DCL

An elegant OOP with mixins + AOP for JavaScript.

legacy.js

Version 1.x

legacy.js is a drop-in replacement for mini.js (added in dcl 1.1.0), which supports legacy browsers (tested with IE8). It has the same API, and the same functionality.

While it is possible to use legacy.js instead of mini.js with node.js and modern browsers, it is not advised, because legacy.js is slower than mini.js.

This module is meant to be used as a substitute for mini.js. But there is one scenario when it can be used on its own: as the only dcl module in a small project. In this case, when no other dcl modules are used, it can be included directly from JavaScript:

Include legacy
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// node.js
var dcl = require("dcl/legacy");
...

// AMD (code)
require(["dcl/legacy"], function(dcl){
  ...
});

// AMD (definition)
define(["dcl/legacy"], function(dcl){
  ...
});

Background

When dcl was released originally, it supported only modern environments. The major problem with legacy environments was not their obsolescence or backwardness, or lack of certain features, but shameful bugs in their implementation of JavaScript. The biggest of them is a for in loop bug, which skips some property names.

In general it means that the normal for in loop:

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for(var key in object){
  var value = object[key];
  // do something
}

Should be approximated like that:

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for(var key in object){
  var value = object[key];
  // do something
}

var hidden = ["hasOwnProperty", "valueOf", "isPrototypeOf",
  "propertyIsEnumerable", "toLocaleString", "toString", "constructor"];

for(var i = 0; i < hidden.length; ++i){
  var key = hidden[i];
  var value = object[key];
  if(value !== Object.prototype[key] || !(key in Object.prototype)){
    // do something like above
  }
}

Obviously such approximation is inexact, and more expensive space-wise, and processor-wise. This is why it was rejected initially. Later on a legacy version of mini.js was designed as a replacement, keeping the canonical version of dcl small and fast, yet providing an option for legacy environments (older version of IE).

FAQ

How can I substitute mini.js with legacy.js conditionally?

First of all, you need to do it only in a browser environment. Over there an AMD loader will help us. For example, tests\tests.html uses a conditional comment technique targeting legacy IE browsers specifically:

Loading legacy.js conditionally
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(function(){
    var paths = {
        domReady: "https://raw.github.com/requirejs/domReady/latest/domReady"
    };
    [email protected]_on
    if(@_jscript_version < 9){
        paths["../mini"]  = "../legacy";
        paths["dcl/mini"] = "dcl/legacy";
    }
    @*/
    require.config({
        baseUrl: ".",
        packages: [
            {name: "heya-unit",
            location: "../node_modules/heya-unit"},
            {name: "heya-ice",
            location: "../node_modules/heya-unit/node_modules/heya-ice"},
            {name: "heya-unify",
            location: "../node_modules/heya-unit/node_modules/heya-unify"}
        ],
        paths: paths
    });
})();
require(["require", "./tests", "domReady!"], function(require){
    var test = require("./tests");
});

You can see how the script manipulates paths of require.config to load legacy.js instead of mini.js on IE < 9.

Read more about this technique in MSDN: @cc_on.

Can I just replace mini.js with legacy.js in my own IE-specific application?

Yes. But remember that when you handle 3rd-party files manually, you are on your own, and all mistakes are yours.

I built all my JS files into two layers: normal, and legacy. How can I load them conditionally?

One way to do it is to use HTML-level conditional comments supported by IE. Read more about this technique in MSDN: About conditional comments.

Does it work on IE6?

Unlikely – it was never tested on IE6, and so far no requests were made for such environment. But you can always try.

Gentle reader, be warned: IE6 had even more implementation bugs than IE7/IE8.