node package manager
Share your code. npm Orgs help your team discover, share, and reuse code. Create a free org ยป



Connect multiple Backbone models to the url hash

Build Status


In a large, single-page web application you will often have several UI widgets adusting the content of the page (filtering visable items, changeing sort ordering, setting color preferences, selecting items, etc.) If you want to save and restore these settings for all of these widgets, and share them with a copypasteable URL, traditional push state is not a good fit.

Backbone.HashModels solves this problem by syncronizing the attributes of a set of Backbone models to URL hash by compressing and base64 encoding the attribute values.


Try out a demo of Backbone.HashModels in action.


By default Backbone.HashModels can use jQuery and the bundled jquery.history.js to manage getting and setting the url hash value. In this case there are 2 additional dependencies:


default setup

<script type="text/javascript" src="underscore.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript" src="backbone.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript" src="jquery.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript" src="jquery.history.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript" src="backbone.hashmodels.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript">

custom setup

You can pass two functions to the Backbone.HashModels.init() method to plug in your own state management or disable automatic hash updated when models change.

<script type="text/javascript" src="underscore.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript" src="backbone.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript" src="backbone.hashmodels.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript">
        hashUpdateCallback: function (hash) {
            // TODO: This will be called whenever a model
            // changes and a new hash is generated. Save the hash
            // somewhere.
        setupHashMonitorCallback: function (callbackFunction) {
            // TODO: When the hash value changes, call
            // callbackFunction with the updated value
        // The default value is true. If you set this to false then
        // you must manually call Backbone.HashModels.update() to
        // update the hash.
        updateOnChange: false

track your models

<script type="text/javascript">

    // Track all the properties of a model

    var m = new Backbone.Model({foo: "bar"});
    // Models must either have their own 'id' attribute, or you may pass
    // in a state ID when you add the model to Backbone.HashModels
    Backbone.HashModels.addModel(m, "state-id");
    m.set(foo: "baz"); // This will trigger the hash to change

    // Track only selected properties of a model
    var prefs = new Backbone.Model({
        userName: "jwalgran",
        email: "",
        colorScheme: "Dark"
    Backbone.HashModels.addModel(prefs, {
        id: 'user',
        attributes: ['colorScheme']

    // This will trigger the hash to change
    prefs.set('colorScheme', 'Light');

    // This will NOT trigger the hash to change
    // and will not be restored.
    prefs.set('email', '');


Backbone.HashModels is a reworking of a URL hash state monitor built by Aaron Ogle.