JavaScript propertyChanging, propertyChanged, propertyGetting events

Hi folks

A while ago I described how to debug native DOM element changes.

I needed to use it more often and that became too annoying to write all that boilerplate code over and over.

I decided to implement an event-driven helper. For setter I create propertyChanging, propertyChanged and propertyGetting events. You can just subscribe to an appropriate one and put any conditional logic in the event handler. This should be much neater than the previous approach.

This helper must work in all modern browsers and IE9+

function injectPropertyEvents(element, propertyName) {
    if (!(propertyName in element))
        throw new Error("Element does not have property " + propertyName);

    var propertyHolder = element;
    var descriptor;
    while (propertyHolder !== null) {
        descriptor = Object.getOwnPropertyDescriptor(propertyHolder, propertyName);
        if (descriptor)
        propertyHolder = Object.getPrototypeOf(propertyHolder);

    if (!descriptor)
        throw new Error("Could not find property desciptor " + propertyName);

    if (propertyHolder.propertyEventsInjected)

    function raiseEvent(element, eventName, eventDetails) {
        var event;
        var bubbles = true;
        var cancelable = false;
        try {
            event = new CustomEvent(eventName, {
                bubbles: bubbles,
                cancelable: cancelable,
                detail: eventDetails
        } catch (e) {
            event = document.createEvent("CustomEvent");
            event.initCustomEvent(eventName, bubbles, cancelable, eventDetails);

    Object.defineProperty(propertyHolder, propertyName, {
        configurable: true,
        get: function get() {
            var eventDetails = {
            raiseEvent(this, propertyName + "Getting", eventDetails);
            return eventDetails.value;
        set: function set(value) {
            var eventDetails = {
                newValue: value
            raiseEvent(this, propertyName + "Changing", eventDetails);
  , eventDetails.newValue);
            raiseEvent(this, propertyName + "Changed", eventDetails);

    propertyHolder.propertyEventsInjected = true;

Besides being able to set breakpoints, this approach allows you many nice tricks. You can, for example, override the newValue event argument within propertyChanging event

document.getElementById("myTextBox").addEventListener("valueChanging", function valueChangingHandler(e) {
    if (e.detail.newValue === "something bad")
        e.detail.newValue = "making it better";

You can play with the examples in

Stay tuned

UPD: With slight modifications and polyfills, added support for IE8:

UPD2: I modified bubbles to true as I found it much more useful to real usage purposes, especially for writing an event handler for elements that not exist yet.

$(document).on("valueChanged", "input", function valueChangedHandler(e) {
    var newValue = e.originalEvent.detail.newValue;
    // ...

About mnaoumov

Senior .NET Developer in Readify
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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