I am designing a website for a company that manages buildings/real estate. I did not have much use for a CSS library like Bootstrap or Foundation, except on one page of the website. This page contains a list of selected buildings. When a user clicks on the name of a building, the building's information appears and images of the building appear in a Bootstrap image carousel. I used AJAX to GET the images of a property and then prototyped an object for each property on the list-- easy way to replace the text on-screen.

Below is the JavaScript & jQuery code that makes this happen:

//for bootstrap carousel


//stores the building currently displayed, for swap function below.
var currentBuilding;

//constructor for Building

function Building(title, background, story, images, stats){
    this.title = title;
    this.background = background;
    this.story = story;
    //images references directory where this building's images are located:
    this.images = images; 
    this.stats = stats;

//example object

var azusa = new Building(
    "Azusa, CA",
    "The company purchased a building in 2006 with a 20-year loan at 2% interest.",
    "The lot used to be the site of a mini-mall with tenants such as McDonalds and Costco",
    "10,000 sqft");

//bind to onclick for list items. Given a Building (e.g. azusa above),
//place the most recently clicked Building's information on the page.

function swap(building){
    if(currentBuilding != building) {
        currentBuilding = building;
        $("#background p:first").fadeOut(400,function(){
            $("#background p:first").html(building.background);
            $("#background p:first").fadeIn(400,function(){});
            grabImages(building.images); //see function below
        $("#story p:first").fadeOut(400,function(){
            $("#story p:first").html(building.story);
            $("#story p:first").fadeIn(400,function(){});
        $("#stats p:first").fadeOut(400,function(){
            $("#stats p:first").html(building.stats);
            $("#stats p:first").fadeIn(400,function(){});
function grabImages(folder){
    var dir = "img/selected-buildings-slides/"+folder;
    var fileextension = ".jpg";
        //This will retrieve the contents of the folder if the folder is configured as 'browsable'
        url: dir,
        type: "GET",

        success: function (data) {
            var nth = 0;
            var active=" active";
            //Lsit all png file names in the page
            $(data).find("a:contains(" + fileextension + ")").each(function () {
                    $('.carousel-indicators').append("<li data-target='#property-carousel' data-slide-to='"+nth+"'></li>")
                    $('.carousel-indicators').html("<li class='active' data-target='#property-carousel' data-slide-to='0'></li>");

                var filename = this.href.replace(window.location.host, "").replace("http://", "");

                $('.carousel-inner').append("<div class='item"+active+"'> <img src ='"+dir+filename+"' alt='property photo'></div>");

Now, I am sure you are looking at that grabImages() function and cringing. I know it looks messy, but it works. Really I am looking to see if there is a way to sidestep AJAX without having to reference the explicit path to each individual image, because the image files have arbitrary names.

Also, if there is a way to wait for the images to fully load in grabImages() before displaying them, that would be cool too.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I can't see what's kicking this all off. What is calling swap? \$\endgroup\$
    – Jivings
    Apr 16, 2014 at 17:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ i did the binding in the HTML, sorry! just an <a href="#" onclick="swap(azusa)"> tag \$\endgroup\$ Apr 16, 2014 at 18:55

1 Answer 1


Let's start by removing that inline JS call. Let's use the href to indicate the building. We'll remove the hash later. We also add a class to find these links to attach event handlers:

<a href="#azusa" class="swap-trigger">Azusa</a>

As for the script:

;(function ($) {

  // Cache the fetched elements. Unless they are dynamic, they're better off fetched
  // once and reused rather than fetching them from the DOM every function call.
  var header = $("h3:first");
  var background = $("#background p:first");
  var carouselContainer = $('#carousel-container');
  var story = $("#story p:first");
  var stats = $("#stats p:first");
  var carousel = $('.carousel').carousel();
  var carouselInner = $('.carousel-inner');
  var carouselIndicators = $('.carousel-indicators');
  var fileextension = ".jpg";

  // We store building data here in a hash. The key will match the href that we placed
  // in the links.
  var buildings = {
    'azusa': {
      title: 'Azusa, CA',
      background: 'The company purchased a building in 2006 with a 20-year loan at 2% interest.',
      story: 'The lot used to be the site of a mini-mall with tenants such as McDonalds and Costco',
      images: 'azusa-california',
      stats: '10,000 sqft'

  // Now we attach a click handler to the links
  $('.swap-trigger').on('click', function (event) {
    var building = $(this).attr('href').slice(1); //chop of the hash

  // Your swap function
  function swap(building) {

    // We can store state data into the element itself using .data()
    // That way, we avoid creating a variable for it. The data is saved in the
    // respective element.
    var currentBuilding = carousel.data('currentBuilding');
    if (currentBuilding === building) return;
    carousel.data('currentBuilding', currentBuilding);

    // Using the cached elements
    header.fadeOut(400, function () {
    background.fadeOut(400, function () {
    carouselContainer.fadeOut(400, function () {
    story.fadeOut(400, function () {
    stats.fadeOut(400, function () {

  function grabImages(folder) {
    var dir = "img/selected-buildings-slides/" + folder;

    // Shorthand AJAX GET
    $.get(dir, function (data) {

      var active = " active";
      $(data).find("a:contains(" + fileextension + ")").each(function (index,element) {

        //nth was of no use since .each() provides an index on every iteration.
        if (index === 0) {
          carouselIndicators.html("<li class='active' data-target='#property-carousel' data-slide-to='0'></li>");
        } else {
          carouselIndicators.append("<li data-target='#property-carousel' data-slide-to='" + index + "'></li>");
          active = "";
        var filename = this.href.replace(window.location.host, "").replace("http://", "");
        carouselInner.append("<div class='item" + active + "'> <img src ='" + dir + filename + "' alt='property photo'></div>");

    // jQuery sometimes fails to parse correctly, so we make sure
    }, 'html');


Can't verify if this actually works, but the mentioned changes should help the code. Also, I can see that the code you have only works for a single link-carousel combination. If there were more than one, then I can sense that it will break. Consider scenarios where there's more than one set.


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