One of the most important aspects of dealing with events through jQuery is the bind() and unbind() methods. As the names imply, they will simply attach and unattach code to one or several events on a set of elements. We saw a very simple usage example for the bind() method in the introduction chapter for events, and here is a more complete one:
It works by selecting all links (<a> elements) and then bind the anonymous function you see to the click event. A cool little feature is that jQuery will automatically assign the element that is clicked, to the “this” keyword inside of the anonymous function. This will allow you to access the element that activates the element, even when you assign the same code to multiple elements.
When jQuery calls your method, it will pass information about the event as the first parameter, if you have specified one or more parameters on it. For instance, the event object passed will contain information about where the mouse cursor is, which type the event is, which keyboard key or mouse button was pressed (if any) and much more. You can see all the properties and methods on the event object here: http://api.jquery.com/event.which/
Here is an example:
We create a div element of a reasonable size and a background color. For this div, we subscribe to the mousemove event, with an anonymous function with a parameter called “event”. This object gives us access to the pageX and pageY properties, which tells us where on the page the mouse cursor currently is, relative to the top left corner of the document. Try the example and move the cursor over the div element and you will see the coordinates updated as you move the mouse.
The bind() method also allows you to pass in data of your own and access it from the event object. This also allows you to set values at the time you bind the event, and be able to read this value at the time the event is invoked, even though the original variable you used may have changed. Here’s an example where you can see just that:
We pass the value as the secondary parameter of the bind() method, as a map of keys and values. You can pass more than one value by separating them with a comma. To access the value inside the event handler, we use the data property of the event object. This property contains sub-properties for each of the values you have passed, which means that you can access the value of the message parameter using event.data.message.
Despite the fact that we change the value of the “msg” variable inside the event handler, the message displayed will still be “Hello, world!” every time you click on one of the links, because it’s evaluated as soon as the event handler is bound, which is once the page has been loaded.