Retrieving, Archiving, and Disposing Messages with Anguilla’s MessageCenter

Inspired by yet another question on StackExchange, I’ve decided to do a follow up on a previous post on using MessageCenter. While in the previous post we focused on the creation and registration of new messages and notifications, today we are going to discuss the retrieval, archiving, and disposing (removing) of messages within the message center. Before we continue, you should know that archiving a message in Anguilla means that is shows up as dark grey (ones that you’ve read) in the list of messages, while disposing means that it doesn’t show up in the list at all.

Retrieving

You can get an Array of all the messages using the getMessages() method of MessageCenter.

$messages.getMessages().forEach(function (message) {
    // do cool things with each message
});

The getMessages method does return ALL messages, including those that are inactive (archived) or disposed. If instead you want to get only the active messages, you could use the getActiveMessages() method.

$messages.getActiveMessages().forEach(function (message) {
    // do cool things with your active messages
});

But what if you wanted to get a list of all disposed messages… or a list of all archived messages? Although we’ll talk about how to dispose and archive individual messages later in the article, one thing to understand is that when a message gets archived, the message.properties.inactive property gets set to true, and when a message gets disposed, the message.properties.disposed property gets set to true. Knowing this, we can now filter our results based on those properties:

$messages.getMessages().forEach(function (message) {
    if (!message.properties.disposed) {
        console.log("This message has not been disposed yet!");
    }
    if (!message.properties.inactive) {
        console.log("This message has not been archived yet!");
    }
    if (!message.isActive()) {
        console.log("The isActive method can also be used to check the .properties.inactive property!  There is no isDiposed one though!");
    }
});

You can even filter on other things, like the type of messages or dates!

$messages.getMessages().forEach(function (message) {
    if (!message.properties.disposed && message.isActive()) {
        if (message.getClassName() === "error") {
            console.log("We have an error message that was given on " + message.getDate() + "!");
        }
    }
});

Archiving

When a message is archived, it shows up as gray in the message center. A message gets archived when you acknowledge it (clicking the “close” button), automatically (like with progress messages), or when you programatically archive it. You can do this with a message’s doArchive() method. The following snippet will archive any active messages that are out there:

$messages.getActiveMessages().forEach(function (message) {
    message.doArchive();
});

Disposing

Disposing of a message makes it so that it doesn’t show up in the GUI list at all. Besides marking the message.properties.disposed property as true, it also seems to clean up some of the other properties and data that existed on the message. So this means that even though the message is still in the list of messages after being disposed, there’s really no useful data on it except for that disposed property. You can easily dispose of a message by calling its dispose() method.

$messages.getActiveMessages().forEach(function (message) {
    message.doArchive();
    message.dispose();
});

You’ll notice that in the above example we are calling doArchive() first. This is VERY important to do, because if you dispose of an active method without first archiving it, the message will remain counted as “unread” in the message center’s counter. This will leave our users in a confused state as they are being notified that they have new messages, but there is nothing in this list.

Show/Hide Archived Messages

You’ve probably noticed the checkbox in your Message Center that allows you to “Show Archived Messages”. Unchecking this box will hide any archived messages in the list. The anguilla API also allows you to view and manipulate this setting.

if ($messages.getIsShowArchivedMessages()) {
   // the checkbox is checked!
   $messages.setIsShowArchivedMessages(false); // but not anymore!
}

And with that I leave you with more power and knowledge to manipulate and bend the Message Center to your will!

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