Material Design Lite and Iron Router


Hello all,

I am attempting to recreate the fixed header layout from the MDL website. It works fine until I add iron router, and then the header scrolls. I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong. Has anyone else experienced this or maybe has a solution?


Edit: I’ve discovered that Iron Router and MDL aren’t playing well together for some reason. I’m not the only one having issues. Maybe this will be resolved in the future.


Try out my MDL package here:

It works with Iron:Router and you don’t need to bring your own material.js. Just the CSS file if you need custom styling.

If anything is not working for you, let me know by firing an issue. :slight_smile:


If you like my work, you’re welcome to star both my github repo and here:

Enjoy your journey with MDL!


Thanks for the reply. Funny, I found your package the same day I made this post except for it was called “zodiase:mdl” then. Thanks again! Now I’ve trying to figure out how to use MDL for autoform and login/logout.


Ohh, neat!

I was just going to link straight to the MDL CSS/JS on the CDN, and wasn’t aware that things would break.

I’m still not quite I understand all of the issues you mention in the README, perhaps you could had a ELI5 version for those new to MDL? =)

Also, from a usage perspective, we just need to meteor add zodiase:mdl, and your pages will all automatically include MDL - are there any other steps you’d recommend?


Sorry for replying late. I haven’t been checking back the forum recently and for some reason the email notification isn’t working for me…

When writing the Readme I was expecting users to have at least got to know MDL on its official website so I didn’t explain things in greater detail. I would probably not try to introduce MDL in my Readme file because I might have a tough time catching up with Google’s pace as they are updating on a daily basis.

(Quick response to the second question: nope, add the package and you are good to use any MDL components you want. Read the full response at the end.)

I guess I’ll just explain it here and if it eventually makes sense to you then perhaps I would adopt some into the Readme. :smile:

So… MDL is basically an extensible collection of modules (or reusable widgets). At the core of the collection, is the (currently named) componentHandler, which takes care of registering modules and applying them to the web page. Then the rest is just a bunch of modules you wouldn’t be using directly; when the code is loaded they have already yelled at componentHandler and asked it to register them and componentHandler is the babysitter you talk to. However it is important to note that all these registration happens before document.load event. This is so that componentHandler could use document.load as a good timing to scan the webpage/DOM to “upgrade” things.

Some of the Material Design features are implemented in CSS but many others require JavaScript to do some tricks. Therefore componentHandler needs to apply these tricks to the needed DOM elements. This process is called “upgrading”.

A module could do anything it wants but most modules in MDL (called components), when initialized, adds extra stuff to the webpage or even alters the structure of the webpage to implement the fancy features of Material Design so you don’t need to write that much code.

When a module registers it self to componentHandler, it specifies what CSS names to associate with it and what functions to execute when initializing each widget instance. Then “upgrading” is just componentHandler looking for the matching CSS names and run those functions.

At the moment, only one single full document upgrade happens on document.load. So any elements added dynamically after that might have some MDL features relying only on CSS, but those JavaScript features will not be present. Currently Google is telling everybody to manually “upgrade” any dynamically added MDL components by using componentHandler.upgradeElement.

So first conclusion: if you have dynamically added DOM elements, you would need componentHandler at the very least.

Then it’s all about the issues integrating with Meteor.

Meteor is great in that Blaze messes with DOM so you don’t have to. But that also means you won’t be able to catch when elements are added and removed. This is a BIG trouble for MDL users.

At first, I thought I could use template.onRendered to batch upgrade elements, but that only solves half (really is a tiny half) of the problem; if you have a portion of a template that changes based on some value, say something like this:

{{#if foo}}
<a>Link A</a>
<a>Link B</a>

When this portion gets re-rendered by Blaze, there is no event provided by Meteor to catch.

So I had to go with the final solution of using “MutationObserver”, basically a function gets executed whenever ANYTHING of the DOM is changed, which solved the problem nicely but it’s not compatible with old browsers. Also there could be a performance issue when there are tons of changes happening and few of them are related to MDL. And I’m working to find ways to improve this.

I think I have finished explaining the issues.

About using zodiase:mdl, simply adding the package and you can start adding MDL components to your app. My package by default auto-detects changes and does upgrades for you. If you find there is a performance issue, it is possible to disable auto-upgrading by calling MDl.envConfig.patchers.blaze.setUpgradeStyle('none'). The details of MDl.envConfig.patchers.blaze.setUpgradeStyle is explained in Readme.

Also it’s noted in Readme that no MDL components should be used as a root element of any templates or there could be unexpected side-effects. The reason is that Blaze wants to know what is the root of a template so that it could manage things nicely. However some MDL components add parents to elements, which basically confuses Blaze about what should be removed when a template is no longer visible. Also some MDL components would move elements around which breaks the event listeners attached to them and therefore breaking Blaze’s template event maps.

I would suggest checking out the closed issues in my repo to see what issues other users have encountered and have been fixed.

I hope what I wrote here makes sense to you and thanks for being interested in my package. :smile:


Hey yo @zodiase, is there any way to customize the colors as shown on the MDL customize page?


@gabrielschlomo The straight forward way might be downloading the theme of your choice from that customize page and put the css file in your project. Doing so should overwrite the default theme in my package.


Wouldn’t it just send both css to the client? It’d be a waste of bandwidth.
In my particular case (and I think is a common approach) I’m using fourseven:scss package to compile SASS and consider interesting to add some vars or something and build MDL from the source. This would also give the possibility of setting up the package styling vars.


@gabrielschlomo You are right, it is a waste of bandwidth. However note that (I tried to explain to others in this issue all the available color presets are included in the default theme file, you could still use them with their class names. I know this is also quite painful.

So are you saying it is possible to install a package and let it build locally with custom configs? I’d love to know how to do that.