'On Demand' javascript reloading with jQuery

Timo - 08 Apr 2009

So I was writing some "exploratory" javascript the other day. What I mean by "exploratory" is that I wanted to pull some data out of the DOM, but I didn't know the exact location of the data I wanted to retrieve.

I used Firebug to examine the DOM, figure out what I wanted to retrieve, and then wrote some javascript to actually retrieve the data I needed. However, I wanted to be able to perform this cycle without re-loading the page. In other words, I needed a way to be able to reload my javascript file on demand.

One really simple way to do this is to create a button on your page and then call the jQuery.getScript function in the 'onclick' handler. For example:

<input value="Reload Me" onclick="jQuery.getScript('http://localhost/my.js');" type="button">

This function will asynchronously load your javascript file and execute it. The only issue I had in doing this is that it broke Firebug's ability to debug the code. However, it was nice to be able to modify my javascript code in Eclipse and then immediately run it in my browser.

If anyone has other/better ways to do this I'd love to hear about them.

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