Core JavaScript library

Sunday, Sep 12, 2010 3 minute read Tags: javascript web
Hey, thanks for the interest in this post, but just letting you know that it is over 3 years old, so the content in here may not be accurate.


This library is really just a core set of features which don’t really belong to any particularly category, and I find a handy for common use in all JavaScript I write.

Registering Namespaces

Something that I do a lot of in JavaScript is create namespaces. I always like to keep all code in a single namespace in the same manner which I would do with .NET. But there is a problem, JavaScript doesn’t have namespaces!

I’m sure everyone has written their own code to register namespaces. The code that I use is actually someone I worked with adapted from some code that I’d written as I thought you had to be able to use recursive functions to do it and he was just quicker to getting it written than I was :P.


The method resides within my core API namespace, slace.core as a method named registerNamespace, like so:


This will create a new namespace starting at the window object, but it also has the capabilities to add the namespace from any existing namespace, eg:

slace.core.registerNamespace('web', slace);

Now the slace object will also have web to go with core.

Understanding Namespaces in JavaScript

As I mentioned above JavaScript doesn’t have the concept of namespaces, so how do you create a namespace in a language which doesn’t do namespaces?

Well namespaces in JavaScript are actually a bit of a trick, and they aren’t namespaces which are familiar to .NET developers, they are actually just a series of empty objects.

Take this piece of code:


This will produce the following object:

slace = {
	web = {
		controls = {			

Well technically the window object should be before slace but it’s skipped for brevity, as is the slace.core object

So this is really just a set of empty objects!

Looking into the code

So you can find the code here, and let’s have a look at what it does. The crux of it is a recursive function which the namespace is passed into:

slace.core.registerNamespace = function (namespace, global) {
	var go;
	go = function (object, properties) {
		if (properties.length) {
			var propertyToDefine = properties.shift();

			if (typeof object[propertyToDefine] === 'undefined') {
				object[propertyToDefine] = {};

			go(object[propertyToDefine], properties);
	go(global || (function () { return this; })(), namespace.split('.'));

In this function the argument object is what we’re putting the namespace onto, with properties is an array of the namespace to define (having been split on the .).

The last line initiates the function and either passes in the object you want to augment, or the object which is scoped as this for the method (which will be window unless you’re really going to get nasty with JavaScript, but that’s a topic for another time :P).

Fun fact

This code can actually be reduced by a few lines by making it a self-executing named function (or a self-executing anonymous function if you want ;)), but due to limitations in the Visual Studio 2010 JavaScript intellisense engine it doesn’t work recursively it seems. Odd bug, but easy to get around (and it makes your code a bit more readable!).

Base Extensions

The library also includes some handy extensions for detecting if a method already registered on an object, in the form of Function.method (which is from Douglas Crockford’s article on JavaScript Inheritance), and the Array.prototype is also augmented to have Array.contains, Array.remove and Array.indexOf (unless it’s already there).