This version is in early development and is subject to change and therefore not ready for wide use. There may be other stable versions available.

Explainer element

Life science websites love a bit of jargon and complicated concepts and "explainers" help for terms like: ORCID, transcript isoform, and lymphoblastoid cell lines.

github location npm version


This will likely be similar to "tooltips" or "foldable info tabs".

Conceptual code:

<span aria-describedby="whatis-orcid">ORCID</span>

<div id="whatis-orcid" class="vf-explainer">
 <dfn class="vf-explainer--dfn">ORCID</dfn> is a unique identifier for researchers to distinguish themselves, and make it easier to find specific work;
 <a href="" target="_blank" class="vf-explainer__link">learn more</a>

This is a draft component, it is not yet functional. Background on the implementation, goals and work plan can be found in the issue.


/* vf-explainer template file */
Nunjucks syntax

Depending on your environment you'll want to use render or include. As a rule of thumb: server-side use include, precompiled browser use render. If you're using vf-eleventy you should use include.

Using include

You'll need to pass a context object from your code or Yaml file (example), as well as the path to the Nunjucks template. Nunjucks' include is an abstraction of render and provides some additional portability.

{% set context fromYourYamlFile %}
- or -
{% set context = { 
"component-type" : "element",
{% include "../path_to/vf-explainer/vf-explainer.njk" %}

Using render

This approach is best for bare-bones Nunjucks environments, such as precompiled templates with the Nunjucks slim runtime where include is not be available.

{% render '@vf-explainer', {
  "component-type" : "element",}
<div class="vf-explainer">
  /* vf-explainer template file */


Installation info

This repository is distributed with npm. After installing npm, you can install vf-explainer with this command.

$ yarn add --dev @visual-framework/vf-explainer


The style files included are written in Sass. If you're using a VF-core project, you can import it like this:

@import "@visual-framework/vf-explainer/index.scss";

Make sure you import Sass requirements along with the modules. You can use a project boilerplate or the vf-sass-starter




  • initial version


File system location: components/vf-explainer

Find an issue on this page? Propose a change or discuss it.