Neolithic Populous Metropolis

    slicks

    1.3.8 • Public • Published

    Slicks

    Slicks is a simple javascript Client MVC framework for SPA. It uses seleto.js, stud.js for rendering pre-compiled templates.

    Installation

      npm install slicks

    Test

        npm test

    Slicks Components

    Slicks has the following components:

    • Slicks Model
    • Slicks Collection
    • Slicks View
    • Slicks Router

    Slicks Model

    This is basically data in our application. Slicks Model accepts the following arguments(they are optional too):

    • url: This is an HTTP endpoint where a resource could be fetched. This could be REST endpoints or plain action endpoints usually on a server somewhere e.g /users; it defaults to null when not given.

    • attributes: This represents the fields in our model; a javascript object which defaults to {} when not given.

    Slicks supports both AJAX and Socket.io for communicating with its HTTP endpoints. It also support REST endpoints out-of-the-box

    Model communicates with the server or back-end-engine(BEE) and support REST out-of-the-box. For instance, urls for a model for the url /users would look like the following:

    • GET /users- This list all the users

    • GET /users/4 - This returns the user identified by ID = 4.

    • POST /users - This post a submission to create a user

    • PUT /users/4 - This updates the user identified by ID = 4.

    • DELETE /users/4 - This deletes the user identified by ID = 4.

    Creating a Slicks Model is as simple as:

    /*url defaults to null, attributes defaults to {}*/
    var model = Slicks.Model();
     
    /*attributes defaults to {}*/
    var another = Slicks.Model('/users');
     
    var yetAnother = Slicks.Model({name:'steve',age:20});
     
    var yetYetAnother = Slicks.Model('/users',{name:'steve',age:20});

    Slicks Model Exposed Interfaces

    These are the exposed model functions:

    • save: This usually sends a POST or PUT request to a back-end-enging (BEE) endpoint. If the model has not been saved before, the request would be POSTed otherwise, it would be PUTed. This function triggers the created event for POSTed requests and triggers the change event for PUTed requests, which you can subscribe to ONLY if the model is not part of a collection. Otherwise, subscribe to the add event on the containing collection. save also triggers the 'change' event.

    • destroy: This sends a DELETE request to back-end-enging (BEE) endpoint for deletion and removes the model from a collection if it belongs to one. It also triggers the destroy event, which you can subscribe to ONLY if the model is not part of a collection. Otherwise, subscribe to the remove event on the containing collection.

    • set: set assigns/modifies model attributes e.g mod.set('name','Tom'). set also could be passed a map, such as mod.set({name:'Tom'}).

    • change: change works exactly like set except that it triggers the 'change' event, which you can subscribe to; it passes the modified model as argument to any passed callback of your subscribed listener; see Slicks Model Events.

    • get: get obviously retrieves the appropriate model attribute by passing the attribute key e.g mod.get('name'). This also has flavours such as mod.getInt() and mod.getFloat() for numeric values.

    • unset: unset, as the name implies removes attributes from the Slicks model; pass the attribute key as argument. This triggers a change event too.

    • reset: reset clears the model attributes to {}; the url is not affected by reset. It triggers change event on the model.

    • fetch: fetch allows Slicks Model to be used to send GET requests to all kinds of urls, even when the model was not initialized with such urls e.g

    var model = Slicks.Model({});
     
    /*This is possible even when 
    model has no url at initialization*/
    model.fetch('/user/roles',{userid:'ssamson'},function(error,roles){
        
        console.log(error, roles);
     
    });
    • post: post is like fetch(see fetch), except it rides on POST, e.g
    var model = Slicks.Model({}),
     
    /*Some method somewhere*/
    credentials = getCredentials();
     
    /*This is possible even when 
    model has no url at initialization*/
    model.post('/user/login',credentials,function(error, result){
     
            console.log(error, result);
    });
    • populate: This is deprecated, use set instead set helps us modify and extend model attributes like such:
    var model = Slicks.Model({name:'steve'});
     
    model.set({name:'Tom', age:13, address:'Unknown'});
     
    /*The name has changed and age and address were added*/
    console.log(model.toJSON());
    • toObject: toObject returns the model attributes as a map e.g mod.toObject().

    • toJSON: toJSON returns the model attributes as a JSON string e.g mod.toJSON().

    • params: params returns the model attributes as a hash which could be used as query-string to routes that may need information about the model before proceeding. The route can then retrieve the model from the path query, parse it to model, use it and then proceed. Check Slicks Router

    var user = Slicks.Model('/users');
     
    user.set({name:'steve',age:25,phone:'2348099887766'});
     
    /* No more need for password */
    console.log(user.params()); 
     
    /* output: J1olw6wQAGd8fRDDqsK9w5wPwoZ4w7xHFyzCrcOvw5NMw5tUw53Cs8OHw4HDq8OOwoTDsSNGw7RzbgpKCMO4Vk93IsORw5FSZ8Ou, 
    which represent the entire model graph.*/
    • extend: extend, obviously allows us to modify/override or add to the exposed interfaces of Slicks Model, while set helps to extend/modify Slicks Model attributes, extend provides a way to override/add interfaces to the Slicks Model itself. See sync example below for how to use extend.

    • sync: sync is where communication with a Back-End-Engine,BEE or HTTP endpoint takes place; in fact, if there is any need to change where application data/communication go to, sync should be overridden, or in Slicks terms extended. The interface signature is sync = function(url, mtd, params, cb); where url is endpoint URL, mtd is the HTTP method like GET, POST, PUT, DELETE and cb is a callback function which receives the endpoint response. Extending or overriding Slicks Model sync is as simple as:

    var model = Slicks.Model('/users');
     
    model.extend({
     
        sync: function (url, method, param, cb) {
            /*Persist or remote somewhere here 
            and thereafter invoke the callback*/
            cb && cb({'text':'Sync override called...','method':method});
        }
    });
     
    /*Here you can then reliably post 
    with the the new sync - simple, huh!*/
    model.post('/users', {id: 'steve'}, function (error, result) {
     
        if(!error){
            /*prints {'text':'Sync override called...','method':'post'} */
            console.log(result);
         }
    });
    • on: on is the only way of subscribing to events on the model. You can even subscribe to custom events and trigger them appropriately as needed. There is an equivalent off, used to unsubscribed from a Slicks Model event or all Slicks Model events. When the event is not passed, it removes all event subscriptions from the model. See Slicks Model Events for more details. Note the issue of context when subscribing to Slicks Model events, it is very important. All you need to do to subscribe to a Slicks Model event or multiple events is to provide callback and/or context like so:
    /*Create a Slicks model*/
    var model = Slicks.Model({email:'you@me.com'}),
     
    /*Create event listener*/
    listener = function(changedModel){
        console.log(changedModel.toJSON());
    };
     
    /*Subscribe to event on model. 
    (model, last argument) here is the context, 
    if omitted, then context will be null in the callback.*/
    model.on('change',listener, model);
     
    /*This triggers change event 
    and listener will be called, context is null here*/
    model.change('email','me@you.com');

    You can equally listen for changes to each of the model attributes like so:

        
        model.on('name:change',function(){
            /*Attribute name changed; do stuff */
        });
    • fire: fire gives us the opportunity to trigger events on the model, even our custom events. For instance, the set interface does not trigger any event but we want to notify subscribers that the model has changed after seting a model attribute. Let us see how we can do this:
    var model = Slicks.Model('/users',{name:'steve',age:30});
     
    /*change attribute and trigger 
    change event, subscribers will be notified*/
    /* Yes, we can chain most of model methods*/
    model.set('age',25).fire('change');

    Slicks Model Events

    Slicks Model events are intuitive and so easy to use. You can even use own custom events. The following events are available on Slicks Model; and can be subscribed to.

    • created: a model was created.
    • change: a model attribute changes.
    • destroy: a model was deleted. These can be subscribed to like the following:
    var jobs = Slicks.Model();
     
      /*Override 'sync' interface of the model*/
      jobs.extend({
          sync: function (url, mtd, param, cb) {
              cb({url:url, method:mtd});
          }
          
      });
      
    /*Yes, you can chain your subscriptions*/
    jobs.on('change',function(changedModel){
     
        console.log('Modified: ' +changedModel.toJSON());
    })
    .on('destroy',function(destroyedModel){
     
       console.log('Destroyed: ' + destroyedModel.toJSON());
    })
    .on('created',function(createdModel){
     
        console.log('Created: ' +createdModel.toJSON());
    });
     
    /*Trigger the events */
    jobs.change('title','Developer').save(function(error, msg){
        /*Do stuff */
    }).destroy(function(error, msg){
        /*Do stuff */
    });

    Slicks Collection

    Slicks Collection, in its simplest conception could be seen as an array or list of Slicks Models. Slicks Collection has one argument: url.

    **url:**This is the url of an HTTP/BEE endpoint(REST or plain actions endpoints), usually on a server somewhere e.g '/user'. Slicks Collection can be created like so:

    var collection = Slicks.Collection('/users');

    Slicks Collection Exposed Interfaces

    These are the exposed Slicks Collection functions:

    • fetch: This does the initial retrieval of models from the store(depending on what your store is)usually sends a GET request to an HTTP endpoint for retrieval. This function triggers the reset event, which you can subscribe to for notification, especially in a view. See this in action:
    var users = Slicks.Collection('/users'),
     
       printUsers = function(){
       
           users.each(function(user){
       
               console.log(user.toJSON());
           });
       };
     
    users.on('reset',printUsers).fetch();
    • create: This creates a Slicks Model, based on the passed options, and save it, by sending a POST request to the HTTP endpoint; it thereafter, adds the created model to its list of models. This also triggers the add event, which can be subscribed to, especially in the view. Check this:
        var users = Slicks.Collection('/users');
     
        /*Note that the passed in callback could be omitted*/
        users.create({name:'tom peters',age:45},function(msg,status){
     
            console.log('Creation status: ', status);
        });
    • add: add obviously add a Slicks Model to the collection but not necessarily to the store. Note that no event is raised here, however, if there are needs to notify the view, one can manually fire an add event on the collection.

    • reset: reset clears the collection's list of Slicks Models to []; the length is also updated; the url is not affected by reset. It triggers change event on the collection.

    • remove: remove obviously removes model from the collection. It fires a remove event.

    • extend: extend helps us modify/extend the exposed functions of the Slicks Collection. Read Slicks Model extend interface for better understanding.

    • asArray: asArray returns all Slicks Models in a Slicks Collection as an array of Slicks Models.

    • get(Slicks Model ID): This can be used to retrieve a Slicks model from a collection, say if the model has a valid id.

    • emptyModel: This is a handy method to retrieve a model, based on the collection's url, so that thereafter, the model can participate in all events related to the collection. For instance, when such model is saved, it is added to the collection automatically.

    • sync: sync, like in Slicks Model is where communications to the back-end-engines, BEE or HTTP endpoints take place. The interface signature is sync = function(url, mtd, params, cb); where url is endpoint URL, mtd is the HTTP method like GET, POST, PUT, DELETE and cb is a callback function which receives the endpoint response. By default, it sends request to HTTP endpoints for the create and fetch interfaces. sync can be overridden via the Slicks Collection's extend interface like so, note that this is the earlier example extended:

    var users = Slicks.Collection('/users'),
     
       printUsers = function(){
     
           users.each(function(user){
               console.log(user.toJSON());
           });
       };
     
    /*extend sync for mock purpose */   
    users.extend({sync:function(url,mtd, params, cb){
     
        switch(mtd){
            /*This works for fetch interface*/
            case 'get':
                cb && cb([
                    {name:'steve',age:12},
                    {name:'sam',age:32},
                    {name:'tom',age:52},
                    {name:'rita',age:17}
                ]);
                break;
            /*This works for create interface*/    
            case 'post':
                params.id = 34;
                cb && cb(params);
            break;
        }
    }});
     
    var user = {name:'Mary', age:10};
    /*Yes chaining is ok*/
    users.on('reset',printUsers).fetch().create(user,function(error, msg){
     
        if(!error){
               /*New user  creation status message*/
            console.log(msg);
        }
    });
    • on: on is the only way of subscribing to events on Slicks Collection. You can even subscribe to custom events and trigger them appropriately as needed. There is an equivalent off, used to unsubscribed to a collection's event or all collection's events. When the event is not passed, it removes all event subscriptions from the collection. Read Slicks Model Events please. Note the issue of context when subscribing to Slicks Collection's events is very important, check the following examples:
        var users = Slicks.Collection('/users'),
        
       printWithNoContext = function(){
       
           console.log('With No Context');
           
           /*context 'this' is null. */
           users.each(function(user){
           
               console.log(user.toJSON());
           });
       },
       printWithContext = function(){
       
           console.log('With Context');
           
           /*context 'this' is users*/
           this.each(function(user){
           
               console.log(user.toJSON());
           });
       };
        
        /*Extend sync for this purpose, this 
        only extends this collection instance*/
        users.extend({sync:function(url,mtd, params, cb){
        
        switch(mtd){
            /*This works for fetch interface*/
            case 'get':
                cb && cb([
                    {name:'steve',age:12},
                    {name:'sam',age:32},
                    {name:'tom',age:52},
                    {name:'rita',age:17}
                ]);
                break;
        }
    }});
     
    users.on('reset',printWithNoContext).on('reset',printWithContext, users).fetch();
    • fire: fire gives us the opportunity to trigger events on the collection, even our custom events.

    • each: Used to iterate over the models in the collection. Like in Arrays' forEach but with better performance. See the code example above for the use of Slicks Collection's each interface.


    Slicks View

    Slicks Views are a sensible way of managing pieces of user interface, UI in a self-contained manner. The view expects all view templates in either pre-compiled stud.js templates or inline text-based templates.

    For instance, take a template for a list of users, the following shows the user item template and the compiled version for stud.js use.

    <!--userItem.html -->
    <tr>
     <td>
      {name} - {age} <a href='#' class='del_button'>delete</a>
     </td>
    </tr>
     
    /*Compiled userItem.js stud.js template*/
    (function(c){c.register("userItem.html",function(x){var b = c.buffer('');b.append("<tr><td>").append(x['name']).append(" - ").append(x['age']).append(" <a href='#' class='del_button'>delete</a></td></tr>"); return b.toString();});}(stud));
     

    These are the Slicks View exposed options

    Slicks View has several options, which make the it highly customizable to your heart desires. The following are the options available in the Slicks View:

    • events: events gives us the opportunity to bind events to the view declaratively. For instance given the following template:
    <!--userItem.html -->
    <tr>
      <td>
        {name} - {age} <a href='#' class='del_button'>delete</a>
      </td>
    </tr>

    A view can bind event to the anchor with class='del_button' like this:

     
        var userModel = Slicks.Model('/user', {name:'tom', age:25}),
            
            userItemView = Slicks.View({
                 model:userModel,
                 /*This is the container where template gets rendered*/
                 host:'tbody',
                 /*Since it is inline, the preceeding @ is mandatory.*/
                 template:"@<tr><td>{name} - {age} <a href='#' class='del_button'>delete</a></td></tr>",
                 events: {
                    'click:.del_button': 'delete'
                },
                'delete': function (e) {
                   
                    e.preventDefault();
                    this.model.destroy();
                }
            });
            userItemView.render();

    View Templates must be wrapped in a single DOM, which forms the $el of the view

    We used click event in the sample above but we could have used any of blur, focus, change, keyup, keypress etc.

    • host: The host represents a DOM or any valid selector, which will be the container for the Slicks View i.e the view will be added to the host.

    • model: The model is a Slicks Model which is optional if no model was needed; it must, however, be specified if the view must render the state of a model.

    • collection: The collection is mandatory when the view is a collection Slicks View. Collection views are such views like table , dl, ol and ul.

    • template: The template is usually the file name of the stud.js template from which the template was generated. For instance, a stud.js template named 'user_row.html' automatically compiles to 'user_row.js' and is registered as 'user_row.html' while another template named 'core/base.html' compiles to 'core/base.js' and registered as 'core/base.html'. template can also be the inline text-based template supplied directly to the view. This can be used when the view is not involving; something like a list item could use the inline template type. However, a more involving template will be better as a stud.js pre-compiled template file.

    Note that when inline template is used, it is usually preceeded with a @ sign as seen in the earlier example.

    • remove: remove is usually called when the backing model for the view has been delete/destroyed. You will normally need not call this function unless you want a custom behaviour(the view listens to for the destroy event and remove the view appropriately).

    • hide: hide is used to hide the view for whatever reason. You can pass arguments like fadeOut and slideUp to this function to control its behaviour.

    • show: show is used to display the view if it was hidden for whatever reason. You can pass arguments like fadeIn, slideDown to this function to control its behaviour.

    • render: render, when called, will add the view to the DOM, displaying the state of its model. render should be overridden in view that display contents of collection for consistent rendering.

    • empty_before_render: empty_before_render is by default true; it determines whether/or not the view's hostshould be emptied before rendering should take place.

    • data: data, when called returns a JSON object representing all the values of inputs on a form view.

    • reset: reset clear all the values on a view; useful, especially on form views.

    • extend: extend helps us modify/extend the options of the Slicks View. Read Slicks Model extend interface for better understanding.

    • isReactive: isReactive is a flag, true/false and applicable when real-time interactions are needed and views are expected to react to server or back-end-engine (BEE) messages. It is false by default.

    • onComets: onComets works with isReactive=true, by proxying all messages from the server or BEE. onComets can be overridden to trap the server messages for proper processing. By default it updates the model/collection backing the view so the view can re-render itself. Such operations like model creation, update and deletion are implemented for view.

    Slicks View Lifecycle Events

    • beforeEvents: beforeEvents is called before any event is bound to the view and should be overridden appropriately when needed.

    • beforeRender: beforeRender allows you to do implement view setups. It is the first routine to run in the view before view rendering, hence, it is the best place to register your events. A simple use case is as follows:

     
    var userItemView = Slicks.View({
          model:userModel,
          template:"@<li>{name} - {age} <a href='#' class='del_button'>delete</a></li>",
          beforeRender:function()
          {
              this.model.on('change', this.render, this);
              this.model.on('destroy', this.remove, this);
              this.render();
          },
          events: {
             'click:.del_button': 'delete'
         },
         'delete': function (e) {
             e.preventDefault();
             this.model.destroy();
         }
    });
    • afterRender: afterRender is called once after the view was render.

    • beforeDestroy beforeDestroy is called once before the view is removed from the DOM. This is the ideal place for clean ups.

    Slicks Router

    Slick Router is a fork of Pathjs, a wonderful piece of module for mapping routes, for deep-linking amongst pages and handling browsers history.

    These are the Slicks Router exposed interfaces

    • goBack: goBack can be used to go to the previous view.

    • map: This is where we assign a request path to a handler routine.

    var Router = Slicks.Router();
    /*:id is mandatory here, otherwise, 
    this route will never be matched.*/
    Router.map('#/comments/:id').to(function () {
       var commentId = this.params['id']
       alert('Comments with ID: ' + commentId);
    });
    • root: This specifies the default route in situation where no path is specified. See the listing below.

    • rescue: It traps all requests that do not match any configured route. See listing under usage.

    • dispatch: dispatch allows us navigate to another view by passing the path to the target view.

    • listen: listen is very important, in fact, if you forgot to tell Slicks Router to listen, none of your routes would function at all. See listings below..

    Slicks Router, in its simplest form, allows you define your routes like so:

    var Router = Slicks.Router();
     
    /*:id is mandatory here, otherwise, 
    this route will never be matched.*/
    Router.map('#/comments/:id').to(function () {
     
        var commentId = this.params['id'];
        
       alert('Comments with ID: ' + commentId);
    });
     
    /*:id is optional here, so works 
    for both '#/users' and '#/users/4'*/
    Router.map('#/users(/:id)').to(function () {
     
       alert('Users');
    });
     
    Router.map('#/users/register/:query').to(function () {
     
    /*this.query() is a JSON representing 
    the passed model to be registered.*/
    /*Check params under Slicks Model 
    Exposed Interfaces*/
       alert('New user details: ' + JSON.stringify(this.query()));
    });
     
    /*Landing route when none is specified*/
    Router.root("#/");
    /*Notifications when 
    a non-existent route is called*/
    Router.rescue(function () {
     
        alert('404: Sorry, resource not found');
    });
    /*Call this last to start 
    the Router.IMPORTANT*/
    Router.listen();
        

    Simple Usage

    Let us assume a user management view. The users will have attributes like name and age for instance. Further, our users will be displayed in a table as shown below:

        <!--1. user.html table stud.js template-->
        <table>
          <thead>
          
             <tr>
                <th>Name</th>
                <th></th>
            </tr>
           </thead>
           <tbody>
           </tbody>
           </table>

    The above compiles to user.js. The next thing is to write our row template(in stud.js), which will contain each user record. Let us think of a user table row, a simple stud.js template for it looks as shown:

       <!--2. user_row.html row stud.js template-->
       <tr>
          <td>{name}</td>
          <td>
          <a href='#' class='details'>details</a>|<a href='#' class='remove'>delete</a>
          </td>
        </tr>

    Note: The above template must be compiled to javascript with stud.js compiler. The template above would be compiled into a user_row.js file and loaded in the head of your html file. Once that was done, the following Slick view will use the template like so: Alternatively, inline template could be used.

    Now let us tie everything together as shown below(I believe it is clear as it is heavy on comments):

        var userCollection = Slicks.Collection('/user'),
        
           userTableView = Slicks.View({
                collection:userCollection,
                /*specify which DOM hosts 
                this view e.g body*/
                host:'body',
                /*See user.html in 1 above*/
                template:'user',
                beforeRender: function () {
                    /***
                    Collection Events e.g.
     
                    add:new model was added to collection,
                    remove:model was removed from collection,
                    reset:collection was refreshed,
                    change:one or more of the models in 
                    the collection was modified
     
                    ***/
                    this.collection.on('add', this.addRow, this);
                    this.collection.on('reset', this.refresh, this);
                },
                afterRender: function () {
                    
                    this.collection.fetch();
                },
                refresh:function(){
     
                    /*Save reference to view*/
                    var self = this;
                    this.collection.each(function(user){
                        self.addRow(user);
                    })
                },
                addRow: function (user) {
                    var rowView = this.userRow(user);
                    rowView.render();
                },
                userRow:function(user){
     
               /*This creates a user  
               row view, setting 
               its model to the passed 
               user model and returns it.*/
                    return Slicks.View({
                           model:user,
                           
                          /*define host for user row, 
                          the tbody of the user table*/
                          
                          host: this.$el.find('tbody'),
                          
                          /*define the template file, 
                          here, 'user_row.html'  */
                          template: 'user_row',
                          
                          /*View events to be bound to the view*/
                          events: {
                              'click:.details': 'showDetails',
                              'click:.remove':'delete'
                          },
                          
                          /*Handlers for view events*/
                          showDetails: function (e) {
                              e.preventDefault();
                              console.log('Details: ' + this.model.toJSON());
                          },
                          'delete': function (e) {
                              e.preventDefault();
                              this.model.destroy();
                          },
                          /*View setup*/
                          beforeRender: function () {
                              this.model.on('change', this.render, this);
                              this.model.on('destroy', this.remove, this);
                          }
                      });
     
                }
           });
           
           userTableView.render();
     
           /*Defining application routes*/
               var Router = Slicks.Router;
               
               Router.map('#/comments').to(function () {
                  alert("Comments!");
               });
               Router.map('#/users').to(function () {
                 userTableView.start();
               });
                Router.root('#/users');
               
               /*When no route was matched*/
               Router.rescue(function () {
                   alert(
                       '404: Sorry, resource not found'
                   );
               });
               /*This is important. Without this, 
               routing will not work.*/
               Router.listen();

    Thank you, this is the end for now.

    Install

    npm i slicks

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    1

    Version

    1.3.8

    License

    MIT

    Last publish

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