The Open Event application needs forms at several places like at the time of login, for the creation of the event, taking the details of the user, creating discount codes for tickets etc. Every form performs similar actions which taking input and finally storing it in the database. In this process, a set of things keep executing in the background such as continuous form validation which means checking inputted values to ensure they are correctly matched with their type as provided in the validation rules, popping out an error message in case of wrong inputted values, etc. which is common to all the forms. The only thing which changes is the set of validation rules which are unique for every form. So let’s see how we solved this issue using Ember Mixins.
While writing the code, we often run into the situation where we need to use the similar behaviour in different parts of the project. We always try not to duplicate the code and keep finding the ways to DRY ( Don’t Repeat Yourself ) up the code. In Ember, we can share the code in the different parts of the project using Ember.Mixins.
While creating the forms, we mostly have differing templates but the component logic remains same. So we created a mixin form.js which contains all the properties which are common to all the forms. The code mixin contains can be reused throughout different parts of the application and is not a concern of any one route, controller, component, etc. The mixins don’t get instantiated until we pass them into some object, and they get created in the order of which they’re passed in. The code for form.js mixin looks like this.
The complete code can be seen here.
Let’s start understanding the above code. In the first line, we created a mixin via Ember.Mixin.create() method. We have then specified the property ‘autoScrollToErrors’ to true so in case if there is some error, the form will automatically scroll to the error. The property ‘autoScrollSpeed’ specifies the speed with which the form will auto scroll to show the error. ‘getForm()’ method helps in getting the object which will be passed to the mixin. In ‘onValid()’ method we’re validating the form and passing the callbacks if it is correctly validated. We then have ‘didRender()’ method which renders the popups, checkboxes and form rules. The popups help in showing the errors on the form. In this method, we’re fetching the validation rules which are written in child/subclasses which are using this mixin to create the form. The validation rules help in validating the form and tells if the value inputted is correct or not. In most of the forms, we have a field which asks for some specific date. The piece of code under ‘didInsertElement()’ helps in validating the date and returns true if it is correct. We have ‘willDestroyElement()’ method which destroys the popup if the window is changed/refreshed.
Let see the use case of the above form mixin. At the time of login, we see a form which asks for the user’s credentials to validate if the user is already registered or not. To create that login form we use form mixin. The code for login-form.js looks like this.
The complete code can be found here.
We can see that in above code we are creating the form by extending our FormMixin which means that the form will have all the properties which are part of mixin along with the properties which remain unique to this class. Since the validation rules remain unique per form so we’re also providing the rules (easy to comprehend) which will help in validating the fields.
This is how our forms look like after and before applying validation rules.
Fig. 1: Login form before applying validation rules
Fig. 2: Login form after applying validation rules
To sum it up, we can say that mixins are of great use when we want to keep our code DRY or reduce the code duplication. It helps in removing the unnecessary inheritance keeping it short. The code written using mixin is lesser complex and easily understandable.
- An article of Mixins vs Extend in Ember by Romina Vargas (https://dockyard.com/blog/2015/11/09/best-practices-extend-or-mixin)
- Mixins in Ember.js by Kasper Tidemann (http://www.kaspertidemann.com/mixins-in-ember-js/)