Authors:Kris Zyp
Project owner:Kris Zyp

dojo/Evented is a module that provides a class that can be used as a base class or mixin for JavaScript classes that emit their own events.


dojo/Evented is designed to provide a class that allows a developer to emit events and provide an easy way to allow those events to be connected to by downstream users. It leverages the API concepts of :ref:dojo/on <dojo/on>. It should be noted though that this is for what is commonly referred to as “synthetic” events, which are different than DOM events, which dojo/on normalises.

Common convention is that events emitted are all lower case and usually a single word that has semantic meaning. For example change or start or end. The structure of the event that is passed on the emit is up to the developer, but it should be consistent and easy to understand.


The dojo/Evented class provides two methods, on(eventType, listener) and emit(eventType, eventObject) which correspond to dojo/on() and dojo/on::emit() with the target being the instance object. For example, we could create a class:

define(["dojo/Evented", "dojo/_base/declare"], function(Evented, declare){
  var MyComponent = declare([Evented], {
    startup: function(){
      // once we are done with startup, fire the "ready" event
      this.emit("ready", {});

  component = new MyComponent();
  component.on("ready", function(){
    // this will be called when the "ready" event is emitted
    // ...

While dojo/Evented can be extended and used directly, it is better to subclass into a new class.

If a dojo/Evented instance is passed to dojo/on as a target, dojo/on will detect this and delegate the setting of the event handler to dojo/Evented.

Event Handle Properties

The dojo/Evented class supports auto-magic property/methods for events which are named after the event with an “on” prefix, following the DOM0 convention. For example, listening to the “foo” event will put the listeners in the onfoo method. If a class has an onMouseDown method, this corresponds to a “MouseDown” event that you can listen to with:


While it is possible to trigger the event by directly calling the onfoo() or onMouseDown() method, it is recommend that you use emit(“foo”) or emit(“MouseDown”) for consistency. One can upgrade most classes with onEvent methods to be usable with dojo/on by simply adding the Evented class as a base class. Note that some event emitting objects, like Dijit widgets, have their own event emitting implementation, and define their own event names.

Transitioning to Dojo 2.0

There are a number of objects in Dojo (like dojo/dnd) that inherit from dojo/Evented. However, these event emitting objects are likely to change their events (both names and emitted event objects) in 2.0, so one should not assume that code using dojo/Evented to listen to Dojo objects will work unchanged in 2.0.


This example creates a new Timer class that will emit start, stop and tick events and demonstrates how you can then assign handlers to those events.

require(["dojo/Evented", "dojo/_base/declare", "dojo/on", "dojo/dom", "dojo/dom-construct", "dojo/domReady!"],
function(Evented, declare, on, dom, domConst){
  // Declare the new Timer class
  var Timer = declare([Evented], {
    timeout: 1000,
    start: function(){
      this.emit("start", {});
      var self = this;
      this._handle = setInterval(function(){
        self.emit("tick", {});
      }, this.timeout);
    stop: function(){
        delete this._handle;
        this.emit("stop", {});

  // Create an instance
  var timer = new Timer();

  // Set event handlers
  timer.on("start", function(){"<p>start</p>", "output");
  timer.on("tick", function(){"<p>tick</p>", "output");
  timer.on("stop", function(){"<p>stop</p>", "output");

  // Setup button click handlers
  on(dom.byId("startButton"), "click", function(){
  on(dom.byId("stopButton"), "click", function(){

<button type="button" id="startButton">Start</button>
<button type="button" id="stopButton">Stop</button>
<div id="output"></div>

See also

  • dojo/on - The Dojo event normalization API
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