JQuery equivalent to Element.identify(el)

Migrating between various javascript frameworks can often prove difficult, especially when developers become comfortable with the specific features of one library. Here is a feature that I’ve seen used in PrototypeJS that does not exist in jQuery, but can easily be added with a new function.

PrototypeJS provides an identify(el);function … Element.identify(el);. This is powerful in the sense that it returns the ‘id’ of an element, or automatically generates and assigns one when it is empty.

For jQuery the following can be added to emulate the functionality.

jQuery.fn.identify = function(prefix) {
var i = 0;
return this.each(function() {
if($(this).attr('id')) return;
do {
i++;
var id = prefix + '_' + i;
} while(document.getElementById(id) != null);
$(this).attr('id', id);
});
};

(function($) {// Compliant with jquery.noConflict()
$('span').identify('test');
})(jQuery);

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