How to avoid writing HTML tags in javascript

questions :

In my application, I sometimes have to create elements dynamically, so I create them in javascript, but it make it hard for maintenance.

For example:

enter image description here

The above image is the information window when I click a point in the map, and in our application we have a similar requirement, we use javascript to create the whole DOM.

I do not think this is a good idea, any suggestion?




Answer :

You’ve said you’re using Prototype. You could make use of its Template class. You could even store templates on the server and demand-load them via ajax if you like (although I’d worry about the number of HTTP requests), in order to keep your code and your markup completely distinct.

For instance, here’s a Prototype template for building a table row:


You have various options for where and how to store the template text:

  • You can put it in its own file you demand-load via Ajax, although if there are a lot of them it could start being excessive HTTP requests.
  • You can put them in your JavaScript, but then you’ve tied your markup to your JavaScript and I get the impression you don’t want to do that.
  • You can include them in your main page with display: none, extract them as HTML, and then reuse them.

In all three of those cases, eventually you end up with a string containing the template text, e.g.:

var rowString = "<tr><td>#{name}</td><td>#{description}</td></tr>";

(But again, you may not need to put it actually in the JavaScript.)

From the string, you make a template:

var rowTemplate = new Template(rowString);

And then use it:

    bottom: rowTemplate.evaluate({
        description: bizobject.description.escapeHTML()

Note that (sadly) you do have to do the HTML escaping yourself (because Prototype’s templates aren’t specifically tied to HTML, you can use them for any situation where you have a templated string). Or you can make a fairly small change to the Template class to do it for you (that’s what I did, when I was using Prototype; I actually made it possible to call functions on template items).





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