Writing jQuery plugins using Coffeescript

So you want to write a Jquery plugin. If you know jQuery and Coffeescript, this would be amazingly easy.

I will walk you through writing a jQuery plugin which will allow us to add alternating colors to alternating rows.

Here is the plugin in its entirety.

$ = jQuery
$.fn.zebraTable = (options) ->
    defaults =
        evenColor: '#ccc'
        oddColor : '#eee'

    options = $.extend(defaults, options)
    @each ->
        $("tr:even", this).css('background-color', options.evenColor)
        $("tr:odd" , this).css('background-color', options.oddColor)

Lets look at what we did.

  1. We bound $ to jQuery object.
  2. We created an anonymous functions and added this to jQuery, by assigning it to ` $.fn.zebraTable`
  3. After this we will be able to do $("selector").zebraTable() or `$(selector).zerbraTable(optionsDict)
  4. This function will set background-color on alternating rows.

Lets look at the compiled Javascript output

(function() {
  var $;

  $ = jQuery;

  $.fn.zebraTable = function(options) {
    var defaults;
    defaults = {
      evenColor: '#ccc',
      oddColor: '#eee'
    options = $.extend(defaults, options);
    return this.each(function() {
      $("tr:even", this).css('background-color', options.evenColor);
      return $("tr:odd", this).css('background-color', options.oddColor);


And you can call it like this.

$(function() {
  $("table").zebraTable(  {
      evenColor: 'red',
      oddColor: 'yellow'

Salient features.

  1. Since Coffeescript will enclose the code in a function $ = jQuery doesn’t overwrite everything, and there is no need to enclose the plugin in its own closure.
  2. Inside the plugin this refers to the selected jQuery object, so there is no need to do $(this).

You can see the whole code on github here

Thank you for reading the Agiliq blog. This article was written by shabda on Jan 6, 2012 in coffeescript .

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