Origami Frontend Components & Services

Readme: ftdomdelegate

FT's dom delegate library is a component for binding to events on all target elements matching the given selector, irrespective of whether anything exists in the DOM at registration time or not. This allows developers to implement the event delegation pattern.


Check out how to include Origami components in your project to get started with ftdomdelegate.


To import ftdomdelegate:

import Delegate from 'ftdomdelegate';
let myDel = new Delegate(document.body);

To instantiate Delegate on the body and listen to some events:

function handleButtonClicks(event) {
  // Do some things

function handleTouchMove(event) {
  // Do some other things

document.addEventListener('DOMContentLoaded', function() {
  var delegate = new Delegate(document.body);
  delegate.on('click', 'button', handleButtonClicks);

  // Listen to all touch move
  // events that reach the body
  delegate.on('touchmove', handleTouchMove);

A cool trick to handle images that fail to load:

function handleImageFail() {
  this.style.display = 'none';

document.addEventListener('DOMContentLoaded', function() {
  var delegate = new Delegate(document.body);
  delegate.on('error', 'img', handleImageFail);

.on(eventType[, selector], handler[, useCapture])

eventType (string)

The event to listen for e.g. mousedown, mouseup, mouseout, error, click, etc.

selector (string)

Any kind of valid CSS selector supported by matchesSelector. Some selectors, like #id or tag will use optimized functions internally that check for straight matches between the ID or tag name of elements.

null is also accepted and will match the root element set by root(). Passing a handler function into .on's second argument is equivalent to .on(eventType, null, handler).

handler (function)

Function that will handle the specified event on elements matching the given selector. The function will receive two arguments: the native event object and the target element, in that order.

useCapture (boolean)

Whether or not to listen during the capturing (pass in true) or bubbling phase (pass in false). If no value passed in, it will fallback to a 'sensible default', which is true for error, blur and focus events and false for all other types.

.off([eventType][, selector][, handler][, useCapture])

Calling off with no arguments will remove all registered listeners, effectively resetting the instance.

eventType (string)

Remove handlers for events matching this type considering the other parameters.

selector (string)

Only remove listeners registered with the given selector, among the other arguments.

If null passed listeners registered to the root element will be removed. Passing in a function into off's second parameter is equivalent to .off(eventType, null, handler[, useCapture]) (the third parameter will be ignored).

handler (function)

Only remove listeners registered with the given handler function, among the other arguments. If not provided, remove all handlers.

useCapture (boolean)

Only remove listeners with useCapture set to the value passed in. If not provided, remove listeners added with useCapture set to true and false.


element (Node)

Set the delegate's root node. If no element passed in the root node will be deleted and the event listeners will be removed.


Short hand for off() and root(), ie both with no parameters. Used to reset the delegate object.

Credits and collaboration

FT DOM Delegate was developed by FT Labs, part of the Financial Times. It's now maintained by the Origami Team. The developers of ftdomdelegate were Matthew Andrews and Matthew Caruana Galizia. Test engineering by Sam Giles. The API is influenced by jQuery Live.

Migration guide

State Major Version Last Minor Release Migration guide
✨ active 4 N/A migrate to v4
⚠ maintained 3 3.1 migrate to v3
╳ deprecated 2 2.2 N/A
╳ deprecated 1 1.0 N/A
maintained Origami v1 (Bower)
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GitHub: ftdomdelegate

Install ftdomdelegate

If using the Build Service, add ftdomdelegate@^4.0.6 to your script tag.

If using the npm package manager for a Manual Build, run npm install --save-peer "@financial-times/ftdomdelegate@^4.0.6".

Help & Support

ftdomdelegate is maintained directly by the Origami team. If you have any questions about ftdomdelegate or Origami in general, we are happy to help. 😊

Slack: #origami-support
Email: origami.support@ft.com

Feedback / Issues

To report a bug or request features please create an issue on Github. For support or general feedback please get in touch 😊

Slack: #origami-support
Email: origami.support@ft.com