Ampersand View Conventions

What is a view according to ampersand?

The core purpose of a view is to manage the contents, events, and behavior or a single DOM element.

It doesn't matter if your "view" is an instance of ampersand-view or not. Any object can be a view if it follows a few rules.

Following these rules ensure that that your view plays nicely with other views.

The rules are:

  • All views accept an options object as the first argument to their constructor.
  • All views should have an el property, that is the dom element that the view manages.
  • If the constructor's options object has an el property, it should be used as the view's el.
  • All views should have a render method that creates, replaces, or fills in the el property.
  • It should have a remove method that tears down the view, removes any event handlers, and ideally removes el from it's parent (if that's a reasonable thing to do).

The rules are most easily explained by an example

Here is an absolutely bare-minimum view. Please see the comments.

function MinimalView(options) {
    // If given an element as part of an options object
    // the view *should* store an element as `this.el`.
    this.el = options.el;

// All views should have a `render` method that creates, replaces, or 
// fills in the `this.el` property.
// If passed in when created this view may already have a `this.el`. 
// If so, your render would method would populate it, or create a new
// one and replace it (if already part of the DOM tree).
MinimalView.prototype.render = function () {
    // The important thing is after calling `render` the view should have
    // a `this.el` that is a *real* DOM element.
    this.el.textContent = 'hello, awesome developer!';

// It should have a `remove` method that does any tear down you may want
// to do. Including ideally removing itself from it's parent (if reasonable to do so)
MinimalView.prototype.remove = function () {
    // you could do it with vanilla JavaScript like this
    var parent = this.el.parentNode;
    if (parent) parent.removeChild(this.el);

    // ...or if you're using jQUery you could just do

that's it!

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