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Aurelia Accordion Component From Scratch

How to build a simple accordion component in Aurelia

As I have been working on a new project in Aurelia the past few weeks, I've encountered a number of problems. Solutions come that seem obvious after the fact, but a slow process to get to them.

In this simple tutorial, I show show a simple proof-of-concept I came up with for an accordion resource component. Hopefully this can give a good example of components within components, and dependency injection between them.

If you are not familiar with accordions check out the jQuery UI accordion demo.

Here are the basic requirements for what I want to build:

  • Click on a section title to expand it's associated content area
  • If you click on another title, close the section that is currently open
  • Open the first section by default. You should never have all sections closed

Let's start with the desired html markup. I would like to create my accordion like so (app.html):

2 <accordion-section title="Section 1"> Content area 1 </accordion-section>
3 <accordion-section title="Section 2"> Content area 2 </accordion-section>
4 <accordion-section title="Section 3"> Content area 3 </accordion-section>
5 <accordion-section title="Section 4"> Content area 4 </accordion-section>

So I will need at least two components, accordion and accordion-section.

My accordion template is simple (accordion.html):

2 <div class="accordion">
3 <content></content>
4 </div>

Basically I'm just wrapping this component in a div with the class of "accordion" so I can use this class for CSS. The <content></content> tags basically tell the component to insert whatever markup I put inside my component tag. In this case, it is each of my <accordion-section> tags.

My accordion-section template is also pretty straight forward (accordion-section.html):

2 <h3 click.trigger="showContent()">${title}</h3>
3 <div show.bind="isVisible">
4 <p>
5 <content></content>
6 </p>
7 </div>

Notice my bindings here.

  • click.trigger="showContent()": this will make a call to show this associated content
  • ${title}: display the title of this accordion-section
  • show.bind="isVisible": I'll have a variable to set whether this content section is displayed

Now on to the view models...

The tricky part of this component is that each accordion-section needs to "talk" to the other accordion-sections because when I open one, I need the others to close.

So I'm going to keep track of all the sections in my Accordion view-model and use dependency injection to inject my parent class into each child class.

So my parent class (Accordion) is pretty simple (accordion.js):

1export class Accordion {
2 constructor() {
3 this.sections = []
4 }

I'm basically creating an empty array named sections when I instantiate this class. I can then use this array in my AccordionSection view-model class, which looks like this (accordion-section.js):

1import {bindable, inject} from 'aurelia-framework'
3import {Accordion} from './accordion'
6export class AccordionSection {
7 @bindable title
9 constructor(accordion) {
10 this.accordion = accordion
11 }
13 attached() {
14 this.accordion.sections.push(this)
15 this.accordion.sections[0].isVisible = true
16 }
18 showContent() {
19 for (let section of this.accordion.sections) {
20 section.isVisible = false
21 }
22 this.isVisible = true
23 }

What's going on here?

First, my imports. I'm importing bindable & inject from 'aurelia-framework'. I'm also importing my Accordion class and injecting it into my AccordionSection class.

I'm making the title variable bindable so that I can read the title attribute set in our html markup.

When the component is attached(), I'm adding this view-model class to the Accordion class sections array. I then set the first item in that array to visible.

In the showContent() method (called on the title click) I first set all the section's isVisible parameter to false, then set the clicked section isVisible to true.

That's all there is to this simple component. To see it in action, check out this plunker.

Now go build upon this and add some styles and transitions. That's not my department. ;)

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Dustin Davis

Dustin Davis is a software engineer, people manager, hacker, and entreprenuer. He loves to develop systems and automation. He lives with his wife and five kids in Utah.

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