A backbone.js view with built in lifecycle management of child views

Usage no npm install needed!

<script type="module">
  import backboneKinview from '';



KinView is a Backbone.js view that provides a simple api to manage child views and auto-appends them to the parent $el. It also allows for the child element to have a state attached to it, and properly removes the children when the parent is remove()ed.


KinView has been designed to require'd by browserify, and is currently only supported in that environment. To install:

npm install backbone-kinview --save



KinView continuous integrations is handled by Wercker:

wercker status


KinView proudly maintains 100% test coverage. To manually run the tests, install with with --dev (as above) and run:

gulp testc

You can optionally generate an HTML code coverage report by appending the --html argument


Issues can be opened in the usual location, pull requests welcome!


Getting started

Start by creating a new KinView:

var KinView = require('backbone-kinview')

var kin = new KinView.extend({
    // regular Backbone.View opts here

You can now add one or more child view, which all be appended to the parent:

// must always pass a 'view' param with a valid view!
kin.add({view: new Backbone.View()})

Positioning children in the parent

Sometimes you may wish to add a child element to the parent view at a specific position. With KinView thats easy to do:

    {view: new Backbone.View()},
        at: 4,           // specify the position (zero index)
        positioned: true // tells KinView that you want the element at the `at` position

Once set, a child cannot be repositioned.

Positioning a child in a subelement

Add a view directly to the parent is useful when children view are the only element in the parent, like this:

<div class="parent">
    <div class="child"></div>
    <div class="child"></div>
    <div class="child"></div>

If the parent view has a template or an otherwise compartmentalized hierarchy, you can specify where in the parent a given child should be appended to, use the to option. Pass a selector string thats relative to the parent. to delegates to Backbone's view.$(selector) method:

var KinView = require('backbone-kinview')

var kin = new KinView.extend({
    template: _.template('<div class="parent">'
        + '<div class="child1"></div>'
        + '<div class="child2"></div>'
        + '</div>'),
    initialize: function() {
    render: function() {

        // add child1
            {view: new Backbone.View()}
            {to: '.child1'}

        // add child2
            {view: new Backbone.View()}
            {to: '.child2'}


Setting state

KinView can keep track of a view's state.

State doesn't directly affect the view - it's simply 'metadata' that can be used to store what the state should be. Your view must listen to changes on the model in order to know when the state changes. This is a bit unconventional, as you need to first create a view, then create a new child, passing it the view, and finally have the view listen to its model. See below for an example.

Adding a view with a given state is simple:

kin.add({view: new Backbone.View(), state: 'someState'})

To change a state, simply find the views model and set it's state:'state', 'someState')


KinView also offers state exclusivity. When a KinView has state exclusivity, only one child view can hold a given state an any given time. When a child's state is changed, all other children will have their state set to a default value. By default, state is binary (i.e. either true or false). To get more elaborate states, overwrite the Model used by the KinView.children collection, mainly the toggleState() method.

To activate exclusivity, when instantiate KinView set exclusiveState to true:

var kin = new KinView.extend({
    exclusiveState: true

When exclusiveState is true, KinView will listen for an event (or events) and will call the toggleValue() method on the child. While this event defaults to click, it can be set to anything that jQuery.on() can accept. I.e:

var kin = new KinView.extend({
    exclusiveState: true,
    exclusiveEvent: 'mouseover' // by default, is 'click'

Updating the view when state changes

As explained above, the view is never manipulated when its model changes. You must manually listen for changes on the model and update your view appropriately. This is a bit unconventional as the model cannot be directly passed to view. Here is an example of how to have the view listening to the model:

var model = kin.add({view: Backbone.View()})
var view  = model.get('view')
view.listenTo(model, 'change:state', view.changeHandler)


KinView will automatically remove all views, calling their remove() method, when it is removed. If you have any elaborate cleanup you need to do in your children, be sure to add that the child's remove(). To remove KinView, just call remove():