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Bloodhound

Bloodhound is the typeahead.js suggestion engine. Bloodhound is robust, flexible, and offers advanced functionalities such as prefetching, intelligent caching, fast lookups, and backfilling with remote data.

Table of Contents

Features

  • Works with hardcoded data
  • Prefetches data on initialization to reduce suggestion latency
  • Uses local storage intelligently to cut down on network requests
  • Backfills suggestions from a remote source
  • Rate-limits and caches network requests to remote sources to lighten the load

Usage

API

new Bloodhound(options)

The constructor function. It takes an options hash as its only argument.

var engine = new Bloodhound({
  local: ['dog', 'pig', 'moose'],
  queryTokenizer: Bloodhound.tokenizers.whitespace,
  datumTokenizer: Bloodhound.tokenizers.whitespace
});

Bloodhound.noConflict()

Returns a reference to Bloodhound and reverts window.Bloodhound to its previous value. Can be used to avoid naming collisions.

var Dachshund = Bloodhound.noConflict();

Bloodhound#initialize(reinitialize)

Kicks off the initialization of the suggestion engine. Initialization entails adding the data provided by local and prefetch to the internal search index as well as setting up transport mechanism used by remote. Before #initialize is called, the #get and #search methods will effectively be no-ops.

Note, unless the initialize option is false, this method is implicitly called by the constructor.

var engine = new Bloodhound({
  initialize: false,
  local: ['dog', 'pig', 'moose'],
  queryTokenizer: Bloodhound.tokenizers.whitespace,
  datumTokenizer: Bloodhound.tokenizers.whitespace
});

var promise = engine.initialize();

promise
.done(function() { console.log('ready to go!'); })
.fail(function() { console.log('err, something went wrong :('); });

After initialization, how subsequent invocations of #initialize behave depends on the reinitialize argument. If reinitialize is falsy, the method will not execute the initialization logic and will just return the same jQuery promise returned by the initial invocation. If reinitialize is truthy, the method will behave as if it were being called for the first time.

var promise1 = engine.initialize();
var promise2 = engine.initialize();
var promise3 = engine.initialize(true);

assert(promise1 === promise2);
assert(promise3 !== promise1 && promise3 !== promise2);

Bloodhound#add(data)

Takes one argument, data, which is expected to be an array. The data passed in will get added to the internal search index.

engine.add([{ val: 'one' }, { val: 'two' }]);

Bloodhound#get(ids)

Returns the data in the local search index corresponding to ids.

  var engine = new Bloodhound({
    local: [{ id: 1, name: 'dog' }, { id: 2, name: 'pig' }],
    identify: function(obj) { return obj.id; },
    queryTokenizer: Bloodhound.tokenizers.whitespace,
    datumTokenizer: Bloodhound.tokenizers.whitespace
  });

  engine.get([1, 3]); // [{ id: 1, name: 'dog' }, null]

Bloodhound#search(query, sync, async)

Returns the data that matches query. Matches found in the local search index will be passed to the sync callback. If the data passed to sync doesn't contain at least sufficient number of datums, remote data will be requested and then passed to the async callback.

bloodhound.get(myQuery, sync, async);

function sync(datums) {
  console.log('datums from `local`, `prefetch`, and `#add`');
  console.log(datums);
}

function async(datums) {
  console.log('datums from `remote`');
  console.log(datums);
}

Bloodhound#clear()

Clears the internal search index that's powered by local, prefetch, and #add.

engine.clear();

Options

When instantiating a Bloodhound suggestion engine, there are a number of options you can configure.

  • datumTokenizer – A function with the signature (datum) that transforms a datum into an array of string tokens. Required.

  • queryTokenizer – A function with the signature (query) that transforms a query into an array of string tokens. Required.

  • initialize – If set to false, the Bloodhound instance will not be implicitly initialized by the constructor function. Defaults to true.

  • identify – Given a datum, this function is expected to return a unique id for it. Defaults to JSON.stringify. Note that it is highly recommended to override this option.

  • sufficient – If the number of datums provided from the internal search index is less than sufficient, remote will be used to backfill search requests triggered by calling #search. Defaults to 5.

  • sorter – A compare function used to sort data returned from the internal search index.

  • local – An array of data or a function that returns an array of data. The data will be added to the internal search index when #initialize is called.

  • prefetch – Can be a URL to a JSON file containing an array of data or, if more configurability is needed, a prefetch options hash.

  • remote – Can be a URL to fetch data from when the data provided by the internal search index is insufficient or, if more configurability is needed, a remote options hash.

Prefetch

Prefetched data is fetched and processed on initialization. If the browser supports local storage, the processed data will be cached there to prevent additional network requests on subsequent page loads.

WARNING: While it's possible to get away with it for smaller data sets, prefetched data isn't meant to contain entire sets of data. Rather, it should act as a first-level cache. Ignoring this warning means you'll run the risk of hitting local storage limits.

When configuring prefetch, the following options are available.

  • url – The URL prefetch data should be loaded from. Required.

  • cache – If false, will not attempt to read or write to local storage and will always load prefetch data from url on initialization. Defaults to true.

  • ttl – The time (in milliseconds) the prefetched data should be cached in local storage. Defaults to 86400000 (1 day).

  • cacheKey – The key that data will be stored in local storage under. Defaults to value of url.

  • thumbprint – A string used for thumbprinting prefetched data. If this doesn't match what's stored in local storage, the data will be refetched.

  • prepare – A function that provides a hook to allow you to prepare the settings object passed to transport when a request is about to be made. The function signature should be prepare(settings) where settings is the default settings object created internally by the Bloodhound instance. The prepare function should return a settings object. Defaults to the identity function.

  • transform – A function with the signature transform(response) that allows you to transform the prefetch response before the Bloodhound instance operates on it. Defaults to the identity function.

Remote

Bloodhound only goes to the network when the internal search engine cannot provide a sufficient number of results. In order to prevent an obscene number of requests being made to the remote endpoint, requests are rate-limited.

When configuring remote, the following options are available.

  • url – The URL remote data should be loaded from. Required.

  • prepare – A function that provides a hook to allow you to prepare the settings object passed to transport when a request is about to be made. The function signature should be prepare(query, settings), where query is the query #search was called with and settings is the default settings object created internally by the Bloodhound instance. The prepare function should return a settings object. Defaults to the identity function.

  • wildcard – A convenience option for prepare. If set, prepare will be a function that replaces the value of this option in url with the URI encoded query.

  • rateLimitBy – The method used to rate-limit network requests. Can be either debounce or throttle. Defaults to debounce.

  • rateLimitWait – The time interval in milliseconds that will be used by rateLimitBy. Defaults to 300.

  • transform – A function with the signature transform(response) that allows you to transform the remote response before the Bloodhound instance operates on it. Defaults to the identity function.