Room Editor with Handlebars and Refresh

Somehow, I have a much harder time documenting my JavaScript exploits than my Revit API ones.

The Autodesk Tech Summit is taking place in Toronto next week, and I am making those potentially disastrous last minute changes that every sane person avoids at all costs.

Automatically Refresh on Save

One really important thing that I fixed now required just one single line of code:

The browser display of the model is automatically refreshed when you press 'Save'.

I remember wondering why this did not happen when I originally implemented it last year, and finally giving up, simply resorting to an additional manual button click to trigger the refresh.

Pondering my simple solution to the async trap that I fell into saving element properties, I discovered that the issue here is the exact same thing.

I need to do whatever needs to be done inside the database callback function and nowhere else.

If I add other code after initiating the database call, that code will interfere with and corrupt the database interaction.

So now my save method looks like this:

function save(a) {
  for( var i = 0; i < a.length; ++i ) {
    var f = a[i];
    var id ="jid");

    var txy = f.transform().toString()

    var trxy = 'R' +'angle')
      + 'T' + txy[0] + "," + txy[1];

    var fdoc ="doc");

    fdoc.transform = trxy;

    if( fdoc.hasOwnProperty('loop') ) {
      delete fdoc.loop;
    db.saveDoc( fdoc,
      function (err, data) {
        if (err) {
        document.location.reload( true );

Note the call to set the document location?

Last year, I tried to make that call on the last line of the save function instead of inside the anonymous database callback.


Adding Handlebars

Today, I added a new package to my bundle: handlebars.

It comes packaged for use with kanso, and yet I had to struggle a little bit to understand how to add it to my installation.

In the end, it was simple, just copying the package contents into my packages subfolder and adding a reference to it in my main kanso.json file, which now looks like this:

  "name": "roomedit",
  "version": "0.0.2",
  "description": "display and edit 2D room, furniture and equipment layout",
  "attachments": ["index.html","raphael-min-jt.js","roomedit.js","index2.html"],
  "modules": ["lib"],
  "load": "lib/app",
  "dependencies": {
    "attachments": null,
    "db": null,
    "modules": null,
    "jquery": null,
    "properties": null

So far, though, I am only using it as a pretty stupid formatting tool by defining a template on the fly and stuffing it with values like this:

  var handlebars = require('handlebars');

  var htemplate = handlebars.compile(
    '<p>{{levels}} and '
    + '{{sheets}} in '
    + 'model <i>{{model}}</i>.</p>'
    + '<p>Please select a level or sheet:</p>' );

  var hresult = htemplate({
    levels: thingies( nLevel, 'level' ),
    sheets: thingies( nSheet, 'sheet' ),

  $('#content').append( hresult );

That generates two paragraph nodes that I append to the DOM, and nothing more.

I was previously achieving the exact same result using JavaScript and jquery like this:

  var prompt =
    nLevel.toString() + ' level' + pluralSuffix( nLevel ) + ' and ' +
    nSheet.toString() + ' sheet' + pluralSuffix( nSheet ) + ' in model ';

      .text( prompt )
      .append( $('<i/>').text( ) )
      .append( document.createTextNode( '.' ) ) )
      .text( 'Please select a level or sheet:' ) );

It's not really shorter.

I find it more readable, though.

And a useful exercise.

The rest of my efforts today went into refactoring my JavaScript, eliminating code duplication and ludicrously deep indenting.


As always, the updated CouchDB database design and Kanso package definition is available from the roomedit GitHub repository, and the version described above is release

Its playmate, the RoomEditorApp Revit add-in, with its Visual Studio solution and add-in manifest remains virtually unchanged in its RoomEditorApp GitHub repository, and the current version is now 2015.0.2.16.