Javascript setInterval and `this` solution

I need to access this from my setInterval handler

prefs: null,
startup : function()
    {
        // init prefs
        ...
        this.retrieve_rate();
        this.intervalID = setInterval(this.retrieve_rate, this.INTERVAL);
    },

retrieve_rate : function()
    {
        var ajax = null;
        ajax = new XMLHttpRequest();
        ajax.open('GET', 'http://xyz.com', true);
        ajax.onload = function()
        {
            // access prefs here
        }
    }

How can I access this.prefs in ajax.onload ?

Answers:

Answer

The setInterval line should look like this:-

 this.intervalID = setInterval(
     (function(self) {         //Self-executing func which takes 'this' as self
         return function() {   //Return a function in the context of 'self'
             self.retrieve_rate(); //Thing you wanted to run as non-window 'this'
         }
     })(this),
     this.INTERVAL     //normal interval, 'this' scope not impacted here.
 ); 

Edit: The same principle applies to the " onload ". In this case its common for the "outer" code to do little, it just sets up the request an then sends it. In this case the extra overhead an additinal function as in the above code is unnecessary. Your retrieve_rate should look more like this:-

retrieve_rate : function()
{
    var self = this;
    var ajax = new XMLHttpRequest();
    ajax.open('GET', 'http://xyz.com', true);
    ajax.onreadystatechanged= function()
    {
        if (ajax.readyState == 4 && ajax.status == 200)
        {
            // prefs available as self.prefs
        }
    }
    ajax.send(null);
}
Answer
this.intervalID = setInterval(this.retrieve_rate.bind(this), this.INTERVAL);
Answer

The default behavior of setInterval is to bind to the global context. You can call a member function by saving a copy of the current context. Inside retrieve_rate the this variable will be correctly bound to the original context. Here is what your code would look like:

var self = this;
this.intervalID = setInterval(
    function() { self.retrieve_rate(); },
    this.INTERVAL);

Bonus tip: For a plain function reference (as opposed to an object reference which has a member function) you can change the context by using JavaScript's call or apply methods.

Answer

With improving browser support the time is now good to use the EcmaScript 6 enhancement, the arrow => method, to preserve this properly.

startup : function()
    {
        // init prefs
        ...
        this.retrieve_rate();
        this.intervalID = setInterval( () => this.retrieve_rate(), this.INTERVAL);
    },

Using => method preserves the this when retrieve_rate() is called by the interval. No need for funky self or passing this in parameters

Answer

window.setInterval(function(){console.log(this)}.bind(this), 100)

this is legal in javascript and saves lots of code :)

Answer

This would be the cleanest solution, since most of the time you actually want to switch the this context for your consecutive method calls:

Also it's easier to grasp the concept of.

    // store scope reference for our delegating method
    var that = this;
    setInterval(function() {
        // this would be changed here because of method scope, 
        // but we still have a reference to that
        OURMETHODNAME.call(that);
    }, 200);
Answer
prefs: null,
startup : function()
    {
        // init prefs
        ...
        this.retrieve_rate();
        var context = this;
        this.intervalID = setInterval(function()
                                      {
                                          context.retrieve_rate();
                                      }, this.INTERVAL);
    },

retrieve_rate : function()
    {
        var ajax = null;
        ajax = new XMLHttpRequest();
        ajax.open('GET', 'http://xyz.com', true);
        var context = this;
        ajax.onload = function()
        {
            // access prefs using context.
            // e.g. context.prefs
        }
    }
Answer

With modern browsers the setInterval method allows additional parameters which are passed through to the function specified by func once the timer expires.

var intervalID = scope.setInterval(func, delay[, param1, param2, ...]);

Hence, a possible solution can be:

this.intervalID = setInterval(function (self) {
        self.retrieve_rate();
    }, this.INTERVAL, this);

A demo:

var timerId;
document.querySelector('#clickMe').addEventListener('click', function(e) {
    timerId = setInterval(function (self) {
        self.textContent = self.textContent.slice(0, -1);
        if (self.textContent.length == 0) {
            clearInterval(timerId);
            self.textContent = 'end..';
        }
    }, 250, this);
})
<button id="clickMe">ClickMe</button>

Answer

That's not a beauty solution but it's in common usage:

var self = this;
var ajax = null;
//...
ajax.onload = function() {
    self.prefs....;
}

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