MutationObserver and Shadow DOM

I'm using Polymer's ShadowDOM and MutationObserver polyfills and need to:

  • Detect when a HTMLCanvasElement is inserted so that I can perform layout (it's width and height are undetermined through offsetWidth / offsetHeight when detached from the DOM tree)
  • Detect when the element is removed so I can halt its requestAnimationFrame loop

Traditionally, without Shadow DOM, this works as follows:

  1. Attach MutationObserver to document.body and perform querySelectorAll for any canvas elements
  2. Perform some method, e.g. layoutNode on these elements
  3. If in the animation loop document.body.contains(node) returns false, then the node has been removed from the DOM

When using Shadow DOM I can get around the shadow dom boundaries by performing (what seems to be very inefficient) scans across all elements in the DOM that have roots which have been added, and performing layoutNode on any shadow dom nodes inheriting from HTMLCanvasElement.

How do I check from the animation loop of the canvas that this node is still in the DOM tree?

Is there a better API to use for detecting when a DOM node has been inserted?

(NB. MutationEvents are unavailable using Polymer's CustomElements polyfill.)


I can use the following function attached to a Node to check whether the node is eventually rooted (through multiple shadow dom boundaries) at a given document, or the current document if no document is specified. This should be as efficient as a JS-based root.contains(node) call.

Object.defineProperty(Node.prototype, 'isAttachedToDocument', {
    configurable: true,
    enumerable: false,
    writable: true,
    value: function(document) {
        document = document || window.document;
        var el = this;
        while(el.parentNode || el = el.parentNode ||;
        return (el.impl || el) === document;

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