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Jade based views that render server and client side
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Jade based views that render server and client side


$ component install rschmukler/chino
$ npm install chino


Defining Views

There are two ways to define new views in Chino.

Chino.View(name, path-to-templates, options)

This method requires all essential variables to be passed in as arguments.

var Chino = require('chino');

var path = (Chino.isBrowser ? 'todo-item' : __dirname);

var TodoItem = Chino.View('TodoItem', path, {template: 'todo-item.jade'});


This method requires an object that will be extended to create the view template. Required properties for this object are: _name, _basePath, and _template

var Chino = require('chino');
var path = (Chino.isBrowser ? 'todo-item-view' : __dirname);

var TodoItemView = module.exports = Chino.View({
  name: 'TodoItem',
  basePath: path,
  template: 'todo-item.jade'


Specials are objects that, when given JSON, should be instantiated with the JSON as an argument to the constructor. The local variable will then be overwritten. This is helpful for gluing the views (see below), as it lets client side views instantiate full fledged instances of objects with just JSON being passed in.

You should pass in a key-value object where key is the name of the attribute in locals and value is the object to use for constructing.

Specials can either be set directly, or as part of the baseObject passed to Chino.View.

var Chino = require('chino'),
    Todo = require('todo-model');

var TodoItemView = Chino.View({
  name: 'TodoItem',
  basePath: path,
  template: 'todo-item.jade',
  specials: {
    'todo': Todo

TodoItemView._specials['nextTodo'] = Todo;

var validTodoJSON = { title: "Take out garbage",
                      dueDate: new Date() };

var todoItemView = new TodoItemView({todo: validTodoJSON});

todoItemView.locals.todo instanceof Todo == true; // Returns true, used the JSON to construct a new Todo instance

Instantiating Views

Once you've defined a view, you can create instances of it.

View( [locals] )

var TodoItemView = require('todo-item-view');

var todoView = new TodoItemView({message: "Take out trash", dueDate: new Date() });

=> Take out trash

View Instance Methods/Properties


$el is exposed to represent a jQuery-like object that is provided by either matthewmueller/cheerio or component/dom.

var TodoListView = require('todo-list-view'),
    todoList = new TodoListView(),
    todos = ['eat', 'write code', 'sleep'];

todos.forEach(function(todo) {
  todoList.$el.find('ul').append('<li>' + todo + '</li>');


initialize is called after a view has been instantiated. At this point, locals have been set and setEvents has been called. This is a good place to add any code needed before rendering happens (such as setting default values).


locals is an object of all the variables to expose to the template and a place to store objects/data related to the view.

render( [overWrittenLocals] )

By default this calls renderTemplate and then calls postRender.

This method should return the HTML of the element (generally by calling toHTML() and sets $el to a jQuery-like object. Typically it calls renderTemplate which would render the template.

overWrittenLocals will be passed into the view and temporarily overwrite the values of locals

renderTemplate( [overWrittenLocals] )

Returns the HTML of the rendered template and sets a jQuery-like object for $el. overWrittenLocals will be passed into the view and temporarily overwrite the values of locals. view will also be exposed to the template, pointing to the instance of the Chino View.


This should be called after render. Useful for processing $el after the template has been rendered.

  postRender: function() {
    var day = 1000 * 60 * 60 * 24;

    if(this.locals.todo.dueDate < (new Date() - day))


setEvents is called client side and attaches event listeners. Generally you should only listen to events on elements within your Chino.View and not the DOM on the whole.

var TodoItemView = module.exports = Chino.View({
  name: 'TodoItem',
  basePath: path,
  template: 'todo-item.jade'

  setEvents: function() {
    this.$el.on('click', 'input[type=checkbox]', this.toggleDone.bind(this));

  toggleDone: function() {

Nested Views

Children views should be rendered with parentView.renderChild(childView, locals);.

Gluing Views

After you have defined your views, you can use Chino.ready to apply Chino's glue. Chino's glue will find views rendered server side and instantiate client side equivalents with the appropriate DOM elements. This means that you can define events for views rendered server side and have them apply client side.

Using the DataStore

To avoid creating multiple instances of what should be the same object, Chino uses Chino.DataStore which intelligently maps the "same" objects to the same location in the Chino.DataStore. Chino.DataStore can then be dumped out client side to create instances of the objects.

To get a view to use the DataStore, you must specify an instance of it when you instantiate a view:

var dataStore = Chino.DataStore();
var todoView = new TodoView({_ds: dataStore);

If you want to manipulate the Chino.DataStore directly you may do so with the following methods:


Adds the object to Chino.DataStore and returns the lookupId to get it out with.

If it can auto-determine the lookupId of the object (more on this below) it will use it. Otherwise it will randomly generate an lookupId instead.


Returns the object from Chino.DataStore. If the object cannot be found, it returns null instead.


Informs Chino on additional ways to attempt to auto-resolve the lookupId of the object.

var article = { title: "This is a catchy article",
                description: "This is some content which you shou...",
                slug: 'this-is-a-catchy-article' };


var lookupId = Chino.DataStore.addObject(article);

 => this-is-a-catchy-article


Returns the contents of the DataStore. Useful for Middleware to expose it to the client. See below.


By default, Chino includes some Middleware to aid developing express applications.

The middleware exposes one method, res.renderChinoView. This method behaves differently depending on how you configure the Middleware.

res.renderChinoView will also take care of setting view._ds to use a shared data-store for the request.

Configuring a layout

Setting the file

If you want a jade template to render as the layout of the application, without any Chino.View associated with it.

Chino.Middleware.layoutPath = '/some/path/to/file';

From then on, any Chino.View rendered with res.renderChinoView will be inserted in the body element.

Set where the view gets inserted

If you'd rather it gets inserted elsewhere you can configure Chino.Middleware.insertPoint with a CSS querystring for where you'd like it.

Chino.Middleware.insertPoint = '#app-content';

Passing additional variables into the template.

Sometimes you need additional variables for your template to be rendered. You can define that by setting Chino.Middleware.exposeVariables

Chino.Middleware.exposeVariables = function(req, res) {
  return {
    errorMessage: req.flash('error'),
    infoMessage:  req.flash('info'),
    signedIn:     res.user != undefined

Manipulating the DOM after render

If you need to manipulate the DOM after the Middleware is done rendering the view and DataStore.

To do that, you can specify Chino.Middleware.postRender.

Chino.Middleware.postRender = function($, req, res, view) {
  $('head').prepend("<script>alert("Hello World")</script>");

Additionally, you can also make Chino.Middleware.postRender work with async operations by specifying a fourth argument, done and calling it.

Chino.Middleware.postRender = function($, req, res, view, done) {
  setTimeout(function() {
    $('head').prepend("<script>alert("Hello World")</script>");
  }, 500);



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