How to debug JavaScript / jQuery event bindings with Firebug or similar tools?

How to debug JavaScript / jQuery event bindings with Firebug or similar tools?

I need to debug a web application that uses jQuery to do some fairly complex and messy DOM manipulation. At one point, some of the events that were bound to particular elements, are not fired and simply stop working.
If I had a capability to edit the application source, I would drill down and add a bunch of Firebug console.log() statements and comment/uncomment pieces of code to try to pinpoint the problem. But let’s assume I cannot edit the application code and need to work entirely in Firefox using Firebug or similar tools.
Firebug is very good at letting me navigate and manipulate the DOM. So far, though, I have not been able to figure out how to do event debugging with Firebug. Specifically, I just want to see a list of event handlers bound to a particular element at a given time (using Firebug JavaScript breakpoints to trace the changes). But either Firebug does not have the capability to see bound events, or I’m too dumb to find it. 🙂
Any recommendations or ideas? Ideally, I would just like to see and edit events bound to elements, similarly to how I can edit DOM today.

Solutions/Answers:

Solution 1:

See How to find event listeners on a DOM node.

In a nutshell, assuming at some point an event handler is attached to your element (eg): $('#foo').click(function() { console.log('clicked!') });

You inspect it like so:

  • jQuery 1.3.x

    var clickEvents = $('#foo').data("events").click;
    jQuery.each(clickEvents, function(key, value) {
      console.log(value) // prints "function() { console.log('clicked!') }"
    })
    
  • jQuery 1.4.x

    var clickEvents = $('#foo').data("events").click;
    jQuery.each(clickEvents, function(key, handlerObj) {
      console.log(handlerObj.handler) // prints "function() { console.log('clicked!') }"
    })
    

See jQuery.fn.data (where jQuery stores your handler internally).

  • jQuery 1.8.x

    var clickEvents = $._data($('#foo')[0], "events").click;
    jQuery.each(clickEvents, function(key, handlerObj) {
      console.log(handlerObj.handler) // prints "function() { console.log('clicked!') }"
    })
    

Solution 2:

There’s a nice bookmarklet called Visual Event that can show you all the events attached to an element. It has color-coded highlights for different types of events (mouse, keyboard, etc.). When you hover over them, it shows the body of the event handler, how it was attached, and the file/line number (on WebKit and Opera). You can also trigger the event manually.

It can’t find every event because there’s no standard way to look up what event handlers are attached to an element, but it works with popular libraries like jQuery, Prototype, MooTools, YUI, etc.

Solution 3:

You could use FireQuery. It shows any events attached to DOM elements in the Firebug’s HTML tab. It also shows any data attached to the elements through $.data.

Solution 4:

Here’s a plugin which can list all event handlers for any given element/event:

$.fn.listHandlers = function(events, outputFunction) {
    return this.each(function(i){
        var elem = this,
            dEvents = $(this).data('events');
        if (!dEvents) {return;}
        $.each(dEvents, function(name, handler){
            if((new RegExp('^(' + (events === '*' ? '.+' : events.replace(',','|').replace(/^on/i,'')) + ')$' ,'i')).test(name)) {
               $.each(handler, function(i,handler){
                   outputFunction(elem, '\n' + i + ': [' + name + '] : ' + handler );
               });
           }
        });
    });
};

Use it like this:

// List all onclick handlers of all anchor elements:
$('a').listHandlers('onclick', console.info);

// List all handlers for all events of all elements:
$('*').listHandlers('*', console.info);

// Write a custom output function:
$('#whatever').listHandlers('click',function(element,data){
    $('body').prepend('<br />' + element.nodeName + ': <br /><pre>' + data + '<\/pre>');
});

Src: (my blog) -> http://james.padolsey.com/javascript/debug-jquery-events-with-listhandlers/

Solution 5:

The WebKit Developer Console (found in Chrome, Safari, etc.) lets you view attached events for elements.

More detail in this Stack Overflow question

Solution 6:

Use $._data(htmlElement, "events") in jquery 1.7+;

ex:

$._data(document, "events") or $._data($('.class_name').get(0), "events")