. $navigate('#homepage').
  • To go back one page use $navigate('back').
  • If the activateFn function is given, it will be called after the navigation on the target page with activateFnParam1, ... as arguments. The invocation is done before the pagebeforeshow event on the target page.
  • If you want to pass special options to the jquery mobile changePage function: Pass in an object to the $navigate function instead of a pageId. This object will be forwarded to jqm changePage. To define the new pageId, this object needs the additional property target.

Service $waitDialog

The service $waitDialog allows the access to the jquery mobile wait dialog. It provides the following functions:

  • show(msg, callback): Opens the wait dialog and shows the given message (if existing). If the user clicks on the wait dialog the given callback is called. This can be called even if the dialog is currently showing. It will the change the message and revert back to the last message when the hide function is called.
  • hide(): Restores the dialog state before the show function was called.
  • waitFor(promise, msg): Shows the dialog as long as the given promise runs. Shows the given message if defined.
  • waitForWithCancel(promise, cancelData, msg): Same as above, but rejects the promise with the given cancelData when the user clicks on the wait dialog.

Default messages are:

  • $.mobile.loadingMessageWithCancel: for waitForWithCancel
  • $.mobile.loadingMessage: for all other cases

Filter paged: Paging for lists

Lists can be paged in the sense that more entries can be additionally loaded. By "loading" we mean the display of a sublist of a list that is already fully loaded in JavaScript. This is useful, as the main performance problems result from DOM operations, which can be reduced with this paging mechanism.

To implement this paging mechanism, the angular filter paged was created. For displaying a page within a list, simply use:

list | paged:{pageSize: 12, filter: someFilter, orderBy: someOrder})

This returns the subarray of the given filtered and ordered array with the currently loaded pages. For the filter and orderBy parameter see the builtin angular filters filter and orderBy. The parameters pageSize, filter and orderBy are optional and can be combined in any order. If the pageSize is omitted, the default page size is used. This is by default 10, and can be configured using

module(["ng"]).value('defaultListPageSize', 123);

To show a button that loads the next page of the list, use the following syntax:

<a href="#" ngm-if="list | paged:'hasMore'" ngm-click="list | paged:'loadMore'">Load More</a>

The filter paged|'hasMore' returns a boolean indicating if all pages of the list have been loaded. The filter paged|'loadMore' loads the next page into the list.

Note that this will cache the result of the paging, filtering and sorting until something changes. By this, paging should work fine also for large lists.

The following example shows an example for a paged list for the data in the variable myList:

<ul data-role="listview">
    <li ng-repeat="item in list | paged:{pageSize:10}">{{item}}</li>
    <li ngm-if="list | paged:'hasMore'">
        <a href="#" ngm-click="list | paged:'loadMore'">Load more</a>
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