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    The most advanced EventEmitter for Node and the browser.


    • Node.js EventEmitter compatible API
    • Register listeners with glob event names (* and **)
    • Emit events with glob event names (* and **)
    • Register filter chains for events with glob names (* and **)
    • Pass a callback as the last argument to emit and receive asynchronous errors / return values from listeners
    • Safely add and remove listeners and filters during event processing
    • Test suite runs on Node.js 0.10, PhantomJS, Chrome, Firefox and IE 9 / 10
    • 100% test coverage

    Install with npm

    npm install hubjs

    Browser support

    Use Browserify to create a standalone file.

    Creating instances

    var Hub = require('hubjs').Hub;
    var hub = new Hub();

    Publish / Subscribe

    Hub.js is an extended implementation of the publish-subscribe pattern.

    A subscription is made like this:

    hub.on('event', function () {
      console.log('Oh, hi!');

    All listeners registered for 'event' can be invoked using emit:


    Anything following the event name is used as arguments:

    hub.on('log', function (message) {
    hub.emit('log', 'Oh, hi!');

    Wildcard subscriptions

    When subscribing to an event, the event name may contain glob style wildcards.

    The following example matches the events routes.get and

    hub.on('routes.*', function () { /* ... */ });

    However, routes.* does not match routes.get.extended. The dot acts as a separator between event name parts. To match multiple event name parts, use a double wildcard, e.g. routes.**.

    Wildcard emit

    When emitting an event, the event name may contain glob style wildcards. Any filter and listener matching the given event will be invoked. This also applies to whildcard subscriptions.


    Return values

    Listeners may return a value to the publisher, either by using the return keyword, or by using a callback.

    hub.on('answer', function () {
      return 42;

    To use a callback, simply declare one:

    hub.on('answer', function (callback) {
      callback(null, 42); // Node style callbacks (err, value)

    Both of the above examples will work with this publisher:

    hub.emit('answer', function (err, value) {
      assert.equal(value, 42);

    This makes it possible to change listener implementations from synchronous to asynchronous without changing the publishers.

    By default, the return value of the last invoked listener is returned. To obtain an array with all return values, invoke emit like this:

    hub.emit({ event : 'answer', allResults : true }, function (err, values) {
      assert.equal(values[0], 42);


    Filters are special functions that get invoked before the listeners. A filter may delay or prevent listener execution, modify arguments and return values, and add / remove listeners. If an event triggers multiple filters, they form a queue.

    A filter function is invoked with two arguments:

    • next: a function that must be invoked by the filter to continue processing
    • callback: a callback function that must be invoked to return from the call

    A pass-through filter can be implemented like this:

    hub.addFilter('event', function (next) {
      // ...

    Performing custom operations after an event was processed:

    hub.addFilter('event', function (next, callback) {
      next(function (err, values) {
        // ...
        callback(err, values);

    to pervent any further filters from being applied and to skip listener execution, invoke the callback directly:

    hub.addFilter('event', function (next, callback) {
      callback(null, [42]);

    Note that the callback values MUST ALWAYS be an array.

    This in filter and listener

    Filters and listeners are invoked with the same scope object with these properties:

    • this.event: The emitted event
    • this.args: The arguments passed to emit, without event and callback
    • this.allResults: Whether the event was emitted with allResults set to true

    The scope object can be changed in two ways:

    1. If an object is passed as the first argument to emit, that object will be used as the scope object
    2. When registering a listener or a filter, an object can be passed as the first argument with an event property and a scope property. The given scope will be used when invoking the listener without any modification.

    Error handling

    There are two ways to indicate an error condition:

    1. An exception is thrown in a listener
    2. A callback is invoked with a value as the first argument

    Both cases are handled in the same way and in this order:

    • If the publisher passed a callback to emit, the callback is invoked with the error as the first argument
    • If at least one error handler is registered (filter or listener), the error is emitted
    • The error is thrown

    Error handling with a callback:

    hub.emit('something.throws', function (err) {
      if (err) {
        console.log('Something went wrong: ' + err);
      // ...

    The error event is a "catch all" handler that will cause the hub instance to never throw:

    hub.on('error', function (err) {
      console.log('Something went wrong: ' + err);

    In case we do not pass a callback to emit and we don't have the above error handler installed, the error will be thrown by emit:

    try {
    } catch (err) {
      console.log('Something went wrong: ' + err);

    Caveat: If the error happens asynchronously, emit will not throw. The error will be throw globally with no way of handling it properly.

    Events emitted by hub.js

    Each hub instance emits these events on event handler registration / deregistraion.

    NOTE: In contrast to events emitted with emit, these events are not passed to wildcard subscribers. That is, if a filter or a listener was added with an event name that contains a wildcard, the filter or listener will not be invoked.


    Calling addListener, on or once triggers a newListener event passing the event name and the listener function as arguments. If a filter on this event does not invoke next, the listener will not be registered.


    Calling removeListener triggers a removeListener event passing the event name and the listener function as arguments. If a filter on this event does not invoke next, the listener will not be removed.


    Calling addFilter or filterOnce triggers a newFilter event passing the event name and the filter function as arguments. If a filter on this event does not invoke next, the filter will not be registered.


    Calling removeFilter triggers a removeFilter event passing the event name and the filter function as arguments. If a filter on this event does not invoke next, the filter will not be removed.

    Call order

    Hub.js guarantees a predictable call order. The order is as follows:

    1. Wildcard filters
    2. Filters
    3. Wildcard listeners
    4. Listeners

    While listeners are called in registration order, filters are called in reverse registration order. The call order of "wildcard subscriptions" for listeners and filters depends on where the wildcards are used: More generic listeners are called before more specific ones. E.g. if a.b.c is emitted, a listener on a.** is invoked before a listener on a.b.*.

    For more information on wildcard priorities, see the glob-tree match expressions documentation.


    Inherits from async-glob-events.AsyncEmitter and has the glob-filter API mixed in.

    • emit(event, ...): Invokes the filter chain for the given event before invoking the listeners. After all listeners returned, the filter callback chain is invoked.
    • removeAll([event]): Unregisters all filters and all listeners, or the filters and listeners registered for the given event. Matching rules are not applied. This means removeAll('*') will remove listeners registered for '*', but it will not remove listeners registered for 'event'.


    • npm install to install the dev dependencies
    • npm test to lint, run tests on Node and PhantomJS and check code coverage




    npm i hubjs

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