Creating rich interfaces in Cascade with List.js

So a common problem I run into with Cascade is that we’d need a page with a lot of similar content that needs to be searchable, sortable, the works. In the past, we’ve accomplished this by having a few php files, a backend interface for adding and removing items, and a database to hold our information.

Why do that, when we can use a little of what Cascade does best: leveraging XSLT/Velocity to transform data, and using a great Javascript library called List.js?

The great thing about List.js is that it’ll wire up searching and sorting client-side with any list that contains the metadata that needs to be searched or sorted on. For example, on the FIU Social website, the social media accounts are organized into an unordered list, where the list items look like this:

  <img src="_assets/images/offices-services/bbccampuslife.png">
  <h3 class="name">
     <a href="">
        Campus Life at Biscayne Bay Campus
     The Department of Campus Life provides a variety 
     of programs and services to the students and 
     University community
  <p class="social-links">
     <a class="webicon facebook" 
  <p class="categories">Offices and Services</p>

When it comes to List.js, after telling it where to look for the list for searching and sorting. The classes with data are passed to List.js like so:

var options = {
  valueNames: [
  listClass: 'social-list'

var socialList = new List('socials', options);

List.js will even search through the parts of your HTML that are hidden, like, in this case, the categories class. Moreover, a search bar inside the id given to List.js will be wired up to search the list. In this case, we passed a socials id was sent to List.js. Inside is the listClass social-list which holds our data. There is also a search input with class search that will serve as our search bar.

The HTML looks like this:

<div id="socials">
  <input class="search" placeholder="Search" type="text">
  <ul class="social-list">

And there you go. A nice interface that can still be used from Cascade. List.js is pretty fast and doesn’t have any trouble with a responsive, semantic setup.


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