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1.5.0 • Public • Published


Travis build status no dependencies license TypeScript typings

Two small helper methods that simplify communication between nodes in different subtrees of the browser DOM.

See it in action in this little JS Bin demo showing the basics (run with JS enabled). There's also a more advanced version available.

Under the hood, send() dispatches instances of CustomEvent, using window as the event target. receive() simply listens on window for dispatched events.

Note: IE 9/10/11 has only partial support for the CustomEvent interface. You can use a polyfill like krambuhl/custom-event-polyfill to fix it.

Starting with version 1.3, the library is written in TypeScript and thus the package includes TypeScript typings.


Install via npm:

% npm install send-and-receive

Or via yarn:

% yarn add send-and-receive

The UMD build is also available on unpkg, adding a sar object to the global scope.

<script src=""></script>


Using a browser packager like Webpack or Rollup, you can cherry-pick only the functions you're interested in:

import { send, receive } from 'send-and-receive';
receive('my:event', (data) => {
  // do something with data
send('my:event', data);

If using the UMD build added via <script src>, call the methods on the exposed sar object:

  sar.send(/* ... */);
  sar.receive(/*... */);

Here is the complete API reference:


send(typestring, data?: any)void

Dispatches an event of the specified type with the specified data (optional).

sar.send('player:play', { src: 'song.mp3' });


receive(typestring, callback: (data?: any) => void, options?: { limit: number })Subscription

Listens on dispatched events of the specified type and, when it receives one, invokes callback with the data passed when sending.

const subscription = sar.receive('player:play', (data) => {

Use the returned Subscription object to retrieve some metadata or to cancel receiving further events:

subscription.received  //=> How often has the event been received?
subscription.remaining //=> How many remaining events can it receive?
subscription.cancelled //=> Did we completely opt out of receiving further events?
subscription.cancel()  //=> Unlisten from the event and set cancelled status.
subscription.paused    //=> Did we temporarily stop receiving further events?
subscription.pause()   //=> Pause listening and set paused status.
subscription.resume()  //=> Resume listening and unset paused status.

Note that both subscription.pause() and subscription.resume() will throw an error if the subscription has been cancelled.

By default, the number of events it can receive is not limited, which means subscription.remaining will always return positive infinity.

Besides calling subscription.cancel() in order to stop listening to further events, you can also restrict the number of times the event will be received by supplying the limit option:

sar.receive('player:play', callback, { limit: 1 });

Here, after the event has been received once, it will be auto-cancelled. Furthermore, the subscription's received property will have changed from 0 to 1, and the remaining property from 1 to 0.


receiveOnce(typestring, callback: (data?: any) => void)Subscription

A convenience method for the case when you want to receive the event only once.

sar.receiveOnce('player:play', callback);

This is semantically the same as the last example above.


  send(data?: any)void,
  receive(callback: (data?: any) => void, options?: { limit: number })Subscription

A convenience method to create both a sender function and a receiver function for the specified type.

This is especially useful when coding in TypeScript, as it allows strict-typing the data:

// a.ts
import { create } from 'send-and-receive';
const [sendPlay, receivePlay] = create<Song>('player:play');
export { receivePlay };
// later on (button click, etc.)
sendPlay({ src: 'song.mp3' });
// b.ts
import { receivePlay } from './a.js';
receivePlay((song) => {

Optionally, you can pass a function as the second argument which transforms the arguments passed to send into the data structure supplied to the receive callback:

sar.create(typestring, buildData: (...args: any[]) => any)[
  receive(callback: (data?: any) => void, options?: { limit: number })Subscription


import { create } from 'send-and-receive';
interface Options {
  action: "push" | "replace";
const [navigateTo, receiveNavigateTo] = create(
  (url: string, options: Options = { action: "push" }) => ({
// send...
navigateTo("/foo", { action: "replace" });
// receive...
receiveNavigateTo(({ url, action }) => history[action](url));


Here's a quick guide:

  1. Fork the repo and make install (assumes yarn is installed).
  2. Run the tests. We only take pull requests with passing tests, and it's great to know that you have a clean slate: make test.
  3. Add a test for your change. Only refactoring and documentation changes require no new tests. If you are adding functionality or are fixing a bug, we need a test!
  4. Make the test pass.
  5. Push to your fork and submit a pull request.


Released under The MIT License.


npm i send-and-receive

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