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Extending Onsen UI

This section describes how you can extend Onsen UI and customize at your own will.

Overriding Custom Elements

If you need to customize the underlying HTML code, you can access our core Custom Element definitions. The source code for each component is located under core/src/elements directory.

Creating Framework Binding

Since Onsen UI is implemented on top of Web Components (standard technology), it can be used with just pure JavaScript or along with any JS framework. This is straightforward for libraries and frameworks that simply add a layer of usability to the development, such as jQuery. However, with more complex frameworks that also manage the DOM itself or need to compile it, some extra logic is needed to tell Onsen UI how to create and load new elements according to these frameworks. This logic is what we call “bindings.”

In most of the cases they are simple wrappers that fix timing or DOM manipulation issues. Sometimes the bindings can implement some optional extra logic to support unique features of the framework. For example, in AngularJS it is common to write attributes for event handlers that can run code from controller scopes. This can be done in the bindings by simply defining these attributes (directives) and adding an event listener behind the scenes that runs a scoped handler. Thanks to this it is possible to tailor the code style in order to make it feel like a continuation of the used framework.

Onsen UI already has binding support for the most widely used and powerful frameworks such as React, AngularJS, Angular 2 and Vue. Other libraries or frameworks like Knockout.js or jQuery are simple enough to not require wrappers.

For frameworks that do not have bindings yet, this guide explains how to extend Onsen UI and correctly configure it to any JS framework.

Page loader for routing components

Page routing is the main point that bindings usually need to modify. When creating new pages in the routing components (navigator, tabbar, splitter), Onsen UI core reads the content of templates or makes a request to an external file and gets the content in string format. Afterwards, this string is converted to HTML and appended to the DOM. All of this is done through ons.pageLoader and can be modified to fit the needs of the framework in question.

Every routing component has a pageLoader property that can be overwritten with a new one. The pageLoader constructor needs two paramenters, a loader and an unloader function:

const loader = ({page, parent, params}, done) => {
    .then((pageElement) => {

const unloader = (pageElement) => {

myNavigator.pageLoader = new ons.pageLoader(loader, unloader);

The loader function gets two parameters. The first one is an object containing three properties: page, parent, and params. The second one is a done function that must be called with the final result. parent is the HTMLElement where the final result should be attached to (ons-navigator, ons-splitter-content, etc.). page is the parameter provided in the API of the bindings. For example, in the core library, ons-navigator expects a string as the page parameter: myNavigator.pushPage('page.html', options). This parameter will be passed to the pageLoader as is. Therefore, the pageLoader decides what to do with that parameter. For the core, it uses the string as a template ID or as a URL to get the real HTML content of the page. For Angular 2, this parameter is already a component so it just needs to be properly linked and loaded. Lastly, params is an object containing the extra options passed to the router component.

The unloader function is much simpler. It only receives pageElement as a parameter and must clean everything related to the element. In case your bindings store information outside the element itself and need a way to access it, JavaScript’s WeakMap is an available structure for this. It is possible to set a link to the element’s information in loader function using the element itself as a key and retrieve it in unloader function.

Wrappers for content components

Most content components are simple HTML + CSS with some enhanced behavior that should work without issue. However, due to peculiarities and features of some frameworks, there could be timing issues or other minor problems. Usually this is fixed by creating a wrapper around the original component and using it instead. This wrapper can implement event handlers or modify the component if necessary. For example, ons-input in AngularJS needs to parse its content with Angular’s $parse in order to make it work with ng-model attribute.


For real world examples, please have a look at the bindings already implemented in Onsen UI. Have something to add? We are happy to accept Pull Requests with new bindings or improvements for the existing ones.

Another interesting example is Knockout.js + Onsen UI, where a simple event listener is enough to add Knockout functionality to Onsen UI pages. It could also be achieved by implementing a custom page loader as described above.