Getting URL parameters in a jQuery Mobile page

While I could have sworn I blogged this before (in fact, Chrome popped autosuggested the title), I can’t find the post and as I ran into this issue again today, I figured I’d better blog it before I forget again. So - the question is simple. Given that you can use the powerful jQuery Mobile framework to create dynamic applications, how can you create single pages that act differently depending on the URL parameters sent to them. So for example, you may have a list of art pieces that all link to artdisplay.html. You want to pass an art ID value in the URL so your location may look like so:


You can bind to the "pageshow" event easily enough and then fetch the URL parameter, but here is where things get tricky. Or at least they did for me. I was making use of window.location.href like so:

$("#artdetailpage").live("pageshow", function(e) {
  var query =;
  query = query.replace("?id=","");
  //query is now an ID, do stuff with it...
</pre> returns just the query string portion of the URL. If I only have one parameter, then I can simply strip it out. (Note that it also returns the ?, which seems silly.)

This worked fine until I put the code onto a device via PhoneGap. All of a sudden was empty. Given than this was a slightly different way of running the application versus just hitting in my browser, I searched for another solution.

Turns out that jQuery Mobile stores the URL of the page in a data-page parameter. This is documented here. If you switch to using $(this).data("url"), you will get the full URL, which means slightly more string parsing, but it seems to work in every situation, desktop or mobile. The pseudo-code above could then look like so:

$("#artdetailpage").live("pageshow", function(e) {
  var query = $(this).data("url").split("?")[1];;
  query = query.replace("id=","");
  //query is now an ID, do stuff with it...

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