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Sticky header to handle scroll on mobile UI
version 2.0.0
license MIT
native-modules False
elm-version 0.17.0 <= v < 0.18.0
Tag 2.0.0
Committed At 2016-10-16 08:29:43 UTC
mdgriffith/elm-style-animation 3.1.0 <= v < 4.0.0 3.5.5
elm-lang/html 1.0.0 <= v < 2.0.0 1.1.0
elm-lang/core 4.0.0 <= v < 5.0.0 4.0.5
abrykajlo/elm-scroll 2.0.0 <= v < 3.0.0 2.0.1



Elm sticky header

A sticky header for Elm applications. This is the classical header you can find in mobile-friendly websites, where the header slides up when scrolling down and remains attached to the top when scrolling up.

For a live example check this url.

It allows to define:

  • logo, some HTML to be places on the left of the title
  • brand, the main title to be shown on the menu
  • links, a list of links to be displayed on the menu

It takes care of tracking the current selected link, applying the active class.


Using Elm, I found a lack of UI components ready to use. Namely, I developed this one while working at MaltaJS registration page.


Install the package:

$ elm package install pietro909/elm-sticky-header

Then include the module in your application (in this case, Mail.elm):

    -- import the module
    import StickyHeader

    -- include in your Model
    type alias Model =
        { headerModel: StickyHeader.Model }

    -- use the init function to initialize the Model
    initialModel =
            headerBrand =
                StickyHeader.buildItem "StickyHeader demo" [ ]
            { headerModel = StickyHeader.initialModel (Just headerBrand) [] }\

    -- define a union type for the message
    type Msg
        = StickyHeaderMsg StickyHeader.Msg
        | -- all your messages

    -- handle the message in your update function
    update msg model =
        case msg of
            -- your messages here
            StickyHeaderMsg subMsg->
                    ( updatedHeaderModel, headerCmd ) =
                        StickyHeader.update subMsg model.headerModel
                    ( { model | headerModel = updatedHeaderModel }
                    , StickyHeaderMsg headerCmd

Now that you are handling the message and the update, you need to hand over the model to the module's view function:

    -- view function
    view model =
        article []
            [ -- your code here
            , StickyHeaderMsg (StickyHeader.view model.headerModel)

Last step is to activate the port which deals with the actual window's scroll event. Let's create it in the Ports.elm file:

port scroll : (Scroll.Move -> msg) -> Sub msg  

Now import it in your Main.elm module and forward it to the subscriptions function:

    subscriptions : Model -> Sub Msg
    subscriptions model = ( StickyHeaderMsg) (StickyHeader.subscriptions Ports.scroll model.headerModel)
        |> Sub.batch

And then add the Javscript code which will feed the port with event's data:

    // just an example of how to bootstrap the app
    var mountNode = document.getElementById('main');
    var myApp = Elm.Main.embed(mountNode);

    // port binding is here!
    var scroll = window.pageYOffset || document.body.scrollTop;
    window.onscroll = function() {
      var newScroll = window.pageYOffset || document.body.scrollTop;
      myApp.ports.scroll.send([scroll, newScroll]);
      scroll = newScroll;


The component renders an Html structure like this one:

        <a>first link</a>
        <!-- ...links here -->

You can pass a list of CSS classes to be applied to the links with StickyHeader.buildItem. The classes will be assigned to the <a> element.

When an link is selected, the default active class is applied, thus allowing you to style it properly.

Further readings

For more informations on how the module's inclusion works, please refer to the official documentation here: Composing components

Running the example

$ git clone $ cd elm-sticky-header $ make

Open elm-sticky-header/public/index.hml with your a modern browser.


The elm Slack Elm community and namely beginner and animations channels.

Adam Brykajlo who created elm-scroll, and is used in this component.