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Outlets

Outlets let you reference Stimulus controller instances and their controller element from within another Stimulus Controller by using CSS selectors.

The use of Outlets helps with cross-controller communication and coordination as an alternative to dispatching custom events on controller elements.

They are conceptually similar to Stimulus Targets but with the difference that they reference a Stimulus controller instance plus its associated controller element.

<div data-controller="search" data-search-result-outlet=".result">
...
</div>

...

<div id="results">
<div class="result" data-controller="result">...</div>
<div class="result" data-controller="result">...</div>
...
</div>

While a target is a specifically marked element within the scope of its own controller element, an outlet can be located anywhere on the page and doesn’t necessarily have to be within the controller scope.

Attributes and Names

The data-search-result-outlet attribute is called an outlet attribute, and its value is a CSS selector which you can use to refer to other controller elements which should be available as outlets on the host controller.

data-[identifier]-[outlet]-outlet="[selector]"
<div data-controller="search" data-search-result-outlet=".result"></div>

Definitions

Define controller identifiers in your controller class using the static outlets array. This array declares which other controller identifiers can be used as outlets on this controller:

// search_controller.js

export default class extends Controller {
static outlets = [ "result" ]

connect () {
this.resultOutlets.forEach(result => ...)
}
}

Properties

For each outlet defined in the static outlets array, Stimulus adds five properties to your controller, where [name] corresponds to the outlet’s controller identifier:

Kind Property name Return Type Effect
Existential has[Name]Outlet Boolean Tests for presence of a [name] outlet
Singular [name]Outlet Controller Returns the Controller instance of the first [name] outlet or throws an exception if none is present
Plural [name]Outlets Array<Controller> Returns the Controller instances of all [name] outlets
Singular [name]OutletElement Element Returns the Controller Element of the first [name] outlet or throws an exception if none is present
Plural [name]OutletElements Array<Element> Returns the Controller Element’s of all [name] outlets

Accessing Controllers and Elements

Since you get back a Controller instance from the [name]Outlet and [name]Outlets properties you are also able to access the Values, Classes, Targets and all of the other properties and functions that controller instance defines:

this.resultOutlet.idValue
this.resultOutlet.imageTarget
this.resultOutlet.activeClasses

You are also able to invoke any function the outlet controller may define:

// result_controller.js

export default class extends Controller {
markAsSelected(event) {
// ...
}
}

// search_controller.js

export default class extends Controller {
static outlets = [ "result" ]

selectAll(event) {
this.resultOutlets.forEach(result => result.markAsSelected(event))
}
}

Similarly with the Outlet Element, it allows you to call any function or property on Element:

this.resultOutletElement.dataset.value
this.resultOutletElement.getAttribute("id")
this.resultOutletElements.map(result => result.hasAttribute("selected"))

Outlet Callbacks

Outlet callbacks are specially named functions called by Stimulus to let you respond to whenever an outlet is added or removed from the page.

To observe outlet changes, define a function named [name]OutletConnected() or [name]OutletDisconnected().

// search_controller.js

export default class extends Controller {
static outlets = [ "result" ]

resultOutletConnected(outlet, element) {
// ...
}

resultOutletDisconnected(outlet, element) {
// ...
}
}

Outlets are Assumed to be Present

When you access an Outlet property in a Controller, you assert that at least one corresponding Outlet is present. If the declaration is missing and no matching outlet is found Stimulus will throw an exception:

Missing outlet element "result" for "search" controller

Optional outlets

If an Outlet is optional or you want to assert that at least Outlet is present, you must first check the presence of the Outlet using the existential property:

if (this.hasResultOutlet) {
this.resultOutlet.safelyCallSomethingOnTheOutlet()
}

Referencing Non-Controller Elements

Stimulus will throw an exception if you try to declare an element as an outlet which doesn’t have a corresponding data-controller and identifier on it:

<div data-controller="search" data-search-result-outlet="#result"></div>

<div id="result"></div>

Would result in:

Missing "data-controller=result" attribute on outlet element for
"search" controller`

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