Archive for November, 2009

Advanced radio button grouping with jQuery

November 18, 2009 8 comments

I was asked to do something rather interesting with some radio button inputs the other day. I haven’t come across this particular problem before and google didn’t return anything helpful, so I decided to share what I came up with.

First, the scenario

We have a standard form with 4 radio button groups. Each group has 4 radio buttons labeled from “1” to “4”. Now, when the user selects “option 1” in “group 1”, all the remaining “option 1” items need to be disabled. To see an example in action, you can view the demo here.

The problem

When I first started, I thought that it’s simply a matter of giving each “option” (regardless of group) a common class name – then just disabling all other options with the same class name. That works, to a point, but what if the user changes his mind and selects another option ? Now I had to find all previously disabled options, re-enable them and start all over again.

The solution

Essentially what I came up with was a basic nested loop to handle setting and unsetting the relevant “disabled” attributes. To achieve this, first we assign all “option 1” a class of “number1”, “option 2” a class of “number2” and so on.

Next, we run a basic for loop, and go through each “number” class (i.e. number1 to number4). For each class, we call a function. Inside this function is another loop – this time iterating over each radio button assigned the current class name. Using this loop, we remove any “disabled” attributes which may have been assigned previously. We also find out which item in that group is currently selected (if any) – this is so we can run a second loop to disable all those options not currently selected. Confused ? Now might be a good time to go through the code

The code

		// fire our code when a radio button has been selected
			var name = $(this).attr("name"); // get the current button's group name
			$("input[name="+name+"]").removeAttr("selected"); // first we deselect "all" radio buttons within the same group
			$(this).attr("selected","selected"); // make sure our currently "changed" button is selected
			for(i=1;i<=4;i++){ // go through the 4 radio classes
			Loops through each item with same "class" name and disables/enables where appropriate
		function processRadio(class){
			var empty;
			var id = "";
			var buttons = $(class); // read all buttons with the specified class name into a jQuery object
			buttons.each(function(){ // loop through each item
				var me = $(this);
				var isSelected = me.attr("selected"); // bool value, based on whether the "selected" attribute is present or not
				me.removeAttr("disabled"); // clear the disabled attribute if present
				me.siblings("label").removeClass("disabled"); // same with the associated label element
				if (isSelected != empty && isSelected != ""){
					id = $(this).attr("id"); // set our tmp id var to our currently selected item
			// make sure we have an id, otherwise we'll get an error
			if (id != empty && id != ""){
				buttons.each(function(){ // loop through each radio button once again
					if ($(this).attr("id") != id){ // set the disabled attributes if id attribute doesn't match our tmp id var
						$(this).attr("disabled", "disabled").siblings("label").addClass("disabled");


I’ve commented as best I could, which hopefully makes more sense than my rambling above. Once again, there is a working demo available for you to play with. Be sure to have a look at the markup as well, might clear up a few questions.

I strongly suspect that there’s a more efficient method for achieving the same result – so if you have a better suggestion, tweak or link please let me know – I’d greatly appreciate it.

Mobile App Development – Snake Guide for South Africa

November 17, 2009 8 comments

I took my first foray into mobile app development recently. Using Origo IDE I was pleasantly surprised at how easy this particular framework makes development for the Symbian (Nokia) environment.

Mobi Snake Guide for South Africa Including the initial learning curve, it took me all of 5 days to complete the app in question, and I’m quite pleased with the result, even if it is still a bit rough around the edges. Unfortunately, since Origo IDE is still a work in progress, some functionality is simply not available yet (such as calling the phone’s dialler, sending sms’s, use of the camera – though these API’s are apparently being added as we speak). So I’ll be adding to the app as and when the framework gets updated.

The app itself is a guide / e-book on snakes most commonly found throughout South Africa. It’s available as a free download, so please feel free to play around with it and give me some feedback – good or bad, it’s all a learning experience.

The app has been tested and works on all Nokia Symbian S60 5th edition handsets . (Including Nokia N97, N97 mini, 5800, 5530 and X6 handsets.)

The information, images and idea for the app were all sourced and supplied by Simon Botes.

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