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Make Your Own Badge With jQuery And Jaml

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jQuery is pretty much the gold standard for Javascript goodness, at least in my opinion. I use it for everything, and you should too.

Jaml has only been around since October but it's already pretty damn awesome.

Combining these two powers like peanut butter and jelly results in awesome.


Jaml is a templating engine for Javascript based loosely on Haml. It lets you write code like this:

So you can call this:


To output this:

You can also do fancier things, like setting class, id, and really any other property of an element.


So you want a Github badge

Or any other badge for that matter. I have some Github repos and my latest shared items from Google Reader in the top panel area. I used to grab them from the server, and cache them in the database. This means they didn't get updated as often, and it was just another thing the server had to do that the client could do.

So I made them into Javascript badges.


First you need a URL. Something that gets you the information you want. For Github it's something like this:

Where darkhelmet is my username.

A Callback

The other thing you need is a callback function. The place you're getting JSON from has to support this, and the syntax might be different, but you pass the name of a callback function which the JSON gets wrapped in, so the script that's getting loaded is a function call, with the only param being the JSON with all your data. So now your URL looks like this:

And it'll come back looking like this:

GithubBadge({ … });

So let's define the callback:

Ignore some of that, but basically I take the JSON, select repositories that aren't forks and have a description, sort them randomly, and take 12 of them. The important part is:

$('#github-badge').html(Jaml.render('github-badge', badge));

This sets the HTML of the element with the id github-badge to the output of Jaml rendering the github-badge template with the badge object as the parameter.

Now I define the templates:

I render a div with a CSS class, which has a header, then an unordered list containing all the rendered repos, which consist of a link within a list item. Then I tack on a link to my profile page on Github.

To make it all work, you use jQuery and do this:


This loads the script as though you included a script tag in your page, except you do this in your body load stuff so it doesn't block the page load. It has to wait until the page is loaded anyway to it can be sure to find the element to insert the HTML. Don't forget to put in an element in your page with the proper id:

<div id='github-badge'>Loading repositories…</div>

Boom. Github badge on your page. I do the same thing for the Google Reader badge. Now go forth and template!

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