Namespace for managing modules that make use of the z-axis

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o-layers MIT licensed
Deprecated: This component was not widely used and therefore did not meet its aim of managing the z-index between components and projects. There is no direct replacement for o-layers. Instead fire component specific events to indicate that a new "layer" such as an overlay has been opened.
This module provides a namespace for managing modules that make use of the z-axis, providing events, css classes and coding conventions that modules must use to interact with other modules that use the z-axis


Check out how to include Origami components in your project to get started with o-layers.

Terminology and concepts


A Layer refers to the owned DOM, or portion of owned DOM, of any module that makes use of the z-axis.

Layer context

A Layer context refers to a HTML element where every layer lying within it should only be concerned with other layers if they also lie within it. e.g. Within an interactive graphic any popups only need concern themselves with the state of other popups which also overlay the same graphic; they can safely disregard popups overlaying a different graphic.
document.body is the default layer context.

o-layers__context class

This class should be added to any element (other than document.body) which needs to behave as a layer context. All layers must either
  • be a descendant of an element with the class o-layers__context and should not overlap any part of the page not contained within this element
  • not be a descendant of any element with the class o-layers__context (in which case document.body provides the default layer context)

In general a new layer context should only be defined if you are very sure any layers it contains will never interfere (either through directly overlapping or by leaving a distracting, no longer needed UI element) with anything outside of it.


All layer contexts (with the exception of document.body) should have the following css properties defined (o-layers does not provide sass for this as there is considerable variation in acceptable values)
  • position - must not be static
  • z-index - must be 0 or higher (this mitigates problems with z-index of layers in nested layer contexts)

Javascript helper

oLayers#getLayerContext(el) will return the given element's layer context.


The following custom events must be fired on a layer's closest ancestor with the class o-layers__context (or on document.body if no such element exists). The Event.details property must define all the properties from the list below that are truthy for the given layer
  • el - Reference to the layer's DOM node


This should be fired immediately before any layer is added to the DOM/displayed.


This should be fired immediately after any layer is removed from the DOM/hidden.

Coding conventions

Any module which controls one or more layers must implement the following patterns:
  • Listen for the event oLayers.new on the layer context of each of its layers and react to these events by either:
1. closing the layer
2. inspecting the new layer's owned DOM to determine what action should be taken.


Copyright (c) 2016 Financial Times Ltd. All rights reserved.
This software is published under the MIT licence.