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Delegate views

The problem: Your view code is starting to bloat as it tries to do too many things in one class, and making sub-views with its child elements is not an option.

The solution: Make a sub-view with the same element. This will allow you to delegate certain responsibilities to another view class.

Solution

You can make 2 or more views that target the same element. This is useful when there are many controls in a view, but creating sub-views (with their scopes limited to a set of elements in the bigger view) may be too messy, or just not possible.

In this example, ChromeView will make a sub-view that shares the same element as it does.

App.ChromeView = Backbone.View.extend({
  events: {
    'click button': 'onButtonClick'
  },
  render: function() {
    // Pass our own element to the other view.
    this.tabs = new App.TabView({ el: this.el });
  }
});

App.TabView = Backbone.View.extend({
  // Notice this view has its own events. They will not
  // interfere with ChromeView's events.
  events: {
    'click nav.tabs a': 'switchTab'
  },

  switchTab: function(tab) {
    // ...
  },

  hide: function() {
    // ...
  }
});

Using delegate views

You can delegate some functionality to the sub-view. In this example, we can write the (potentially long) code for hiding tabs in the TabView, making ChromeView easier to maintain and manage.

App.ChromeView = Backbone.View.extend({
  // ...

  goFullscreen: function() {
    this.tabs.hide();
  }
});

You may also provide publicly-accessible methods to TabView that will be meant to be accessed outside of ChromeView.

var chrome = new App.ChromeView;
chrome.tabs.switchTab('home');

Variation: private delegate views

You can also make delegate views private by design: that is, it shouldn't be used outside the parent view (ChromeView in our example).

As JavaScript lacks true private attributes, you can set prefix it with an underscore to signify that it's private and is not part of it's public interface. (This is a practice taken from Python's official style guide.)

App.ChromeView = Backbone.View.extend({
  render: function() {
    this._tabs = new App.TabView({ el: this.el });
  }
});