Using jQuery to load HTML and filter it by N selectors

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Forgive the somewhat awkward title. Hopefully an explanation will make things a bit clearer. I was working on an application yesterday that needed to load in a HTML file via AJAX and display it on screen. The HTML happened to be documentation so I was going to simply display it as is on screen. Since I wasn't doing any processing, my code was very simple:

Easy, right? Well, the first thing I discovered was that the HTML I was loading included things I didn't want - headers, footers, etc. Again though this is easy enough to handle. You can tell jQuery's load() function to filter down to a DOM item. (As a reminder - if you are concerned about performance don't forget that you are still asking jQuery to load N bytes of HTML even though you are using <N bytes in the display.)

Woot. Almost there. This worked great, but the "block" of HTML this rendered was missing a nice header on top. I went back to the original source HTML and discovered that there was another div, header, that contained the title and would be perfect.

But here was a problem. How do I tell the load() function to select two DOM items? Turns out this was easy as well - just provide a list:

This worked fine. But this leads to my question. Is this a good idea? Is there a better way? (Assuming you can't get "pure" data and must work with the HTML files.)

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Raymond is a developer advocate for HERE Technologies. He focuses on JavaScript, serverless and enterprise cat demos. If you like this article, please consider visiting my Amazon Wishlist or donating via PayPal to show your support. You can even buy me a coffee!

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