Binding Events

To make a game you need to have input from the user such as the keyboard and mouse. You also need to have a mainloop (or some other way to update what the user see's). In a browser, these are emitted as events and updating your program can be done using requestAnimationFrame()

First lets deal with requestAnimationFrame. There's an example on the wasm-bindgen site which in theory makes this a copy-paste exercise.

In practice I didn't manage to get request_animation_frame to be able to invoke a function on the Core struct. The issue is that you have to have multiple references to the Core struct (so you can invoke request_animation_frame again) so you need to put it in a Rc. However you can't return the Rc from the constructor. As a result, I decided that the Core struct would create an App struct. The App struct looks like:

fn main() {
struct App {
    canvas: HtmlCanvasElement,

impl App {
    pub fn new(canvas: HtmlCanvasElement) -> Self {
        Self { canvas }

    pub fn animation_frame(&mut self) {
        log("Animation Frame")

    pub fn mouse_event(&mut self, event: MouseEvent) {
        log(&format!("Mouse Event {:?}", event));
    pub fn key_event(&mut self, event: KeyEvent) {
        log(&format!("Key Event {:?}", event));

Where Event is a custom enum that I'll populate with the events that the application cares about (eg Mouse/Keyboard/Resize).

Then binding the animation_frame looks like:

fn main() {
fn make_callback(closure: &Closure<dyn FnMut()>) -> &Function {
    return closure.as_ref().unchecked_ref()

<< snip >>

let callback = Rc::new(RefCell::new(None));

let anim_app =;
let anim_window = window.clone();
let anim_callback = callback.clone();

*callback.borrow_mut() = Some(Closure::wrap(Box::new(move || {
    // Schedule ourself for another requestAnimationFrame callback.
}) as Box<dyn FnMut()>));

I will happily admit I'm 100% sure about everything going on in here. I haven't figured out trait objects yet.

Fortunately, handling the other key and mouse is a bit easier because they aren't recursive:

fn main() {
let anim_app =;

let callback = Closure::wrap(Box::new(move |event: web_sys::MouseEvent| {
}) as Box<dyn FnMut(_)>);

let callback_ref = callback.as_ref().unchecked_ref();
self.canvas.add_event_listener_with_callback("mousedown", callback_ref).unwrap();
self.canvas.add_event_listener_with_callback("mouseup", callback_ref).unwrap();
self.canvas.add_event_listener_with_callback("mousemove", callback_ref).unwrap();
self.canvas.add_event_listener_with_callback("mouseenter", callback_ref).unwrap();
self.canvas.add_event_listener_with_callback("mouseleave", callback_ref).unwrap();
self.canvas.add_event_listener_with_callback("mouseover", callback_ref).unwrap();


There were a bunch of gotchas with key events. For some reason, key events only fire for canvas' when they have a tabindex and the canvas is focused. I wasted a good hour or two on this thinking that mdbook was gobbling the input with its document-level event handler....

Another gotcha with key events is that we need to stop the browser respoding to them. This is easy enough with e.stop_propagation() and e.prevent_default() which both prevent other handlers on the page and the browser from seeing the event.

Once again there's nothing visible, but if you check the console you'll see all the events reported by the WASM