Renderer Decorators

Note: The renderer will undergo significant changes post Infusion 1.5

Decorators allow users of the Renderer to attach various things, such as functions, class names, etc., to the components at render time. A number of different types of decorators are currently supported.

Using Decorators

To use a decorator, include it in the component tree for the component in question, using the decorators field. This field contains an array of objects providing configuration information for the desired decorators. The contents of each object will vary based on the decorator type. For example, the addClass decorator will specify a string of class names, the jQuery decorator will specify a function name and a list of parameters.

Decorators are specified using a notation similar to that of Subcomponents in an options structure. They include a type field and whatever other fields are necessary, based on the type:

{
    ID: "my-id",
    value: aValue,
    decorators: [{
        type: "typeName",
        field: value,
        field: value
    }]
}

Supported Decorators

The following table provides an overview of the currently-supported decorators. The sections that follow discuss each decorator in turn.

Decorator Type Field Name Field Type Field Description Example
jQuery or $ func String jQuery function to be invoked

decorators: [{
    type: "jQuery",
    func: "click",
    args: function() { $(this).hide(); }
}]
                
args Array of Object Arguments to the jQuery function
addClass classes String Space-separated list of CSS class names

decorators: [{
    type: "addClass",
    classes: "fl-widget fl-centred"
}]
                
removeClass classes String Space-separated list of CSS class names

decorators: [{
    type: "removeClass",
    classes: "fl-hidden"
}]
                
fluid func String Global function name to be invoked

decorators: [{
    type: "fluid",
    func: "fluid.componentName",
    container: container,
    options: options
}]
                
container jQuery-able Designator for the container node at which to base the component
options Object Configuration options for the component
args Array Raw argument list to override container and options
identify key String The key, or nickname for the decorated node - its allocated id will be stored in idMap under this key

decorators: [{
    type: "identify",
    key: "mySpecialName"
}]
                
attrs attributes Object The attribute map to be applied to the rendered node

decorators: [{
    type: "attrs",
    attributes: ""
}]
                
event event String Name of event handler to be bound

decorators: [{
    type: "event",
    event: "click",
    handler: myHandler
}]
                
handler Function Handler function to be bound

jQuery Decorator

Perhaps the most frequently used decorator is the jQuery decorator. This will accept any jQuery function and its arguments, and invoke that function, as the rendered markup is placed into the document. Here is an example of specifying a UILink component together with a jQuery-bound click() handler:

decorators: [{
    type: "jQuery",
    func: "click",
    args: function() { $(this).hide(); }
}]

Any number of decorators of any types could be accommodated in the decorators list.

An alternative name for the jQuery decorator is $ - this can be used interchangeably for jQuery as a type name.

addClass Decorator

The addClass decorator allows a CSS class to be attached to the rendered node. It has just one argument/member, which is a space-separated list of CSS classes in just the same form that would have been accepted by jQuery.addClass.

Here is a simple component which has been decorated with two CSS classes:

{
    ID: "my-menu",
    value: "Cheeses",
    decorators: {
        type: "addClass",
        classes: "fl-listmenu fl-activemenu"
    }
}

removeClass Decorator

The removeClass decorator allows a CSS class to be removed from the rendered node. It has just one argument/member, which is a space-separated list of CSS classes. It is identical in syntax to the addClass decorator, but opposite in function.

Here is a simple component for which we will remove a CSS class:

{
    ID: "my-menu",
    value: "Cheeses",
    decorators: {
        type: "removeClass",
        classes: "fl-listmenu"
    }
}

identify decorator

Useful in more intricate scenarios, where the rendered nodes need to be easily and quickly retrievable, perhaps where events bound to one node need to manipulate another, or when nodes are part of a wider relation, such as table cells and their headers. The model behind the identify decorator, is that the node is given a free nickname by the user, by which its final HTML id, and hence the node itself, can be quickly looked up later. This works in conjunction with a lookup table named idMap which is passed in the options structure to the renderer driver. As rendering progresses, the final HTML id allocated to the node is stored in idMap under the key provided to the identify decorator.

Here is a short sequence showing a possible use of identify:

var tree = {
    ID: "data-row:",
    decorators: {
        identify: "this-catt",
        }
    };
var idMap = {};
fluid.selfRender($(".paged-content-2"), tree, {idMap: idMap});
fluid.jById(idMap["this-catt"]).show();

Whilst component tree nodes are allocated a fullID in a regular way by a stable algorithm involving their ID values and structure, this may not always relate them in a stable way in the global document - firstly, trees may be processed and reaggregated, which might change their ID or containment structure, and secondly, they may come to collide with already existing IDs in the document and hence come to be relabelled further. The "identify nickname" system lets developers to get at exactly the nodes they are interested in, in a simple, stable and efficient way.

fluid Decorator

This is a highly powerful decorator, that completes the active functionality supplied by the jQuery and identify decorators. Use of the fluid decorator allows any Fluid Component to be scheduled to be instantiated against the rendered markup, as it is added to the target document. These decorators promote markup agnosticism, as well as developer efficiency – without them, one would be left to rescan the just-rendered markup once again, in order to convert it from raw markup to an active interface. With these decorators and the component tree, one has a surface with which to talk about the function of the interface whilst leaving design and markup issues in their own space.

The full form of the decorator takes three members, func, container and args, mirroring the instantiation syntax of a standard Fluid Component - as described in Understanding Infusion Components, this takes the form:

fluid.componentName = function(container, options);

In this case, the equivalent decorator instantiation takes the form:

{
    decorators: {
        type: "fluid",
        func: "fluid.componentName",
        container: container,
        options: options
    }
}
Note that rather than specifying container and options separately, one can instead set the member args to consist of the entire argument list - this might be useful for instantiating a non-Fluid component that does not conform to the general syntax. For example, the decorator above could be given a member args: [container, options]. The args member takes precendence if specified.

There is no specially dehydrated form for the fluid decorator – however, like all renderer decorators it may be dehydrated to the extent of having its type field folded onto a key field on decorators if there is just one decorator of a particular type.

attrs Decorator

The attrs director is simple and crude - it allows freeform access to all of the attributes of the rendered node. Since this is not likely to result in a very markup-agnostic relationship, its use is only recommended in special situations. The decorator takes a value named attributes which is a free hash of keys to values, which will be applied "on top of" the target node as it is rendered, overwriting any values which were inherited from the original markup template.

{
    ID: "component-names",
    value: "Reorderer",
    decorators: {
        attrs: {title: "Reorderer Component"}
    }
}
Note: Specifying a value of null will remove the attribute.

event Decorator

The final implemented decorator, event, allows direct access to the functionality of binding a raw browser event to the rendered node. This is not generally recommended, since this is more safely and portably achieved using jQuery. However, it is possible this might be a useful function in some special situation. The decorator has a member called handler which is directly assigned to be the native event handler for the event named event.

For example, this decorator:

decorators: {
    type: "event",
    event: "onClick",
    handler: function() {
        alert("You are using some grubby browser-level functionality");
    }
}

This could be attached to bind (and hence overwrite) the onClick handler for the target rendered node. Don't do this at home.