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Creating ad-hoc Document Object Model (DOM) data with the data-* attribute

From: HTML Essential Training

Video: Creating ad-hoc Document Object Model (DOM) data with the data-* attribute

HTML5 has a new feature that allows you to set arbitrary data attributes in any element. Let's take a look at how this works. Make a working copy of data-attributes.html. I'm going to call this data-attributes-working.html. I am going to open that in the text editor. You notice up here at the top I've got some JavaScript in the script element there, and then down here in the body of the document, we've got some html that's using these data- this and that attributes, we'll talk about that in a moment.

Creating ad-hoc Document Object Model (DOM) data with the data-* attribute

HTML5 has a new feature that allows you to set arbitrary data attributes in any element. Let's take a look at how this works. Make a working copy of data-attributes.html. I'm going to call this data-attributes-working.html. I am going to open that in the text editor. You notice up here at the top I've got some JavaScript in the script element there, and then down here in the body of the document, we've got some html that's using these data- this and that attributes, we'll talk about that in a moment.

Let's go ahead and open this in the browser, and you'll notice we've got these lines of text from our HTML. So the way this works is you can basically embed any data that you want in any tag that you want, using data- and whatever you want to call it as the name of the attribute, and then putting whatever you want to in the value of the attribute. So in this case I've got data-aka, and The White Album is the data in the attribute. And this is all wrapped around in an a element, a link, that says The Beatles.

So it says The Beatles record an album called The Beatles, and I have this data-aka with the commonly also known as name of the album called The White Album--and if you're Beatle fan like I am, you know exactly what I'm talking about. So up here in the JavaScript, you'll notice I've a function called aka, and it gets called here in this onclick aka, and this means a reference to the element that has the onclick attribute in it. And basically, I'm just setting up an alert with dataset aka from that element.

And so dataset will have these various elements in it, and you notice that it's calling a property called aka and that is the name after the data-. And then whatever is after that dash becomes the name of the property in the dataset object. So if we come over here to our browser and we click on The Beatles, you see I get a little alert that says aka The White Album. So it's actually reading that data from the data-aka attribute and making it available inside of the JavaScript.

So as you can imagine, you can do all kinds of things with this. Like for example, I have this other one, and this is on a button as opposed to an anchor element. It could really be on a span if I wanted to be and it would work just fine, and I'll show you that in a minute. But here I've got data-missile-type, data-missile-payload, data-missile-sound and onclick=fire, so click here to fire the missile and when I click here, I get Firing the rocket with photon torpedo payload Ka-Boom! And you see its rocket is the type, and payload is photon torpedo, and the sound is Ka-Boom.

And so up here in my JavaScript, I'm basically getting all of these-- missileType, missilePayload, missilesSound--and I am putting them all together into this alert string. So as you can imagine, if you had a game or something, you could put all kinds of properties in there. You could change them around in your JavaScript. You can parse them with your JavaScript and you can do whatever it is that you want to do. You'll also notice something else interesting here--and I did this on purpose so that I could show you this feature. These attributes have hyphens in the name, so its missile-type, missile-payload, missile-sound. And you'll notice that in the JavaScript it's in camelcase missileType with a capital T, missilePayload with a capital P, and missileSound with a capital S.

As part of the speck, when you use a hyphen in your attribute names, they get converted into camelcase in the JavaScript. And that's because hyphens aren't legal as names of properties in JavaScript. And so I did it this way on purpose just to show you. It's also true that these data attributes will work on any element. If I change button here to span--and I'm going to change the close also to span and I'll save this and I'll reload it here in the browser-- you see that now we just have the word Fire.

It's not a button any more. And you'll notice that my cursor is not even changing to the pointy cursor; it is just remaining the text cursor. But still, if I click on it, I still get that alert box, because in HTML5, the onclick attribute works for anything. It doesn't actually have to be a button element or a link element or anything like that. And so I still get this Firing the rocket with a photon torpedo payload Ka-Boom! So it takes perhaps a little bit of imagination, but this is obviously a very useful feature, and it's currently supported by the latest versions of all the major browsers.

You'll want to have a fallback in case it's not supported by legacy browsers that may be visiting your site. But this could be an exciting feature to experiment with and to implement.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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HTML Essential Training

82 video lessons · 97410 viewers

Bill Weinman
Author

 
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  1. 5m 24s
    1. Welcome
      56s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 37s
    3. What you need to know about this course
      2m 51s
  2. 22m 0s
    1. What is HTML?
      4m 12s
    2. Examining the structure of an HTML document
      7m 50s
    3. Understanding tags and containers
      6m 4s
    4. Exploring content models in HTML5
      2m 23s
    5. Looking at obsolete elements
      1m 31s
  3. 27m 19s
    1. Understanding whitespace and comments
      3m 53s
    2. Displaying text with paragraphs
      3m 37s
    3. Applying style
      8m 5s
    4. Using block and inline tags
      6m 34s
    5. Displaying characters with references
      5m 10s
  4. 16m 36s
    1. Exploring the front matter of HTML
      2m 9s
    2. Applying CSS to your document
      3m 59s
    3. Adding scripting elements
      4m 54s
    4. Using the meta tag
      3m 34s
    5. Optimizing your page for search engines
      2m 0s
  5. 24m 59s
    1. Controlling line breaks and spaces
      2m 46s
    2. Exploring phrase elements
      1m 44s
    3. Using font markup elements
      1m 5s
    4. Highlighting text with mark
      1m 29s
    5. Adding headings
      1m 38s
    6. Using quotations and quote marks
      3m 2s
    7. Exploring preformatted text
      1m 45s
    8. Formatting lists
      2m 28s
    9. Forcing text direction
      3m 49s
    10. Suggesting word-break opportunities
      2m 29s
    11. Annotating East Asian languages
      2m 44s
  6. 29m 15s
    1. Introducing CSS
      55s
    2. Understanding CSS placement
      6m 55s
    3. Exploring CSS syntax
      10m 34s
    4. Understanding CSS units of measure
      3m 3s
    5. Some CSS examples
      7m 48s
  7. 22m 5s
    1. Using images
      4m 13s
    2. Flowing text around an image
      4m 55s
    3. Breaking lines around an image
      3m 3s
    4. Aligning images
      5m 25s
    5. Mapping links in an image
      4m 29s
  8. 22m 28s
    1. Understanding URLs
      2m 41s
    2. Working with hyperlinks
      3m 28s
    3. Using relative URLs
      4m 20s
    4. Specifying a base URL
      2m 19s
    5. Linking within a page
      4m 12s
    6. Using image links
      5m 28s
  9. 17m 2s
    1. Exploring list types
      3m 52s
    2. List elements in depth
      7m 44s
    3. Using text menus with unordered lists
      5m 26s
  10. 15m 30s
    1. Introduction to HTML semantics
      4m 9s
    2. Exploring an example
      4m 56s
    3. Marking up figures and illustrations
      2m 33s
    4. Creating collapsible details
      3m 52s
  11. 11m 18s
    1. Embedding audio
      5m 19s
    2. Embedding video
      5m 59s
  12. 11m 53s
    1. Creating ad-hoc Document Object Model (DOM) data with the data-* attribute
      4m 53s
    2. Displaying relative values with meter
      2m 57s
    3. Creating dynamic progress indicators
      4m 3s
  13. 4m 49s
    1. Overview of HTML5 microdata
      1m 8s
    2. Exploring an example with microdata
      3m 41s
  14. 7m 3s
    1. Understanding outlines
      52s
    2. A demonstration of outlining
      6m 11s
  15. 13m 1s
    1. Table basics
      7m 29s
    2. Exploring the semantic parts of a table
      2m 32s
    3. Grouping columns
      3m 0s
  16. 9m 55s
    1. Frames overview
      54s
    2. Using traditional frames
      4m 26s
    3. Exploring inline frames using iframe
      2m 7s
    4. Simulating frames with CSS
      2m 28s
  17. 53m 7s
    1. Introducing forms
      10m 24s
    2. Using text elements
      10m 12s
    3. Using checkboxes and radio buttons
      2m 37s
    4. Creating selection lists and dropdown lists
      5m 14s
    5. Submit and button elements
      8m 48s
    6. Using an image as a submit button
      2m 15s
    7. Keeping context with the hidden element
      3m 0s
    8. Setting tab order
      2m 7s
    9. Preloading an autocomplete list using the datalist feature
      5m 26s
    10. Displaying results with output
      3m 4s
  18. 19m 47s
    1. Touring a complete site
      2m 14s
    2. Touring the HTML
      8m 44s
    3. Touring the CSS
      8m 49s
  19. 29s
    1. Goodbye
      29s

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