19 Jun 2009

Quick Tip: Railsy Array Checks in jQuery

I love the any? and empty? convenience methods that Rails and Ruby provide, they make conditional statements much easier to read. I also really dislike the default method of checking this behavior in jQuery:

if ($('some.element').length > 0) {
  // ...do something

Well, luckily jQuery is ridiculously easy to extend, so why not just mix that functionality in with a couple of quick shot plugin methods? Just add this javascript sometime after you include jQuery:

jQuery.fn.any = function() {
  return (this.length > 0);

jQuery.fn.none = function() {
  return (this.length == 0);

That’s all you have to do! Now we can make the same call as before, but it looks a little cleaner:

if ($('some.element').any()) {
  // do something more readably...

UPDATE: Apologies, I added in the empty bit as a last-second update to the post and forgot to check and realize that empty() is part of jQuery core. Updated the name to none instead.

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