Friday, March 6, 2009

jQuery Goodness

This week I did a lot of client-side development.  Usually, this would be reason to cry and/or drink heavily, but this week, it was one of the more pleasant parts of my week.  I thought that I'd go ahead and share a one of the goodies that I experienced.


Thickbox is an awesome library that pops up a page that you defined as a dialog that can be modal if you specify that option.  It's pretty peppy, and looks sharp.  Thickbox uses decoration of links on a page (set up by specifying a class of 'thickbox').  Anchor tags are set up to register an onclick event that pops up a page that you specified, be it a static page, or the result of a server-side call.  Anything can be displayed in a thickbox.  It can be information, or a form that you submit back to the server.  It's been pretty simple for us, but I did run across an issue today.  I am loading some pre-rendered html into another div that displays as a floating popup on the page.  One of the links there needs to call an overlay that is loaded via thickbox.  The button was defined as an input, which should work, but all the documentation refers to anchor tags, so I figured that we could get around it by doing this:

<script type="text/javascript">

function showOverlay {

jQuery( '#floatingDiv' ).hide();
jQuery( '#hiddenTbLink' ).click();

<input type="button" id="id" onclick="javascript:showOverlay();" value="showIt">
<a id="hiddenTbLink" style="display: none;" class="thickbox" href=""></a>
This hides the floating div and invokes the click action on the anchor tag that contains the thickbox element.  This should work, right?  Wrong.  The html is dynamically inserted into the DOM after the document.ready code is called.  That is where you perform the thickbox initialize call.  So, what we had to do is add call to tb_init() in the code that loads the floating div, thus doing the jQuery DOM manipulation and allowing the thickbox-enabled link.  Much better now.  I sat back with glee, realizing that in a few hours, I had enabled this floating div and figured out how, from that floating div, I could make a call to load a beautiful thickbox element.  It was all too easy.
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