Ran into an interesting problem while I was using javascript today. I had a (dynamically generated) group of checkboxes that I wanted to be able to check and uncheck as a group. This was the code I had originally, which I had cribbed from one of the many fine javascript sites on the web:

function checkAll(field) {
   for (i = 0; i < field.length; i++) field[i].checked = true ;
}

This method was called by a link like this:

<a href="javascript:checkAll(document.form.checkboxes);">Check All</a>

All well and good, as long as the field that is passed into the function is an array of checkboxes. However, since javascript is a typeless language, you can call any method on an object, and depending on how egregarious the error is, the user might never see an error message. In this case, when the dynamically generated group of checkboxes has only one element, document.form.checkboxes is not an array of checkboxes, and its length attribute doesn’t return anything. The for loop is not executed at all, and the box is never checked.

The solution is simple enough, just check the type of object passed in:

function checkAll(field) {
if (field.type != 'checkbox') {
for (i = 0; i

It makes a bit of sense why one checkbox wouldn't be an array of size one, but the switch caught me a bit off guard. I'm trying to think of an analogous situation in the other dynamic languages I've used, but in most cases, you're either controlling both the calling and receiving code, or, in the case of libraries, the API is published. Perhaps the javascript API documenting this behavior is published--a quick google did not turn anything up for me.

One thought on “javascript and checkboxes

  1. Rajessh says:

    i want coding for multiple checkbox selection in runtime

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