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JavaScript Web Applications

Cover of JavaScript Web Applications by Alex MacCaw Published by O'Reilly Media, Inc.
  1. JavaScript Web Applications
    1. SPECIAL OFFER: Upgrade this ebook with O’Reilly
    2. Preface
      1. Who Is This Book For?
      2. How This Book Is Organized
      3. Conventions Used in This Book
      4. Accompanying Files
      5. Code Conventions
      6. Holla
      7. Author’s Note
      8. Safari® Books Online
      9. How to Contact Us
    3. 1. MVC and Classes
      1. Early Days
      2. Adding Structure
      3. What Is MVC?
      4. Toward Modularity, Creating Classes
      5. Adding Functions to Classes
      6. Adding Methods to Our Class Library
      7. Class Inheritance Using Prototype
      8. Adding Inheritance to Our Class Library
      9. Function Invocation
      10. Controlling Scope in Our Class Library
      11. Adding Private Functions
      12. Class Libraries
    4. 2. Events and Observing
      1. Listening to Events
      2. Event Ordering
      3. Canceling Events
      4. The Event Object
      5. Event Libraries
      6. Context Change
      7. Delegating Events
      8. Custom Events
      9. Custom Events and jQuery Plug-Ins
      10. Non-DOM Events
    5. 3. Models and Data
      1. MVC and Namespacing
      2. Building an ORM
      3. Adding ID Support
      4. Addressing References
      5. Loading in Data
      6. Populating Our ORM
      7. Storing Data Locally
      8. Adding Local Storage to Our ORM
      9. Submitting New Records to the Server
    6. 4. Controllers and State
      1. Module Pattern
      2. Adding a Bit of Context
      3. State Machines
      4. Routing
    7. 5. Views and Templating
      1. Dynamically Rendering Views
      2. Templates
      3. Binding
    8. 6. Dependency Management
      1. CommonJS
      2. Module Loaders
      3. Wrapping Up Modules
      4. Module Alternatives
      5. FUBCs
    9. 7. Working with Files
      1. Browser Support
      2. Getting Information About Files
      3. File Inputs
      4. Drag and Drop
      5. Copy and Paste
      6. Reading Files
      7. Custom Browse Buttons
      8. Uploading Files
      9. jQuery Drag and Drop Uploader
    10. 8. The Real-Time Web
      1. Real Time’s History
      2. WebSockets
      3. Real-Time Architecture
      4. Perceived Speed
    11. 9. Testing and Debugging
      1. Unit Testing
      2. Drivers
      3. Headless Testing
      4. Distributed Testing
      5. Providing Support
      6. Inspectors
      7. The Console
      8. Using the Debugger
      9. Analyzing Network Requests
      10. Profile and Timing
    12. 10. Deploying
      1. Performance
      2. Caching
      3. Minification
      4. Gzip Compression
      5. Using a CDN
      6. Auditors
      7. Resources
    13. 11. The Spine Library
      1. Setup
      2. Classes
      3. Events
      4. Models
      5. Controllers
      6. Building a Contacts Manager
    14. 12. The Backbone Library
      1. Models
      2. Collections
      4. Controllers
      5. Syncing with the Server
      6. Building a To-Do List
    15. 13. The JavascriptMVC Library
      1. Setup
      2. Classes
      3. Model
      4. Using Client-Side Templates in the View
      5. $.Controller: The jQuery Plug-in Factory
      6. Putting It All Together: An Abstract CRUD List
    16. A. jQuery Primer
      1. DOM Traversal
      2. DOM Manipulation
      3. Events
      4. Ajax
      5. Being a Good Citizen
      6. Extensions
      7. Creating a Growl jQuery Plug-in
    17. B. CSS Extensions
      1. Variables
      2. Mixins
      3. Nested Rules
      4. Including Other Stylesheets
      5. Colors
      6. How Do I Use Less?
    18. C. CSS3 Reference
      1. Prefixes
      2. Colors
      3. Rounded Corners
      4. Drop Shadows
      5. Text Shadow
      6. Gradients
      7. Multiple Backgrounds
      8. Selectors
      9. Transitions
      10. Border Images
      11. Box Sizing
      12. Transformations
      13. Flexible Box Model
      14. Fonts
      15. Graceful Degradation
      16. Creating a Layout
    19. Index
    20. About the Author
    21. Colophon
    22. SPECIAL OFFER: Upgrade this ebook with O’Reilly

Building an ORM

Object-relational mappers, or ORMs, are typically used in languages other than JavaScript. However, they’re a very useful technique for data management as well as a great way of using models in your JavaScript application. With an ORM, for example, you can tie up a model with a remote server—any changes to model instances will send background Ajax requests to the server. Or, you could tie up a model instance with an HTML element—any changes to the instance will be reflected in the view. I’ll elaborate on those examples later, but for now, let’s look at creating a custom ORM.

Essentially, an ORM is just an object layer wrapping some data. Typically, ORMs are used to abstract SQL databases, but in our case, the ORM will just be abstracting JavaScript data types. The advantage of this extra layer is that we can enhance the basic data with more functionality by adding our own custom functions and properties. This lets us add things like validation, observers, persistence, and server callbacks while still being able to reuse a lot of code.

Prototypal Inheritance

We’re going to use Object.create() to construct our ORM, which is a little different from the class-based examples we covered in Chapter 1. This will allow us to use prototype-based inheritance, rather than using constructor functions and the new keyword.

Object.create() takes one argument, a prototype object, and returns a new object with the specified prototype object. In other words, you give it an object, and ...

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