Simple, lightweight routing for web browsers
JavaScript
Pull request Compare This branch is 1 commit ahead, 40 commits behind mtrpcic:master.
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Failed to load latest commit information.
tests
README.markdown
path.js
path.min.js

README.markdown

PathJS

PathJS is a lightweight, client-side routing library that allows you to create "single page" applications.

Features

  • Lightweight
  • Tested (tests available in the ./tests directory)
  • Supports the onhashchange method
  • Supports paramaterized routes
  • Supports Aspect Oriented Programming
  • Compatible with all major browsers (Tested on Firefox 3.6, Firefox 4.0, Chrome 9, Opera 11, IE8)
  • Allows you to define root routes, and rescue methods
  • Independant of all third party libraries, but plays nice with all of them

Using PathJS

Explanation

PathJS allows you to bind methods to specific routes, providing you with the ability to dynamically change the content of your web page. A route can be any string prepended with a hash, such as:

#/my/first/route
#!/hashbang/route
#kittens

Binding Routes

PathJS provides the Path object. This is the root of the library, and is your gateway into route-defining heaven. You can define your routes like so:

// Use an anonymous function
Path.map("#/my/first/route").to(function(){
    alert("Hello, World!");
});

// Or define one and use it
function hello_world(){
    alert("Hello, World!");
}
Path.map("#/kittens").to(hello_world);

Aspect Oriented Programming

In addition to defining methods that will be executed when a route is activated, you can define methods that will be called before a route is activated, and after a route is left. This can be done via the enter and exit methods, respectively. They work exactly the same as the to method:

//Let's add an 'enter' method to one of our routes
Path.map("#/my/first/route").enter(function(){
    alert("Enter, minions!");
});

// You can also chain the methods together
Path.map("#!/hashbang/route").enter(fade_in).to(function(){
    alert("Method chaining is great!");
}).exit(fade_out);

Route Parameters

What good would a routing system be if it didn't allow you to use parameters? If you provide a route that contains a :token, that token will match anything, as long as the rest of the route matches as well. You can access the parameters inside your methods via the this.params object:

Path.map("#/users/:name").to(function{
    alert("Username: " + this.params['name']);
});

The above route will match any of the following hrefs:

#/users/mike
#/users/27

Root Route

If a user were to land on your page without a route defined, you can force them to use a root route. This route will be automatically selected on page load:

Path.root("#/home");

Rescue Method

If a route somehow ended up in your system without being properly bound to an action, you can specify a "rescue" method that will be called. This lets you provide instant user feedback if they click an undefined route:

Path.rescue(function(){
    alert("404: Route Not Found");
});

Automatic Dispatching

If a user gets to your page with an already defined route (for example, the click a referral link with the href of "www.yoursite.com/media#download"), PathJS will automatically find and execute the appropriate route methods.

Listen Carefully

You can define routes all day long, but if you don't tell us to listen for them, nothing's going to happen. Once you've got your routes defined, start the listener up by simply typing:

Path.listen();

You should always wrap your Path.listen() statements in some form of "Document Ready" method. This prevents errors when users come to your site with a predefined route. Without knowing the DOM is completely done loading, that route will be executed, and may try to perform operations it won't yet have the ability to do.

Disclaimer

This code is still under development, and as such, minor revisions may break compatibility with earlier versions of the library. Please keep this in mind when using PathJS.

Copyright and Licensing

Copyright (c) 2010 Mike Trpcic, released under the MIT license.