Navy Penguin Mariachi


    0.5.4 • Public • Published


    A stand-alone working lightweight version of the W3C Custom Elements specification.

    build status


    npm install document-register-element will put build/document-register-element.js inside node_modules/document-register-element/ of your project.

    If you're working with a tool like Browserify, Webpack, RequireJS, etc, you can import the script at some point before you need to use the API.

    import 'document-register-element' // ES2015
    // or
    require('document-register-element') // CommonJS
    // or
    define(['document-register-element'], function() {}) // AMD

    If you're not using a module system, just place node_modules/document-register-element/build/document-register-element.js somewhere where it will be served by your server, then put

    <script src="/path/to/document-register-element.js"></script>

    in your head element and you should be good to go.

    via CDN

    Many thanks to cdnjs for hosting this script. Following an example on how to include it.

    >/* W3C Custom Elements */</script>

    TL;DR does it work ?

    If you see the first clock ticking, the TL;DR answer is yes.

    Usage Example

    A basic HTML example page

    <!DOCTYPE html>
      <title>testing my-element</title>
      <script src="js/document-register-element.js"></script>
      <script src="js/my-element.js"></script>
        some content

    with the following my-element.js content

    var MyElement = document.registerElement(
        prototype: Object.create(
          HTMLElement.prototype, {
          createdCallback: {value: function() {
            console.log('here I am ^_^ ');
            console.log('with content: ', this.textContent);
          attachedCallback: {value: function() {
            console.log('live on DOM ;-) ');
          detachedCallback: {value: function() {
            console.log('leaving the DOM :-( )');
          attributeChangedCallback: {value: function(
            name, previousValue, value
          ) {
            if (previousValue == null) {
                'got a new attribute ', name,
                ' with value ', value
            } else if (value == null) {
                'somebody removed ', name,
                ' its value was ', previousValue
            } else {
                ' changed from ', previousValue,
                ' to ', value


    I wrote a couple of blog posts about this polyfill, and here's the quick summary:

    • document-register-element.js is a stand alone polyfill which aims to support as many browsers as possible, without requiring extra dependencies at all, all in about 3KB minified and gzipped.

    Add if you want the dom4 normalizer, and you'll find yourself in a modern DOM environment that works reliably with today's browsers, with an eye always open on performance.

    Tested On

    The live test page is here, containing all tests as listed in the test file.

    The following list of desktop browsers has been successfully tested:

    • Chrome
    • Firefox
    • IE 8 or greater (please read about IE8 caveats)
    • Safari
    • Opera

    The following list of mobile OS has been successfully tested:

    • iOS 5.1 or greater
    • Android 2.2 or greater
    • FirefoxOS 1.1 or greater
    • KindleFire 3 or greater
    • Windows Phone 7 or greater
    • Opera Mobile 12 or greater
    • Blackberry OS 7* and OS 10
    • webOS 2 or LG TV
    • Samsung Bada OS 2 or greater
    • NOKIA Asha with Express Browser

    The good old BB OS 7 is the only one failing the test with className which is not notified as attributeChanged when it's changed. This means BB OS 7 will also fail with id, however changing id at runtime has never been a common or useful pattern.

    Common Issues + Caveat

    Here a list of gotchas you might encounter when developing CustomElement components.


    As described in issue 6 it's not possible to fully inherit a table, input, select, or other special element behaviors.

    // This will NOT work as expected
        prototype: Object.create(
    var mi = document.createElement('my-input');

    The correct way to properly implement a custom input that will be also backward compatible is the following one:

    // This will NOT work as expected
        extends: 'input', // <== IMPORTANT
        prototype: Object.create(
    // how to create the input
    var mi = document.createElement(
      'input',    // the extend
      'my-input'  // the enriched custom definition

    Another approach is to use just a basic HTMLElement component and initialize its content at runtime.

        prototype: Object.create(
            createdCallback: {value: function () {
              // here the input
              this.el = this.appendChild(
    var mi = document.createElement('my-input');

    In this case every method that wants to interact with the input will refer this.el instead of just this.

    Using innerHTML

    In order to avoid huge performance impact, native behavior overwrite problems and incompatibilities, there is now a helper script, which aim is to make off-line custom elements creation possible using template strings instead of needing manual document.createElement replacements.

    The helper is a simple innerHTML function that returns the given node, after setting innerHTML and, in case the polyfill is used, initialize nodes.

    This helper is needed in order to be aligned with native implementations, but please remember that createdCallback could be asynchronous, even if triggered ASAP after injecting HTML through this function.

    Changing the style property

    If you change the style property via or = "red" this change will most likely reflect through node.getAttribute("style").

    In order to prevent footguns inside attributeChangedCallback invocations causing potential stack overflows, the style property has been filtered starting from version 0.1.1, also reflecting current native implementation where changing this special property won't invoke the callback.

    (yes, even using node.setAttribute("style", "value") that you shouldn't ... just use = "value" instead)

    About IE8

    Starting from version 0.2.0 there is an experimental support for IE8. There is a specific file that needs to be loaded in IE8 only upfront, plus a sequence of polyfills that will be simply ignored by every browser but downloaded in IE8.

    Please check base.html file in order to have a basic model to reuse in case you want to support IE8.

    All tests pass and there is a map component example that already works in IE8 too.

    Remember there are few things to consider when IE8 is a target but since it didn't cost many bytes to have it in, I've decided to merge the logic and maintain only one file that will work in IE8 too.

    IE8 caveats

    • it's IE8
    • all operations are batched and eventually executed ASAP but asynchronously. This behavior is closer to native Mutation Observers but might have some extra glitch in rendering time
    • className is right now the only special attribute that reacts. Others might be implemented in the dre-ie8-upfront-fix.js file.
    • in order to have node reacting to attributes changes, these must be live on the DOM
    • if you are using extends when create a custom element, remember to minify the production code or wrap such reserved word in quotes


    npm i @ajwest/document-register-element

    DownloadsWeekly Downloads






    Unpacked Size

    49.6 kB

    Total Files


    Last publish


    • ajwest