A tiny WebComponent library


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A lightweight library for building web components and applications

  • Platform Based: GluonJS is designed to leverage the latest web platform capabilities, making it extremely small in size, and very performant on modern browsers. Additionally, it means that build/compile steps are optional; GluonJS components work on modern browsers without any pre-processing.
  • Component Model: Build components with encapsulated logic and style, then compose them to make complex interfaces. Uses the Web Component standards, with all related APIs available directly to developers.
  • Highly Reusable: Because GluonJS creates standards-compliant Web Components, you can use components created with GluonJS in almost any existing application. Check Custom Elements Everywhere for up-to-date compatibility tables with existing frameworks.
  • Powerful Templating: GluonJS uses lit-html for templating, making it highly expressive and flexible.


import { GluonElement } from '/node_modules/@gluon/gluon/gluon.js';

class MyElement extends GluonElement {
  // ...

customElements.define(MyElement.is, MyElement);


Gluon uses lit-html to efficiently render DOM into elements. The template to render is defined in the template() getter of an element, using JavaScript tagged template literals.

If a template is defined, Gluon will render the template during the initialization of the element (when super.connectedCallback() is called).



All nodes in the template with an id attribute are automatically mappped in the $ property of an element. This provides an easy way to access named nodes without querySelector or getElementById.

The map is created during the initial render of the template. Use this.shadowRoot.getElementById() to access nodes that are added after the initial render.

static get is()

Returns a kebab-cased version of the element ClassName, as an easy default tagname for the customElementRegistry. This allows easy Custom Element registration using customElements.define(MyElement.is, MyElement).

** NOTE: JavaScript minifiers like es-uglify may break this feature. Use the { keep_fnames: true, mangle: {keep_fnames: true} } options in es-uglify to avoid breaking this feature. Alternatively, override the method to return a string to define a fixed tagname: `

‡ Pending IE support in lit-htmlstatic get is() { return 'my-element' }`.

get template()


Calling render() on an element will queue a render at the next microtask timing. Multiple calls are automatically batched into a single render.

Returns a promise object that is fulfilled after the render is complete.

To render synchronously, render({sync: true})

Common Patterns

Defining properties with getters and setters

This basic pattern works by defining a property getter and setter that wrap some other storage location for the property value.

get someProp() {
  return this._someProp;

set someProp(value) {
  this._someProp = value;

Defining properties with getters and setters has no benefits in itself, but it makes for a more flexible system when adding more features such as property defaults, synchronising between properties and attributes, typed properties, or observing property changes, examples of which are listed below.

Computed properties

Computed properties can be created by defining a property getter that computes the value for the property.

get computedProp() {
  return this.someProp + this.otherProp;

** NOTE: Computed properties are re-computed for every reference to the property. When the computation is expensive, it may be worthwhile to implement a cache:

get computedProp() {
  if (this.__previousSomeProp == this.someProp && this.__previousOtherProp === this.otherProp) {
    return this.__cachedComputedProp;

  this.__previousSomeProp = this.someProp;
  this.__previousOtherProp = this.otherProp;
  this.__cachedComputedProp = this.someProp + this.otherProp;
  return this.__cachedComputedProp;

Typed properties

Define typed properties by adding type coercion in the property getter or setter.

get numberProperty() {
  return this._numberProperty;

set numberProperty(value) {
  this._numberProperty = Number(value);

Synchronising properties and attributes

Observing attribute changes

Observing attribute changes is done using the Web Component attribute observer standards.

To observe changes on attributes, define a static get observedAttributes() on the class that returns an array of all attributes to observe:

static get observedAttributes() {
  return ['some-attr', 'other-attr']

With this defined, attributeChangedCallback(attr, oldValue, newValue) will be called for all attributes listed in the array.

attributeChangedCallback(attr, oldValue, newValue) {
  if (attr === 'some-attr') {
    // some-attr changed
  } else if (attr === 'other-attr') {
    // other-attr changed

** NOTE: attributeChangedCallback is also called for the initial attributes set on an element. It is in fact called before the connectedCallback(), which means the template has not yet been rendered. If you need to interact with child nodes, use the promise returned by render() to guarantee the template has been rendered and the child nodes exist:

attributeChangedCallback(attr, oldValue, newValue) {
  if (attr === 'some-attr') {
    this.render().then( () => this.$.child.someFunction() );

Observing property changes

Observing property changes is done by calling the observer at the end of the property setter function.

get someProp() {
  return this._someProp;

set someProp(value) {
  this._someProp = value;


Here is an example of a GluonJS component:

// helloMessage.js
import { GluonElement, html } from '/node_modules/@gluon/gluon/gluon.js';

class HelloMessage extends GluonElement {
  get template() {
    return html`<div>Hello ${this.getAttribute('name')}</div>`;

customElements.define(HelloMessage.is, HelloMessage);

We can import and use this component from anywhere:

<!-- index.html -->
<script type="module" src="/helloMessage.js"></script>

<hello-message name="World"></hello-message>

This example will render "Hello World".


GluonJS is available through npm as @gluon/gluon.


Chrome Safari Firefox Edge IE
* * * †

* Requires Web Component polyfill

† Requires transpiling to ES5


All work on GluonJS happens in the open on Github. A development environment is available at localhost:5000 with npm install && npm run dev, or make dev if you use Docker. All issue reports and pull requests are welcome.



Copyright © 2017-present, Goffert van Gool

If you find any bugs or have a feature request, please open an issue on github!

The npm package download data comes from npm's download counts api and package details come from npms.io.