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|Property/method value type:||Boolean primitive|
|Argument list:||anEventHandler||A reference to an event handler function|
|anEventName||The name of an event to be handled|
This is part of the behavior handling in MSIE which involves the use of style sheets and .htc files. It is a way of binding a function to an event so that when the event fires, the function is called. It can be applied in a more general way than just with behaviors.
Then, in that .htc file, you create a handler script that attaches itself to whatever event you want the handler to be connected to. This attachEvent() method is what is used to accomplish that.
When the browser loads the page, the .htc file is loaded and installed and the script registers itself with the event trapping mechanisms in the browser. When the event fires, the handler script in the HTML component is executed.
There are many advantages regarding code re-use and efficiency that this technique facilitates. However, the downside is that the HTML components can result in a large number of additional requests for separate items from the web server and this can be detrimental to performance. So detrimental, in fact, that it is possible that the items may not all be loaded by the time the user is ready to interact with the page.
Two events are triggered which can be used to manage this scenario more elegantly. These are the onContentReady and onDocumentReady events. They are sent to the behavior script as a notification so you can take some action internally to prime your handler. These events would typically cause the behavior handler to set flags internally that can be checked when the handler is invoked by the user. Those flags can then lock out any interaction with the page until it is known that the content of the element and the rest of the document have been loaded. At the very least, the handler should wait until the first receipt of an onContentReady event.
This functionality is unavailable on the Macintosh version of the MSIE browser up to at least version 5.