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Authors:Chris Mitchell, Pete Higgins
Project owner:Kris Zyp


Dojo 1.7 introduces a standard feature testing and detection api, based on conventions established by the awesome has.js project.

Browser sniffing and feature inference are flawed techniques for detecting browser support in client side JavaScript. The has() API is useful for adding new feature tests the result of which can be used later when features need to be detected. The goal of the Dojo has() API is to provide a standard feature testing and feature detection module for use in Dojo modules.

Although the signature of the has() API conforms to the has.js implementation and feature names, Dojo modules implement their own version of has() tests, as some shortcuts and inferences are already available in the toolkit.

Dojo Core and Dijit modules make use of has() feature detection in 1.7. There are still a number of dojox projects that continue to use dojo.isXXX ua sniffing. These remaining projects will likely be converted to use has() in the 1.8 time frame.

Ternary has() conditional expressions can also be used during module loading for conditional loading of modules based on feature availability. See the Dojo loader documentation for more details on this capability.

The basic tests within dojo/has module can be augmented with additional tests by any other module. One frequently used module that extends dojo/has with additional tests is Browser (User Agent) Sniffing


Dojo’s implementation of has() is provided by the dojo/has.js module. In order to use this module, it must be added to your module’s define dependency list, for example:

define(["dojo/has", "dojo/_base/kernel"], function(has, dojo){
 // Use has() and has.add() as in examples below...

Currently, the testing convention is has(‘somefeature’) returns Boolean, e.g.:

   // your environment has a native Function.prototype.bind
   // you'll have to workaround or degrade because the feature's not available in your environment.

In the real world, this may translate into something like:

mylibrary.trim = has("string-trim") ? function(str){
    return (str || "").trim();
} : function(str){
    /* do the regexp based string trimming you feel like using */

By using this approach, we can easily defer to browser-native versions of common functions and can also isolate non-standard codepaths. As browsers change over time (hopefully converging on standard api’s), non-standard codepaths can more easily be pruned by build tools. Using this approach also simplifies the ability to prune browser-specific codepaths. For example, if you’re only interested in webkit environments, non-webkit feature paths can more easily be stripped out in a build, resulting in smaller more targeted code being sent to clients.

Running has() is a one-time cost, deferred until needed. After first run, subsequent has() checks are cached and return immediately.

There are also groups working on server-side has() optimizations, to precompute the cache of tests to reduce startup times.

Testing Registration

Each test is self-contained. Register a test with has.add():

has.add("some-test-name", function(global, document, anElement){
  // global is a reference to global scope, document is the same
  // anElement only exists in browser environments, and can be used
  // as a common element from which to do DOM working.
  // ALWAYS CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELF in a test. No leaks, thanks.
  // return a Boolean from here.
  return true;

You can register and run a test immediately by passing a truthy value after the test function:

has.add("some-other-test", function(){
  return false; // Boolean
}, true)

This is preferred over what would seem a much more effective version:

// this is not wrapped in a function, and should be:
has.add("some-other-test", ("foo" in bar)); // or whatever

By forcing a function wrapper around the test logic we are able to defer execution until needed, as well as provide a normalized way for each test to have its own execution context. This way, we can remove some or all the tests we do not need in whatever upstream library should adopt _has_.

Dojo 1.7 Feature Names

The following feature tests are available in Dojo 1.7. This table shows the module in which the feature test is added, and the name of the feature test. View the source code of each module to understand exactly how the test is performed (explicit testing, inference, user agent sniff etc.)

dojo/_base/browser.js , config-selectorEngine
dojo/_base/config.js , dojo-sniff
dojo/_base/connect.js , events-keypress-typed
dojo/_base/event.js , dom-addeventlistener
dojo/_base/kernel.js , config-* // All djConfig properties are added dynamically
dojo/_base/kernel.js , dojo-guarantee-console
dojo/_base/kernel.js , bug-for-in-skips-shadowed
dojo/_base/kernel.js , dojo-debug-messages
dojo/_base/kernel.js , dojo-moduleUrl
dojo/_base/loader.js , config-publishRequireResult
dojo/_base/sniff.js , opera
dojo/_base/sniff.js , air
dojo/_base/sniff.js , khtml
dojo/_base/sniff.js , webkit
dojo/_base/sniff.js , chrome
dojo/_base/sniff.js , mac
dojo/_base/sniff.js , safari
dojo/_base/sniff.js , mozilla
dojo/_base/sniff.js , ie
dojo/_base/sniff.js , ff
dojo/_base/sniff.js , quirks
dojo/_base/sniff.js , ios
dojo/_base/sniff.js , vml
dojo/_base/xhr.js , native-xhr
dojo/dojo.js , host-node
dojo/dojo.js , host-rhino
dojo/dojo.js , config-* // All djConfig properties are added dynamically
dojo/dojo.js , dojo-force-activex-xhr
dojo/dojo.js , native-xhr
dojo/dojo.js , ie-event-behavior
dojo/dom/class.js , dom-classList
dojo/has.js , host-browser
dojo/has.js , dom
dojo/has.js , dojo-dom-ready-api
dojo/has.js , dojo-sniff
dojo/has.js , dom-addeventlistener
dojo/has.js , touch
dojo/has.js , device-width
dojo/has.js , agent-ios
dojo/has.js , agent-android
dojo/i18n.js , dojo-v1x-i18n-Api
dojo/json.js , json-parse
dojo/json.js , json-stringify
dojo/main.js , dojo-load-firebug-console
dojo/main.js , dojo-config-require
dojo/mouse.js , dom-quirks
dojo/mouse.js , events-mouseenter
dojo/on.js , jscript
dojo/on.js , event-orientationchange
dojo/ready.js , dojo-config-addOnLoad
dojo/selector/_loader.js , dom-qsa2.1
dojo/selector/_loader.js , dom-qsa3
dojo/selector/lite.js , dom-matches-selector
dojo/selector/lite.js , dom-qsa
util/build/main.js , is-windows

Note: The above list was generated automatically with the following script in the root of the src dir, and edited manually:

grep -r --include=*.js "has.add(\"" * | awk -F"[ \t\":,]+" '{ print " ",$1,",", $3}'

See Also

Some portions of this document were copied with permission from has.js project. Thanks to the has.js team for this work!