Changing Default Options

I was helping my cousin with a website she’s putting together. She wanted to change the default behavior for a select tag.

These are the steps I took to help her out.

hosted site address:

repository of code:

Kim's site

As seen in the left, the default address radius in the search bar was set to ‘1/2 mile’ and she wanted to have it default to ‘2 miles’

Photo of select element, with in 1/2 mile

I first had to figure out how it was set to ‘1/2 mile’ in the first place, and discovered this attribute was set by a javascript script function.

Unpacking the layers

First off, looking at the HTML, this is how the select element looks like

  <select id='search_radius'>
    <option value='400'>2 blocks</option>
    <option value='805'>1/2 mile</option>
    <option value='1610'>1 mile</option>
    <option value='3220'>2 miles</option>

The values of the options were a bit weird but the id=search_radius helped me find where the script was set.

Finding the js

the javascript setting the default value was in the file js/maps_lib.js

Searching for the id search_radius I found where the default value was set.

//reset filters
var loadRadius = self.convertToPlainString($.address.parameter('radius'));
if (loadRadius != "")

$(":checkbox").prop("checked", "checked");

This line $("#search_radius").val(self.searchRadius); says,

// the top of js/maps_lib.js
(function (window, undefined) {
    var MapsLib = function (options) {
        var self = this;

        options = options || {};

        this.recordName = options.recordName || "result"; //for showing a count of results
        this.recordNamePlural = options.recordNamePlural || "results";
        this.searchRadius = options.searchRadius || 805; //in meters ~ 1/2 mile

looking at the top of js/maps_lib.js file, we can see where searchRadius is set, and what the value attributes in the <option> tags represent.

changing this last line in the file:

this.searchRadius = options.searchRadius || 3220; //in meters ~ 2 miles

Now, the page works as desired.

Photo of select element final, with in 2 miles

In conclusion

This was a bit weird since I’m not a front end guy ‘yet’, bc I would have altered the HTML directly as in:

  <select id='search_radius'>
    <option value='400'>2 blocks</option>
    <option value='805'>1/2 mile</option>
    <option value='1610'>1 mile</option>
    <option value='3220' selected>2 miles</option>

I would have expected to just add selected to the desired <option> and been done with it…

But, since the element was handled with javascript, the attributes would be overwritten with the js function, selecting what ever that function decided to select.

That’s it for now, we’ll see what pops up next week.