Removing DOM elements with bound events in Dart


I couldn’t find anything in the docs about what developers should do when removing elements from the DOM that have bound events. jQuery has remove() and detach(). The former removes bound events, the latter does not. When calling Element#remove(), what should developers do?


Listeners are a reference from the element to whatever is listening- this means that the element will keep whatever is listening around until the element is GC’d.

Listening does not add a reference from the listener to the element, so the element can be GC’d before the listener.

The way to think about GC is references- when object A has a reference to object B, object A keeps object B around. But unless object B has a reference back to object A, B will not prevent A from being GC’d. Events are references from the target to the listener, but not the other way.

In addition, if object A has a reference to object B and B has a reference to A, then they are both keeping each other around, but if nothing has a reference to either of them then they can both be GC’d.

What this all means is that if the code listening to the element is expected to have a lifecycle approximating the element, or longer than the element then it does not need to unlisten. But if the element is expected to be long-lived and the listener short-lived, then the listener should be detached (which makes sense- why would a short-lived listener still be listening to something?). (Answer courtesy of Google engineer Pete Blois).

Answered By – Shailen Tuli

Answer Checked By – Robin (FlutterFixes Admin)

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