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Marionette.Region

Regions provide consistent methods to manage, show and destroy views in your applications and views.

Region includes:

See the documentation for laying out views for an introduction in managing regions throughout your application.

Regions maintain the View's lifecycle while showing or emptying a view.

Documentation Index

Instantiating a Region

When instantiating a Region there are two properties, if passed, that will be attached directly to the instance: el, and replaceElement.

import { Region } from 'backbone.marionette';

const myRegion = new Region({ ... });

While regions may be instantiated and useful on their own, their primary use case is through the Application and View classes.

Defining the Application Region

The Application defines a single region el using the region attribute. This can be accessed through getRegion() or have a view displayed directly with showView(). Below is a short example:

import { Application } from 'backbone.marionette';
import SomeView from './view';

const MyApp = Application.extend({
  region: '#main-content',

  onStart() {
    const mainRegion = this.getRegion();  // Has all the properties of a `Region`
    mainRegion.show(new SomeView());
  }
});

Live example

For more information, see the Application docs.

Defining Regions

In Marionette you can define a region with a string selector or an object literal on your Application or View. This section will document the two types as applied to View, although they will work for Application as well - just replace regions with region in your definition.

Errors An error will be thrown for an incorrect region configuration.

String Selector

You can use a jQuery string selector to define regions.

import { View } from 'backbone.marionette';

const MyView = View.extend({
  regions: {
    mainRegion: '#main'
  }
});

Additional Options

You can define regions with an object literal. Object literal definitions expect an el property - the selector string to hook the region into. With this format is possible to define whether showing the region overwrites the el or just overwrites the content (the default behavior).

To overwrite the parent el of the region with the rendered contents of the inner View, use replaceElement as so:

import { View } from 'backbone.marionette';

const OverWriteView = View.extend({
  className: '.new-class'
});

const MyView = View.extend({
  regions: {
    main: {
      el: '.overwrite-me',
      replaceElement: true
    }
  }
});
const view = new MyView();
view.render();

console.log(view.$('.overwrite-me').length); // 1
console.log(view.$('.new-class').length); // 0

view.showChildView('main', new OverWriteView());

console.log(view.$('.overwrite-me').length); // 0
console.log(view.$('.new-class').length); // 1

When the instance of MyView is rendered, the .overwrite-me element will be removed from the DOM and replaced with an element of .new-class - this lets us do things like rendering views inside table or select more easily - these elements are usually very strict on what content they will allow.

import { View } from 'backbone.marionette';

const MyView = View.extend({
  regions: {
    regionDefinition: {
      el: '.bar',
      replaceElement: true
    }
  }
});

Errors An error will be thrown in the regions el is not specified, or if the el does not exist in the html.

Specifying regions as a Function

On a View the regions attribute can also be a function returning an object:

import { View } from 'backbone.marionette';

const MyView = View.extend({
  regions(){
    return {
      firstRegion: '#first-region'
    };
  }
});

Using a RegionClass

If you've created a custom region class, you can use it to define your region.

import { Application, Region, View } from 'backbone.marionette';

const MyRegion = Region.extend({
  onShow(){
    // Scroll to the middle
    this.$el.scrollTop(this.currentView.$el.height() / 2 - this.$el.height() / 2);
  }
});

const MyApp = Application.extend({
  regionClass: MyRegion,
  region: '#first-region'
})

const MyView = View.extend({
  regionClass: MyRegion,
  regions: {
    firstRegion: {
      el: '#first-region',
      regionClass: Region // Don't scroll this to the top
    },
    secondRegion: '#second-region'
  }
});

Live example

Referencing UI in regions

The UI attribute can be useful when setting region selectors - simply use the @ui. prefix:

import { View } from 'backbone.marionette';

const MyView = View.extend({
  ui: {
    region: '#first-region'
  },
  regions: {
    firstRegion: '@ui.region'
  }
});

Live example

Adding Regions

To add regions to a view after it has been instantiated, simply use the addRegion method:

import MyView from './myview';

const myView = new MyView();
myView.addRegion('thirdRegion', '#third-region');

Now we can access thirdRegion as we would the others.

You can also add multiple regions using addRegions.

import MyView from './myview';

const myView = new MyView();
myView.addRegions({
  main: {
    el: '.overwrite-me',
    replaceElement: true
  },
  sidebar: '.sidebar'
});

Live example

Removing Regions

You can remove all of the regions from a view by calling removeRegions or you can remove a region by name using removeRegion. When a region is removed the region will be destroyed.

import { View } from 'backbone.marionette';

const MyView = View.extend({
  regions: {
    main: '.main',
    sidebar: '.sidebar',
    header: '.header'
  }
});

const myView = new MyView();

// remove only the main region
const mainRegion = myView.removeRegion('main');

mainRegion.isDestroyed(); // -> true

// remove all regions
myView.removeRegions();

Using Regions on a view

In addition to adding and removing regions there are a few methods to help utilize regions. All of these methods will first render an unrendered view so that regions are properly initialized.

Showing a View

Once a region is defined, you can call its show method to display the view:

const myView = new MyView();
const childView = new MyChildView();
const mainRegion = myView.getRegion('main');

// render and display the view
mainRegion.show(childView, { fooOption: 'bar' });

This is equivalent to a view's showChildView which can be used as:

const myView = new MyView();
const childView = new MyChildView();

// render and display the view
myView.showChildView('main', childView, { fooOption: 'bar' });

Both forms take an options object that will be passed to the events fired during show.

For more information on showChildView and getChildView, see the Documentation for Views

Errors An error will be thrown if the view is falsy or destroyed.

Checking whether a region is showing a view

If you wish to check whether a region has a view, you can use the hasView function. This will return a boolean value depending whether or not the region is showing a view.

const myView = new MyView();
const mainRegion = myView.getRegion('main');

mainRegion.hasView() // false
mainRegion.show(new OtherView());
mainRegion.hasView() // true

If you show a view in a region with an existing view, Marionette will remove the existing View before showing the new one.

Non-Marionette Views

Marionette Regions aren't just for showing Marionette Views - they can also display instances of a Backbone.View. To do this, ensure your view defines a render() method and just treat it like a regular Marionette View:

import _ from 'underscore';
import Bb from 'backbone';
import { View } from 'backbone.marionette';

const MyChildView = Bb.View.extend({
  render() {
    this.$el.append('<p>Some text</p>');
  },

  onRender() {
    console.log('Regions also fire Lifecycle events on Backbone.View!');
  }
});

const MyParentView = View.extend({
  regions: {
    child: '.child-view'
  },

  template: _.template('<div class="child-view"></div>'),

  onRender() {
    this.showChildView('child', new MyChildView());
  }
});

As you can see above, you can listen to Lifecycle Events on Backbone.View and Marionette will fire the events for you.

Showing a Template

You can show a template or a string directly into a region. Additionally you can pass an object literal containing a template and any other view options. Under the hood a Marionette.View is instantiated using the template.

const myView = new MyView();

myView.showChildView('main', {
  template: _.template('This is the <%- section %> page'),
  templateContext: { section: 'main' }
});

myView.showChildView('header', _.template('Welcome to the site'));

myView.getRegion('other').show('This text is in another region');

Emptying a Region

You can remove a view from a region (effectively "unshowing" it) with region.empty() on a region:

const myView = new MyView();

myView.showChildView('main', new OtherView());
const mainRegion = myView.getRegion('main');
mainRegion.empty();

This will destroy the view, clean up any event handlers and remove it from the DOM. When a region is emptied empty events are triggered.

NOTE If the region does not currently contain a View it will detach any HTML inside the region when emptying. If the region does contain a View any HTML that doesn't belong to the View will remain.

Preserving Existing Views

If you replace the current view with a new view by calling show, it will automatically destroy the previous view. You can prevent this behavior by detaching the view before showing another one.

Detaching Existing Views

If you want to detach an existing view from a region, use detachView.

const myView = new MyView();

const myOtherView = new MyView();

const childView = new MyChildView();

// render and display the view
myView.showChildView('main', childView);

// ... somewhere down the line
myOtherView.showChildView('main', myView.getRegion('main').detachView());

Note When detaching a view you must pass it to a new region so Marionette can handle its life cycle automatically or destroy it manually to prevent memory leaks.

reset A Region

A region can be reset at any time. This destroys any existing view being displayed, and deletes the cached el. The next time the region shows a view, the region's el is queried from the DOM.

const myView = new MyView();
myView.showChildView('main', new OtherView());
const myRegion = myView.getRegion('main');
myRegion.reset();

This can be useful in unit testing your views.

destroy A Region

A region can be destroyed which will reset the region, remove it from any parent view, and stop any internal region listeners. A destroyed region should not be reused.

import { View } from 'backbone.marionette';

const MyView = View.extend({
  regions: {
    mainRegion: '#main'
  }
});

const myView = new MyView();

const myRegion = myView.getRegion('mainRegion');

myRegion.show(new ChildView());

myRegion.destroy();

myRegion.isDestroyed(); // true
myRegion.hasView(); // false
myView.hasRegion('mainRegion'); // false

Check If View Is Being Swapped By Another

The isSwappingView method returns if a view is being swapped by another one. It's useful inside region lifecycle events / methods.

The example will show an message when the region is empty:

import { Region } from 'backbone.marionette';

const EmptyMsgRegion = Region.extend({
  onEmpty() {
    if (!this.isSwappingView()) {
      this.$el.append('Empty Region');
    }
  }
});

Live example

Set How View's el Is Attached and Detached

Override the region's attachHtml method to change how the view is attached to the DOM (when not using replaceElement: true. This method receives one parameter - the view to show.

The default implementation of attachHtml is essentially:

import { Region } from 'backbone.marionette';

Region.prototype.attachHtml = function(view){
  this.el.appendChild(view.el);
}

Similar to attachHtml, override detachHtml to determine how the region detaches the contents from its el. This method receives no parameters.

For most cases you will want to use the DOM API to determine how a region html is attached, but in some cases you may want to override a single Region class for situations like animation where you want to control both attaching and view removal.

This example will make a view slide down from the top of the screen instead of just appearing in place:

import { Region, View } from 'backbone.marionette';

const ModalRegion = Region.extend({
  attachHtml(view){
    // Some effect to show the view:
    this.$el.empty().append(view.el);
    this.$el.hide().slideDown('fast');
  }
});

const MyView = View.extend({
  regions: {
    mainRegion: '#main-region',
    modalRegion: {
      regionClass: ModalRegion,
      el: '#modal-region'
    }
  }
});

Configure How To Remove View

Override the region's removeView method to change how and when the view is destroyed / removed from the DOM. This method receives one parameter - the view to remove.

The default implementation of removeView is:

import { Region } from 'backbone.marionette';

Region.prototype.removeView = function(view){
  this.destroyView(view);
}

destroyView method destroys the view taking into consideration if is a Marionette.View descendant or vanilla Backbone view. It can be replaced by a view.destroy() call if is ensured that view descends from Marionette.View

This example will animate with a fade effect showing and hiding the view:

import { Region, View } from 'backbone.marionette';

const AnimatedRegion = Region.extend({
  attachHtml(view) {
    view.$el
      .css({display: 'none'})
      .appendTo(this.$el);
    if (!this.isSwappingView()) view.$el.fadeIn('slow');
  },

  removeView(view) {
    view.$el.fadeOut('slow', () => {
      this.destroyView(view);
      if (this.currentView) this.currentView.$el.fadeIn('slow');
    });
  }
});

const MyView = View.extend({
  regions: {
    animatedRegion: {
      regionClass: AnimatedRegion,
      el: '#animated-region'
    }
  }
});

Live example

Using a similar approach is possible to create a region animated with CSS:

Live example

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