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Chic is an extremely simple class-like interface to JavaScript prototypal inheritance.
Tag: 0.0.3

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Chic is an extremely simple class-like interface to JavaScript prototypal inheritance.

Current Version: 0.0.3
Automated Build Status: Build Status
Node Support: 0.6, 0.8
Browser Support: Android Browser 2.2–4.2, Firefox 3.6, Firefox 4–16, Google Chrome 14–23, Internet Explorer 6–10, Mobile Safari iOS 4–6, Opera 12.10, Safari 5–6

Getting Started

You can use Chic in-browser or on the server side with Node.js. On the client side, you can either install Chic through Component:

$ component install rowanmanning/chic

Or by simply including chic.js in your page:

<script src="path/to/lib/chic.js"></script>

On the server side, install with npm:

$ npm install chic


In Node.js or using Component, you can include Chic in your script by using require:

var Class = require('chic').Class;

If you're just including with a <script>, Class is available in the chic namespace:

var Class = chic.Class;

The rest of the examples assume you've got the Class variable already.

Create a class

Creating classes is very simple. You extend the base class like this:

var Animal = Class.extend();

Obviously you want to add methods to your class, to give it some functionality:

var Animal = Class.extend({
    eat:   function () { ... },
    sleep: function () { ... },
    poop:  function () { ... }

The init method is a special one. This is your class constructor, and is called when a new instance of your class is created. You can set things up in here.

var Animal = Class.extend({
    init: function () {
        this.alive = true;

Instantiating a class

Instantiating your new class is just like instantiating any other JavaScript class now. You'll be able to use all those methods you defined!

var fluffy = new Animal();
fluffy.poop(); // Bad Fluffy!

Extending classes

Any class you create is also extendable. You extend custom classes in exactly the same way as the base class:

var Cat = Animal.extend();

If you define methods in this extend, then they will override methods of the same name which have been inherited from the parent class. For example:

var Animal = Class.extend({
    speak: function () {
        return 'Roar!';

var Cat = Animal.extend({
    speak: function () {
        return 'Miaow?';

var mrTibbles = new Cat();
mrTibbles.speak(); // Miaow?

If you wish to call the parent method, then that's possible using this.sup, which is a reference to the parent method with the same name as the one being called:

var Animal = Class.extend({
    init: function (name) { = name;
    eat: function () {
        return + ' is eating';

var Cat = Animal.extend({
    eat: function () {
        return this.sup() + ' like a good kitty';

var pet = new Cat('Mr Tibbles');; // Mr Tibbles is eating like a good kitty


To develop Chic, you'll need to clone the repo and install dependencies:

$ npm install

No code will be accepted unless all tests are passing and there are no lint errors. Commands are outlined below:

Lint code

Run JSHint with the correct config against the code-base:

$ npm run-script lint

Run unit tests (CLI)

Run unit tests on the command line in a Node environment:

$ npm test

Run unit tests (browser)

To run unit tests in supported browsers, you need to run a small express app to serve the files (this bundles test together to make managing them a lot easier):

$ npm run-script testapp

Now you will be able to visit http://localhost:3893/ in your browsers to run the tests. The app will automatically restart whenever a JavaScript file changes locally, so re-running the tests is just a case of reloading the page.

Unfortunately, my testing tools don't work correctly in Firefox 3.6 and IE 6–8. Becuase of this, there is a stripped down test suite available on http://localhost:3893/legacy which caters for these browsers.


This library was inspired by John Resig's great Simple JavaScript Inheritance post.


Chic is licensed under the MIT license.

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