Part 2 with another 10 Basic Notes on how Ember.js Works

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Vi: This post is a continued from the Part 1 blog post.

11. Ember Helpers - The Already Given Ember Helpers and Make Your Own!

Helpers help you reduce the need to repeat long pieces of code in many different places. In Ember, these are called Ember helpers and you can use them in a Handlebars template - that’s the file that has a .hbs extension.

These are examples of already produced Ember helpers:


 > radio button
Action helper

<a href="" </a> - make an HTML element clickable
<button >Show More...</button>

or you can definitely create your own by doing…

In app.js you set up the below. See the Handlebars helper called makeShorter being created.

App.IndexController = Ember.ArrayController.extend({
key_name: 'value_of_key'

Ember.Handlebars.helper('makeShorter', function(value, option) {
return value.substr(0, 5);

The in the Handlebars template: The handlebars stuff isn’t appearing atm, it renders in markdown so it may be the platform we’re using

 - will apply the helper method to the value of the key.

12. Databinding Part 2 - Binding and Pushing New Objects through an Action

This means to create data (info) and put it into a variable type thing that already exists. For example, the below code will make a little input box and then whatever goes in that input box will then be (or bind) to whatever that variable name is. So, if the firstName was Cate and lastName Blanche and if you had an input form that binded to the firstName variable, and you then put in Carte, the firstName would now be Carte and you’d end up with firstName + lastName = Carte Blanche.

In the index.html template

 // Binding the value into the input.  Changing the input will change the first name.
	<button >update model</button>

The below code pushes a new item into the existing model through an action… ( In the controller…

actions: {
		addNewItem: function(){
			this.get('model').pushObject('new item');

13. Ember Data for Defining, Creating and Using Models

Model is a class that defines the properties and behavior of the data that you present to the user.

In Ember, every route has an associated model, the model is something that defines properties and behaviour of data.
So for example, just say there’s a boy, ‘Little Johnny’, he has the following properties of being: male. So you have a model, called Little Johnny, who has 1 property and that’s of gender: male. The data can only be male or female. One of the two only. That’s behaviour of data.

In Ember, you can get data by not going to the server and instead using the Fixture Adapter - which is really neat!

So, this is how you create person model in with a Fixture Adapter (we’re using Ember-data here btw).

App.PersonAdapter = DS.FixtureAdapter.extend ({});  // Anytime a person is requested, don't go to the server but go to the fixture and then return the people.

// Behind the scenes, the RESTAdapter is working and it's the overall thinggo, so for each model, you must write fixture adapter to use the fixtures thinggo.

App.ApplicationAdapter = DS.RESTAdapter.extend({}); // I am the REST adapter.

// Here's the Person model.
App.Person = DS.Model.extend({
	firstName: DS.attr(),
	lastName: DS.attr('string'),
	age: DS.attr()

// Creating people using fixtures.
App.Person.FIXTURES = [
		id: 1,
		firstName: 'Prince',
		lastName: 'Eric',
		age: 18
		id: 2,
		firstName: 'Ariel',
		lastName: 'Triton',
		age: 16

// Here, the model is returning details from the Fixtures.
model: function() {

// We're displaying this in the index.html

	<li> -  is of age </li>

14. When Variable Values Change and You Want to Bind this to Another Variable

In short the proper names for this is computer properties and observers.

  • Computed properties is when a variable has values from other variables and you do this in a controller. Use .property
  • Observers are different from computed properties as a value is not set for them. It looks at the variable, and only if the variables that it derives its value from changes, then the observer runs. It uses the SET whereas computed properties uses a GET. Use .observes

Here’s an example of computed properties being used.

 // we want to bind this to the first and last name.

All.IndexController = Ember.ArrayController.extend({
	lastName: 'ang',
	lastName: 'jo',
	fullName: function() {
		return this.get('firstName') + ' ' +this.get('lastName')

//You need property to automatically update.  This is special Ember magic.  This function depends on first and lastname so if these things change, then you'll update the cache for the change.


Here’s an example of observers being used.

// Observers - anytime this property changes, then run this function.  This property depends on other properties.

All.IndexController = Ember.ArrayController.extend({
	lastName: 'ang',
	lastName: 'jo',
	fullName: '',
	adjustFullName: function() {
		this.set('fullName', this.get('firstName')+ ' '+this.get('lastName'));
	}.observes('firstName', 'lastName')  

15. Model Relationships

You can put relationships between different models. For example, if you created a blog. You’d need a model for the blog posts and a separate model for the comments. You’d then need to establish some form of link or relationship between these two different models. For example, if you have a post, you’ll have certain comments that are related to a post and not another post. So the relationship you’d have from the persepctive of:

  • The post is that the post will have many comments. That’s a ‘hasMany’ relationship.
  • The comment is that the comment will belong to one post. That’s a ‘belongsTo’ relationship.

Relationships are also called associations. In Rails, which is another framework (Ember is a framework), there are more advanced associations called Polymorphic Associations. The name sounds scary but it means that one model can be associated with many models. Kind of like if you have a sweater that can be used for winter and summer - the transitional piece of clothing. @winter.sweater, @summer.sweater.

Anyway, let’s see how we can make model relationships in Ember.js

// in app.js

App.ArticleAdapter = DS.FixtureAdapter.extend();

App.BlogRoute = Ember.Route.extend({
	model: function() {

// in index.html under blog handlebars


// article path: in app.js

this.route('article', {path: 'articles/:article_id'});

// New handlebars template for article show.

// Associating articles with comments - see we're doing it in the MODEL.

App.Article = DS.Model.extend({
	title: DS.attr(),
	body: DS.attr(),
	comments: DS.hasMany('comment', {async: true})  // remember the async to true.

App.Comment = DS.Model.extend({
	text: DS.attr(),
	atricle: DS.belongsTo('article')

// In the fixtures, you then need to allocate.

App.Article.FIXTURES = [
comments: [2,3] < being the ID, uses an array because it is a HasMany

App.Comment.FIXTURES = [
	article: 2 < single ID due to belongsTo

// To display in template.


// Because of the association, for each blog post, it will display the comments that belong to that particular blog post.

16. Dynamic Segments

In the picture, a dynamic segment is the part that I’ve circled in a red circle. It a way to access an individual record of something much larger. Think of it as a bucket of coloured lollies of uniquely coloured lollies, so there’s no repeat of the same colour and you’re trying to pick out a hot pink coloured lolly.

A dynamic segment url is usually set up to look like this

path: '/lollies/:lolly_id'

Let’s go through an example of setting up a dynamic segment. {
    this.route('people', {path: '/people'});
    this.route('person', {path: '/people/:id'});

// Create a route - if defined, a model is defined and if it's an array, it'll create an array controller in the background, otherwise it'll create an object controller.

App.PeopleRoute = Ember.Route.extend({
    model: function() {

// You'd also have created the template.

Link to helper to link to that single person in People template. So in the People template:


Then you need to have a template for a single person.

At this point, we’ve created a model, so a link would take us to the right place. But that was done through the model. If you had the URL and when from URL or even if you refreshed, this wouldn’t then work - You need a HOOK. Do the below…

App.PersonRoute = Ember.Route.extend({
    model: function(params) {
        return'person',; // We're accessing the dynamic segment here.

17. Creating Forms and Submit

You create a form to get data. Here’s a simple way to use Ember to do that…

In your template:

<form >
    <button type="submit">Submit</button>

In the Controller…

App.IndexController = Ember.ObjectController.extend({
    action: {
        handleSumbit: function(){
        alert('First is'+ this.get('firstName'));

18. Decorating Controller

What to add extra properties to controller but it’s not appropriate to add to the model. For example, if you have a post model with a whole bunch of post details, it would be appropriate to put the category of the post perhaps in the controller.

In app.js

App.IndexRoute = Ember.Route.extend({
    model: function() {
        return ['red', 'yellow', 'blue'];
    setupController: function(controller, model) {
        controller.set('model', model);
        controller.set('owner', 'Eggsy');

In the template:

19. Communicating Between Controllers

Tells one controller to access another controller to do stuff.

App.IndexController = Ember.ArrayController.extend({
    actions: {
        callAboutController: function() {
            this.get('controllers.about').send('popup'); // now we have access to the about and we need to use send.
        popup: function() {
            alert('popup from index controller');

App.AboutController = Ember.ObjectController.extend({
        callIndexController: function() {
            this.get('controllers.index').send('popup');  // now we have access to the index and we need to use send.
        popup: function(){
            alert('pop up from about controller');

// In index template
<button > Call About pop</button>

// In about template
<button > Call index pop</button>

// Give access to each individual controller - important

App.IndexController = Ember.ArrayController.extend({
    needs: ['about'],

App.AboutController = Ember.ObjectController.extend({
needs: ['index'],

20. Sub Routes or Nested Routes

Use resources to create sub routes, just like in Rails.


this.route('articles', {path: '/articles'})

Now with this… you’ll have subroutes.

this.resource('articles',{path: 'articles'}, function() {
    Declare your subroutes in here e.g.
    this.route('new', {path: '/new'});
    this.route('edit', {path: '/edit/:id'});  // Because you need an existing id to edit it.

Then create templates of name: articles/new but then also remember to add to your articles container template so that it can render the new and edit show in the resources.

That’s a wrap…

Here is a pic of Gazelle, from Kingsman Secret Service… just because… (It’s a good movie).

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Written on July 14, 2015