Continuing from part 2 of this series, we’ll finish off the last few obscure methods of WinJS.Utilities. First, the empty method removes all child nodes from a specified element. This is basically a simple iteration over the element’s childNodes property, calling removeNode for each in turn (actually in reverse order). A simple bit of code, but one that you don’t need to write yourself.

Next is eventWithinElement. To this you provide an element and an eventArgs object as you received from some event. The method then checks to see if the eventArgs.relatedTarget element is contained within the element you provide. This basically says that an event occurred somewhere within that element, even if it’s not directly on that element. This is clearly useful for working with events on controls that contain some number of child elements.

Finally there’s getMember, to which you pass a string name of a “member” and a root object (defaults to global). The documentation says that this “Gets the leaf-level type or namespace specified by the name parameter.” What this means is that if you give it a name like “navigate” it will look within the namespace of the root you give for that member and return it. In the case of passing “WinJS” and “navigate” it will find WinJS.Navigation.navigate.

This is particularly useful with WinJS binding initializers that are given source and target property names as arrays of separate identifiers. For example, if I have a data-win-bind attribute with a property like title.style.color, the initializer will get an array with [“title”, “style”, “color”]. To either get or set that property for real, I need to turn it into the actual reference to the title.style.color property of the source of target object.

If I want to get that value from the source object, and the array of names is called “sourceProp,” I can do this: var value = WinJS.Utilities.getMember(sourceProp.join(“.”), source);

If I need to set a value in a target object with the array of named called targetProp, I need to pop the last name from the array, use getMember (if I have other names left), then reference the property with [], as in:

var lastProp = targetProp.pop();
var dest = targetProp.length ? WinJS.Utilities.getMember(targetProp,join(“.”), target) : target;
target[lastProp] = newValue;


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