Book Image

Mastering Backbone.js

By : Abiee Echamea, Abiee Echamea
Book Image

Mastering Backbone.js

By: Abiee Echamea, Abiee Echamea

Overview of this book

Backbone.js is a popular library to build single page applications used by many start-ups around the world because of its flexibility, robustness and simplicity. It allows you to bring your own tools and libraries to make amazing webapps with your own rules. However, due to its flexibility it is not always easy to create scalable applications with it. By learning the best practices and project organization you will be able to create maintainable and scalable web applications with Backbone.js. With this book you will start right from organizing your Backbone.js application to learn where to put each module and how to wire them. From organizing your code in a logical and physical way, you will go on to delimit view responsibilities and work with complex layouts. Synchronizing models in a two-way binding can be difficult and with sub resources attached it can be even worse. The next chapter will explain strategies for how to deal with these models. The following chapters will help you to manage module dependencies on your projects, explore strategies to upload files to a RESTful API and store information directly in the browser for using it with Backbone.js. After testing your application, you are ready to deploy it to your production environment. The final chapter will cover different flavors of authorization. The Backbone.js library can be difficult to master, but in this book you will get the necessary skill set to create applications with it, and you will be able to use any other library you want in your stack.
Table of Contents (17 chapters)
Mastering Backbone.js
About the Author
About the Reviewers


Backbone is an amazing library to build web applications; it's small, simple, and yet powerful. It provides a set of small and focused objects to be used as bricks when building frontend applications.

The beauty of Backbone is that it gives you the freedom to build your applications with your rules. However, with great power comes great responsibility; Backbone does not tell you anything about how to structure your applications. Keep in mind that Backbone is not a framework but a library.

After years of working with Backbone projects, making code experiments, and exploring code from other developers, I have identified patterns and best practices when building frontend web apps with Backbone.

This book explains how to give structure to your applications. It gives you the tools and strategies to create robust and maintainable web apps. It will help you define and assign the right responsibilities to the Backbone objects and define a new set of glue objects.

In the book, you will build a functional application applying the concepts that are exposed here. The application is simple enough to put in to practice the core concepts when building scalable frontend applications with Backbone. At any time, you can see the project code in the book repository at

What this book covers

Chapter 1, Architecture of a Backbone application, deals with the project organization at two levels: logical and physical. On the logical side, you will learn how to connect the Backbone objects, while on the physical side, you will see where to put your scripts.

Chapter 2, Managing views, helps you extract the common patterns of views and create a new set of general purpose views that can be used on any Backbone application. These views will remove a lot of boilerplate code when managing views.

Chapter 3, Model bindings, explains how to deal with complex REST resources and helps you handle embedded resources and keep it in sync with views.

Chapter 4, Modular code, covers dependency management and script bundling with Browserify. Modern applications are becoming more JavaScript-intensive, so it's a good idea to handle dependencies in a smarter way.

Chapter 5, Dealing with files, it covers the common requirement for web applications to upload files to a server, this chapter tells you how to do it in Backbone with a REST server.

Chapter 6, Store data in the browser, shows you how to store data in the browser and how to do it from a Backbone perspective. The chapter shows how to build two drivers to transparently store Backbone models in localStorage and indexedDB instead of a remote server. This can be useful if you want to create offline applications.

Chapter 7, Build like a pro, tells you how you can automatize common and repetitive tasks in a script. It will dramatically improve your productivity. It describes how you can build a development workflow that automatically refreshes your project every time you make a small change.

Chapter 8, Testing Backbone applications, shows you the strategies and best practices when testing frontend code.

Chapter 9, Deploy to production, shows you how to deploy the project to a production server. While high-demand applications need a sophisticated platform, this chapter gives you the starting point for small apps.

Chapter 10, Security, teaches you how to authenticate against the REST servers and how to manage sessions from the Backbone side.

What you need for this book

Though this book is for frontend applications, you will need to install Node version 5 or superior. Node will run the example REST server, automatize common tasks, and manage project dependencies.

Who this book is for

This book is made for developers who already know Backbone but want to create better projects; it does not explain Backbone from scratch. Instead, I will show you how to improve your skills to organize and structure your application in an effective way.


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