Forward Advance Learning

View Events

Views are responsible for listening out for events that happen in the region of the DOM they control.

Events are specified in a JSON object, and are written in the form: {"event selector": "callback"}

Selectors are scoped to the DOM node controlled by the view, so if you have a lot of shark tanks on the page, you don't have to worry about them conflicting with each other.

$(function () {
var SharkTankView = Backbone.View.extend({
initialize: function () {
events: {
"click button": "dunk"
dunk: function () {
alert('Oh dear, my legs have been bitten off.');
var sharkTankView = new SharkTankView({
el: $('#tank'),

and the html

<!DOCTYPE html>
<script type="text/javascript" src="underscore.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript" src="jquery.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript" src="backbone.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript" src="hello.js"></script>
<button>This button does nothing</button>
<div id="tank">
<button>Click to Dunk</button>

Notice that the first button does nothing because it it outside of the tank element. Backbone will only look for elements within the view's el.

The events attribute is just a shorthand

Using the events attribute to set up our view events is just a convenient shorthand. We can just as well set up events in the initialize function, like so:

var SharkTankView = Backbone.View.extend({
initialize: function () {
dunk: function () {
alert('Oh dear, my legs have been bitten off.');

This is acceptable, but arguably less readable. You should favour the events attribute for listening to the DOM.

DOM events are different from BackBone events. Backbone has it's own events handling mechanism but events fired by the DOM are usually handled by jQuery.

Exercise - Hello cats

Extend your cats exercise from before (you can find this in the repository if you didn't manage to complete it). Add a Miow button. When you click the button, alert the word Miow onto the screen.

For bonus points, set this.miowed = true and write the word "miow" to the dom on render, if this value is true.

Exercise - Counter

Create a little view that contains a button and a number. Make it so that when you click the button, the number is incremented. Increase the number on click and call render.


Add a downvote button, so you have a voting component. You can upvote and downvote.


Create a view that adds a form to the page containing an input element and a button. Use the events attribute to add a listener such that on submit the value in the input element is alerted to the screen.

Use $('input').value() to get the value of the input.

Remember you will need to call event.preventDefault() in your handler.


Add more than one form to the page. Be as clever as you like about this.


Check out View delegateEvents. This is the method that handles your events object.