2 months ago, I wrote a chrome extension called hotfix. I recently went back to look over the code and it made me cringe a bit. I refactored it a little, but before I get knee deep in it, I would like to ask for suggestions on the best way to proceed. I'm not expecting anyone to completely rewrite it, just to give me some suggestions on how to make it more efficient. However, if you like the project and want to submit a pull request to help, you can find it here on GitHub.


// If there is no hotfix data in local storage then the user is not authenicated 
// so we should show the authorization page, otherwise the user is authenticated 
// and we can proceed.

    document.getElementById('unauthorized').style.display = 'block';   

    document.getElementById('authorized').style.display = 'block';

    var localData = JSON.parse(localStorage['hotfix']),
        repoList = document.getElementById('repo-list'),
        selectUser = document.getElementById('select-user'),
        repoDiv = document.getElementById('repos'),
        branchDiv = document.getElementById('branches'),
        branchList = document.getElementById('branch-list'),
        currentUser = localData.username,

    // Get the access token that we will use to authenticate with github.
    // Initiate github.js instance.
    // This is included from another file.

    var github = new Github({
        token: localData.accessToken,
        auth: "oauth"

    // Initiate a user in github.js.
    var user = github.getUser();

     //Populate the user select list with the user and their organizations

    //show the users repositories on initial page load

    // Generate a list of resources that has been edited.
    chrome.extension.onMessage.addListener(function(request, sender, sendResponse) {
        if (request.greeting == "show resources") {
            document.getElementById('edited-resources').innerHTML = '';

            // Populate the resources array
            resources = request.showResource;

             // Create a container div for holding the resource

            // Add an event listener for each remove resource span

            // Add an event listener for each edit resource span

            // Add an event listener to each commit button.

            // Send a response to devtools.js via eventPage.js to make sure devResources
             // and resources are in sync (ids, paths, etc...)

            sendResponse({updatedArray : resources });



        currentUser = selectUser.options[selectUser.selectedIndex].text;

        repoList.options.length = 1;

        branchDiv.style.visibility = 'hidden';



    // Add listener for a change on the repo-list select element.


        var repoName = repoList.options[repoList.selectedIndex].text;
        branchList.options.length = 0;
        if(repoName && repoName !== 'No repositories found'){

            // Get the selected repository details. 

            //Hide the branches if user unselects the repository.
            branchDiv.style.visibility = 'hidden';

//Listen for a message from eventPage.js to reload the panel after successful authentication.

chrome.extension.onMessage.addListener(function(request, sender, sendResponse) {
    if (request.greeting == "reload_panel"){
        localStorage['hotfix'] = JSON.stringify(request.data);

//Listen for a message from eventPage.js to reload the panel after successful authentication.

chrome.extension.onMessage.addListener(function(request, sender, sendResponse) {
    if (request.greeting == "unload_panel"){

// Send a message to eventPage.js to open a new window with the github authorization url.

document.getElementById("authorize-button").addEventListener("click", function() {
    chrome.extension.sendMessage({greeting: "authorize_me"}, function(response) {});

 //Send a message to eventPage.js to log out current user out of GitHub  
document.getElementById("logout").addEventListener("click", function() {
        chrome.extension.sendMessage({greeting: "logout"}, function(response) { });

function loadSpinner(location){
    return new Spinner({
        color: '#aaa',
        length: 0,
        width: 3,
        radius: 5,
        trail: 46,
        top: '26px',
        speed: 1.5

// List user/organization repositories.

function showRepos(currentUser, cb){
    var repoDiv = document.getElementById('repos');

    //Load spinner in the repository div while we wait
    var spinner = loadSpinner(repoDiv);

    var getRepos = user.userRepos(currentUser,function(err, repos){
        var select = document.getElementById('repo-list');

        // Populate the select list with the users' repos.
            select.options.add(new Option('No repositories found'))
            for(var i=0; i < repos.length; i++){
                var repo = repos[i].name;
                select.options.add(new Option(repo))

function showBranches(repoName){
    var repo = github.getRepo(currentUser, repoName);

    // Show a spinner while the branches load.
    var spinner = loadSpinner(branchDiv)

    // Show the branch select box
    branchDiv.style.visibility = 'visible';

    // List all branches of the selected repository.
    repo.listBranches(function(err, branches){

        for(var i=0; i < branches.length; i++){
            var branch = branches[i];
            branchList.options.add(new Option(branch))

        //Stop the spinner.

function showUser(user){

    var userOption = document.createElement('option');
    userOption.text = currentUser;

    var userOrgs = user.orgs(function(err, orgs) {
        for(var i=0; i < orgs.length; i++){
            var org = orgs[i].login;
            selectUser.options.add(new Option(org))

function removeResource(){
    // Get all of the remove resource spans

    var resources = document.getElementsByClassName('remove-resource');

    for (var i = 0; i < resources.length; i++) {

        resources[i].addEventListener('click', function() {
            // Get the numeric id of the resource div which will correspond
            // to the resources id in the resources.

            var parentId = this.parentNode.parentNode.id;
            var id = parentId.replace('resource-','');
            for (var key in resources) {
                if (resources[key].hasOwnProperty('id') && resources[key].id == id) {

                    // Remove the div on the screen and send a message to 
                    // devtools.js via eventPage.js to remove it from the 
                    // DevArray

                    chrome.extension.sendMessage({greeting: "remove resource", data: id}, function(response) {});

function editPaths(){

    // Get all of the edit resource span

    var paths = document.getElementsByClassName('edit-path');

    for (var i = 0; i < paths.length; i++) {
        paths[i].addEventListener('click', function() {

            // Get the numeric id of the resource div which will correspond
            // to the resources id in the resources.

            var parentId = this.parentNode.parentNode.id;
            var id = parentId.replace('resource-','');

            for (var key in resources) {
                if (resources[key].hasOwnProperty('id') && resources[key].id == id) {

                    // Get the text of the current path link.
                    var editButton = this;
                    var path = this.previousSibling;

                    // Create a new contentEditable span with that text

                    path.contentEditable = true;

                    // Create save button.

                    var savePath = document.createElement('span');
                    var savePathText = document.createTextNode('Save');
                    savePath.className = "save-path";

                    // Add event listener for new save button.

                    savePath.addEventListener('click', function() {

                        path.contentEditable = false;
                        resources[id].path = path.innerText;
                        this.style.display = 'none';
                        editButton.style.display = "inline-block";

                    // Send a message to Dev Tools.js via eventPage.js to make sure the arrays stay in sync.
                        chrome.extension.sendMessage({greeting: "update devResource", data: resources}, function(response) {});



                    // Remove old path link and edit button.
                    this.style.display = 'none';

function commit() {

    var commitButtons = document.getElementsByClassName('commit-button');

    for (var i = 0; i < commitButtons.length; i++) {
        commitButtons[i].addEventListener('click', function() {

            var repoName = repoList.options[repoList.selectedIndex].text;

            // Check that a valid repository was selected. 

                alert('Please select a respository on the left');
            else if(repoName == "No repositories found"){
                alert("It appears you haven't created any GitHub repositories. You should create one on GitHub, then log out of hotfix and log back in.");

                // Get the id from the parent div that corresponds to the 
                // resources id property in our resources array.

                var parentId = this.parentNode.parentNode.id;
                var parentNode = this.parentNode.parentNode;
                var id = parentId.replace('resource-','');

                // Check that the user has saved the full commit path.
                var checkPath = parentNode.getElementsByClassName('resource-path')[0];
                if (checkPath.contentEditable == "true"){

                    alert('The full commit path needs to be saved.');

                // Get commit message from the textarea.

                var commitMessageTextArea = 'commit-message-'+id;
                commitMessage = document.getElementById(commitMessageTextArea).value;

                // Check that the user has in fact entered a commit message.

                    alert('Please enter a commit message.');

                // And that it's not just a bunch of spaces.

                var allSpaces = commitMessage.trim();
                if(allSpaces.length == 0){
                    alert('Please enter a valid commit message.');

                // Create an overlay div and a loading spinner while we send the 
                // commit to GitHub.

                var overlayDiv = document.createElement('div');
                var spinner = new Spinner({
                    lines: 14,
                    length: 18,
                    width: 3,
                    radius: 18,
                    corners: .8,
                    rotate: 56,
                    trail: 65,
                    speed: .9

                // Get the variables we need to send with our request to GitHub.

                var branch = branchList.options[branchList.selectedIndex].text;
                var repo = github.getRepo(currentUser,repoName);
                repo.write(branch,resources[id].path, resources[id].content,commitMessage,function(err){
                        alert('Sorry. There was a problem pushing your commit to GitHub. Please try again.');

                        // Create a div to show the success image.
                        var successImage = document.createElement('div');
                        successImage.id = 'success-image';
                        var checkImg = document.getElementById('success-image');
                        setTimeout(function () { 
                            checkImg.style.opacity = 1; 
                        }, 5);

                        // Send a message to devtools.js via eventPage.js to remove  
                        // the resource we just committed from the devResources array.
                        chrome.extension.sendMessage({greeting: "remove resource", data: id}, function(response) {});

                        // And remove it from view.

function showResources(){

    var editedResources = document.getElementById('edited-resources');
    // This part gets a little messy. We have to dynamically create numerous
    // divs and spans for every resource that was edited. 
    // ToDo: Refactor this. 

    for (i=0; i<resources.length;i++){

        // Add an id to all of the objects in rour esourceArray.

        resources[i].id = i;

        // Create an achor element and set the href and target.

        var a = document.createElement('a');
        a.href = resources[i].url;
        a.target = '_blank';

        // Extract the path and hostname from the anchor element.

        var resourcePath = a.pathname;
        var hostName = a.hostname;
        var host = hostName.replace(/^www\./,'');

        // Remove the leading / and add it to the resources.

        if (resourcePath.charAt(0) == "/") {
            resourcePath = resourcePath.substr(1);

        // If resources.path is already set then
        // use it instead of generating a new path.
        // This lets us persist the commit path when it has been edited by a user.

            resources[i].path = resourcePath;
        // Create a div to hold the resource and give it an id.

        var resourceDiv = document.createElement('div');
        resourceDiv.id = 'resource-' + i;
        resourceDiv.className = "resource";

        // Create a div for the domain that this resource came from.

        var source = document.createElement('div');
        source.className = 'source';
        var domainText = document.createTextNode(host);

        // Create a list element to hold the resource and path.

        var file = document.createElement('li');
        var fileText = document.createTextNode('Resource: ');
        var fileName = resourcePath.substring(resourcePath.lastIndexOf('/')+1);
        var fileNameText = document.createTextNode(fileName);
        var fileSpan = document.createElement('span');
        fileSpan.className = ('file-name')
        file.className = 'file';

        // Create an li element and add the full path to it.

        var li = document.createElement('li');
        var resourceText = document.createTextNode(resources[i].path);
        var resourceLabel = document.createTextNode('Full commit path: ');
        resourceLabel.className = 'resource-label';
        var resourceSpan = document.createElement('span');
        resourceSpan.className = 'resource-path';
        var editPath = document.createElement('span');
        editPath.className = ('edit-path');
        editPathText = document.createTextNode('Edit');

        // Append the anchor element to the li element we just created.


        // Create a span to hold the remove icon and give it a class. 

        var removeSpan = document.createElement('span');
        removeSpan.className = 'remove-resource';

        // Append the span to the li element.


        // Create a div to hold the commit label, textarea(commit message), 
        // and commit button.

        var commitWrapper = document.createElement('div');
        commitWrapper.className = 'commit-wrapper';

        // Create a label for the commit message and append it to the wrapper.

        var commitInputLabel = document.createElement('label');
        var inputLabelText = document.createTextNode('Commit message: ');

        // Create the textarea and give it an id so we can access it later.

        var commitInput = document.createElement('textarea');
        commitInput.id = 'commit-message-' + i;
        commitInput.className = 'commit-textarea';

        // Create the commit button, give it some text, and add a class.

        var commitButton = document.createElement('button');
        var buttonText = document.createTextNode('Commit');
        commitButton.className = 'commit-button';

        // Append the textarea and button to the commit wrapper div


        // Append the source, resource, path, and commit info to the
        // container div.


        // Finally append the resource container to the main div. 


  • \$\begingroup\$ The first thing I usually recommend is having separate files... If you don't want to leak globals and stuff, you can use tools like browserify. I've already made an extension with it, and it works great. \$\endgroup\$ May 17, 2013 at 14:34

1 Answer 1


A few things in no particular order:

  • You should re-organize your code. Pick a design pattern and stick to it. If you can't find one that you like, you could probably make a hybrid one. I would say the Module pattern would be a good one. You might also benefit from the Observer pattern aka Pub/Sub. I think especially the Pub/Sub because you can use it to "publish" when a resource gets edited and then minimize the tests and DOM manipulations. That brings me to point #2:
  • DOM manipulations are the most expensive thing like ever. Ha well maybe not, but the point still gets across. I saw your "ToDo" comment in showResouces() function and strongly suggest you spend the majority of your time there - even though that may sound like a broken record. All those manipulations would probably be the most significant and apparant improvement performance wise. Not only that but by forcing yourself to refactor that function, you'll probably end up refactoring the other ones as well to fit the changes made. Which is a win win I would say.
  • On a personal note: don't use alerts. They annoy the heck out of people, my self in particular. Most modern browsers allow you to block messages like that or even do it automatically, causing your messages to go caput. But that could also be just me that has a grudge for them and it's up to you whether to swap them out or not.
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the comments. I was reading up on the Module pattern earlier today and found it pretty interesting. I'll look into it more. Regarding the DOM manipulations, I have to create all the elements dynamically because I won't every know how many elements I am creating, or their details until the page is shown. I'm all ears on a better way to do it. I agree about the alerts. I need to get them out of there. It was a quick fix, that I never went back and implemented properly. \$\endgroup\$ May 17, 2013 at 14:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ Take some time to read up on Pub/Sub. I really think that's right up your alley. Applied to your case, it works something like this: "Oh hey, I'm done editing these resources you can do your stuff now. And btw here's all the info you'll ever need." And then you can have another piece of code "subscribed" to that and go form there. \$\endgroup\$ May 17, 2013 at 15:00

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