behavior posts

Responsive Behavior

Styles (ie CSS) are the primary focus when it comes to making a site responsive, but the behavior (ie JavaScript) must also be able to react differently to different circumstances. A site might have a horizontal navigation with drop-down menus for wider viewports, but a simple vertical slide open and closed navigation for narrow viewports. The site must not only be able to change the styles that make those menus look right but also the script that drives the behavior. Some behavior might even need to manipulate that DOM to function properly, such as sliding banners with inserted navigation. The DOM will need to be changed one way for certain viewport sizes and those changes reverted, and possibly other changes made, when switching to different viewport sizes.

One might contend that most viewers won’t be switching their viewport dimensions, but window resizing does happen, text can be resized (for ’em’ breakpoints), and mobile devices can be rotated. The site should not break when this happens. Also, even without changes, the correct behavior must be run.

For dealing with this, I have created a ResponsiveHandler class that listens for resizing of the window and fires an event when changing breakpoints. For each behavior that needs it, I listen for this event and run the appropriate construction and destruction depending on what the new and old breakpoints are/were. Behaviors can also simply use the class to determine which breakpoint the site is currently in and act accordingly.

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