defnull defnull - 6 months ago 25
jQuery Question

var self = this?

Using instance methods as callbacks for event handlers changes the scope of

this
from "My instance" to "Whatever just called the callback". So my code looks like this

function MyObject() {
this.doSomething = function() {
...
}

var self = this
$('#foobar').bind('click', function(){
self.doSomethng()
// this.doSomething() would not work here
})
}


It works, but is that the best way to do it? It looks strange to me.

Answer

This question is not specific to jQuery, but specific to JavaScript in general. The core problem is how to "channel" a variable in embedded functions. This is the example:

var abc = 1; // we want to use this variable in embedded functions

function xyz(){
  console.log(abc); // it is available here!
  function qwe(){
    console.log(abc); // it is available here too!
  }
  ...
};

This technique relies on using a closure. But it doesn't work with this because this is a pseudo variable that may change from scope to scope dynamically:

// we want to use "this" variable in embedded functions

function xyz(){
  // "this" is different here!
  console.log(this); // not what we wanted!
  function qwe(){
    // "this" is different here too!
    console.log(this); // not what we wanted!
  }
  ...
};

What can we do? Assign it to some variable and use it through the alias:

var abc = this; // we want to use this variable in embedded functions

function xyz(){
  // "this" is different here! --- but we don't care!
  console.log(abc); // now it is the right object!
  function qwe(){
    // "this" is different here too! --- but we don't care!
    console.log(abc); // it is the right object here too!
  }
  ...
};

this is not unique in this respect: arguments is the other pseudo variable that should be treated the same way — by aliasing.