Saturday, May 14, 2011

My first jQuery plugin: jRoll

With transitioning to ASP.NET MVC, I see our JavaScript codebase increasing exponentially. And this is a big win, unless we fail to keep that codebase maintainable. We mainly rely on jQuery to do our DOM manipulations, so it's only logical for us to abstract those manipulations into reusable jQuery plugins.

So today, I wrote my first jQuery plugin and named it jRoll.


jRoll is a plugin that finds all the (external) links in a jQuery object, and replaces the value of the href attribute with a value you specified. If you don't specify that value, the default value is used, hence the Roll.

It can be used like this.


But it can and should be used like this.

$('body').jRoll({ 'url' : '' }); 

I'm also not breaking the chain.

$('body').jRoll().click(function() { alert('Never gonna give you up') });

Anyhow, here is the source of my first not-so-serious jQuery plugin.

// Pass jQuery to a closure that maps to $ so it can't be overwritten
// by another library in the scope of its execution
(function($) {
    // Add a new function to the jQuery.fn object (your plugin name)
    $.fn.jRoll = function(options) {    
        // Default settings
        var settings = {
            'url' : ''
        // Merge defaults with options argument
        if (options) { 
            $.extend(settings, options);
        // Modify elements and return them to maintain chainability
        // this refers to the jQuery object the plugin was invoked on
        return this.each(function () {                    
            $(this).find('a[href^="http://"]').attr('href', settings.url);

To build your first plugin, I recommend you use the excellent jQuery documentation.

Download the full jRoll source here.

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