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Director x Backbone = :)


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Using the Flatiron framework's router Director with Backbone.JS and how it addresses key issues encountered by complex single-page web applications in a simple & effective way.

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Director x Backbone = :)

  1. 1. WHO AM I?•  Lead Front-End Dev at (formerly Dubset)•  Columbia University MS in Computer Science   Vision/Graphics track w/ focus in UI/UX•  What is   Curated internet radio   Endless streaming mixes from top DJs around the world   Single-Page Web App using Backbone.js•  Worked with Charlie Robbins ( & Paolo Fragomeni( of Nodejitsu ( on integrating flatiron/director with our Backbone app in the early pre-1.0 days
  2. 2. WHAT’S THIS ALL ABOUT?•  My Main Focus: •  Client-Side router implementation •  Comparing Director and Backbone.Router side-by-side •  Why I chose Director over Backbone’s built-in Router •  How to unplug Backbone.Router and plug in Director instead•  Background Items: •  What is Backbone.JS? •  Intro to Backbone.Router •  What is Flatiron? •  Intro to Flatiron’s Director OK LET’S GET STARTED!!
  3. 3. WHAT IS BACKBONE.JS?Backbone.js gives structure to web applications by providing models with key-value binding and custom events,collections with a rich API of enumerable functions, views with declarative event handling, and connects it all toyour existing API over a RESTful JSON interface.  Model   Represents interactive data   Defines logic surrounding it   Provides functionality to manage changes  Collection   A collection of models   Ordered!! (can define Collection.comparator)  View   Logical view backed by a model/collection   Freeform & non-restrictive – works with any JS templating library  Router   Simple client-side routing   Determines what code to run (i.e. rendering a view) when a URL (route) is hit Dependencies: Underscore.js, json2.js, jQuery/etc.
  4. 4. BACKBONE.JS PROVIDES STRUCTURE MVP FRAMEWORK MODEL: defines data & stores its current state VIEW: presents data & routes user input to Presenter PRESENTER: drives changes to Model & View MODEL PRESENTER VIEW show Backbone.Model Backbone.View Templates/index (Backbone.Collection) Rendered View •  Provides structure for your data that you can parallel with your views (keeps things logically organized)
  5. 5. BACKBONE.JS EVENT HANDLINGModels/Collections trigger events which Views can bind to.  Collection   reset(collection) - when the entire contents have been replaced   triggered by: fetch, reset, etc.   add(model, collection) - when a model is added to a collection   remove(model, collection) - when a model is removed from a collection  Model   change(model, options) – when a model’s attributes have changed   change:[attribute](model, value, options) – when a specific attribute has been updated  Some notes:   {silent: true}   .trigger(“[event]”)•  Syncs your views consistently with the data that drives it using rich event handling
  6. 6. BACKBONE.ROUTER: QUICK INTRORouting determines what code to run for a specified URL.var myRouter = Backbone.Router.extend({ To start tracking hashchanges: routes: { Backbone.history.start(); “/”: “home”, “/djs/:permalink”: “djs”, define route table “/djs/:permalink/:mixid”: “djs” }, URL fragments fn names home: function() { … }, define djs: function(permalink, mixid) { … } functions});SIMPLE! Great for straightforward client-side routing of simple web apps.
  7. 7. WHAT IS FLATIRON?Flatiron is an adaptable framework for building modern web applications. It was builtfrom the ground up for use with Javascript and Node.js.PhilosopyNo one agrees on frameworks. Its difficult to get consensus on how much or howlittle a framework should do. Flatirons approach is to package simple to use yet fullfeatured components and let developers subtract or add what they want.MotivationBuild a collection of decoupled, unobtrusive tools that can operate as well in unisonas they do independently. Promote code organization and sustainability by clearlyseparating development concerns.
  8. 8. FLATIRON: MAIN COMPONENTS1.  DIRECTOR URL Routing Client-Side!!2.  PLATES Templating3.  RESOURCEFUL Data Management4.  UNION Middleware5.  BROADWAY Plugins6.  WINSTON Logging
  9. 9. WHAT IS DIRECTOR? is a router. Routing is the process of determining what code to runwhen a URL is requested.MotivationA routing library that works in both the browser and node.js environmentswith as few differences as possible. Simplifies the development of SinglePage Apps and Node.js applications. Dependency free.
  10. 10. DIRECTOR: OVERVIEW•  Depth-first search URL Matching•  Route events •  global •  for each route•  Nested routing•  Route recursion•  Regex•  Lots of flexibility •  function organization
  11. 11. DIRECTOR: QUICK INTROROUTE TABLE CONSTRUCTORvar routes = { // instantiate /: viewMethods.index, var router = new Router(routes) /dog: { .configure(options); /:color: { on: function (color) { // initialize – start listening! console.log(color) router.init(); } } }};
  12. 12. DIRECTOR > BACKBONE.ROUTERWHY BACKBONE.ROUTER DIRECTOR SAVES THE DAY!WASN’T CUTTING IT FOR US-  Custom styling FLEXIBILITY-  “Sectional” routing -  Routing Events: Setup/Teardown -  Global routing events-  Pre-route authorization -  notfound handler à 404 Page-  Global event firing -  Nested Routes & Recursion-  Proper 404 catching -  Regex control-  More flexibility -  Flexibility with function organization
  13. 13. DIRECTOR: ROUTING EVENTS // instantiate the router w/ global •  ON/AFTER = SETUP/TEARDOWN events var myRouter = new •  Custom Formatting Router(routes).configure({ •  Authorization Issues on: analyticsEvents, Global after: cleanupView, •  “Sectional” setup/teardown events notfound: render404 404!! •  Global routing events: }).init();   Reporting on every route   View cleanup after every route FUNCTION DEFINITION: var branded = { hugoBoss: {ROUTING TABLE [snippet]: setup: function() {/hugoboss: { $(body).addClass(hugo-boss); Setup BACKBONE VIEW new HugoBossView(); on: branded.hugoBoss.setup, }, teardown: function() { after: branded.hugoBoss.teardown Teardown! $(body).removeClass(hugo-boss’); }} } };
  14. 14. DIRECTOR: NESTED ROUTING & RECURSION1.  Organized routes DIRECTOR: recursion forward!2.  Less repetition ‘/section’: {3.  “Sectional” routing on: function() {4.  Recursive routing Check for authorization if(!userLoggedIn) { // route to ‘/login’BACKBONE: Break out of recursion return false;“section”: “section”, }“section/sub1”: “sectionSub1”,“section/sub2”: “sectionSub2”, },“section/sub3”: “sectionSub3” ‘/sub1’: ...,... ‘/sub2’: ...,OR: }“section/:sub”: “section”... Define logic with cases in “section” function definition
  15. 15. DIRECTOR: FLEXIBLITY & CONTROL REGULAR EXPRESSIONS FUNCTIONAL ORGANIZATION DIRECTOR: BACKBONE.ROUTER: var router = Router({ var Workspace = Backbone.Router.extend({ routes: { // given the route /hello/world. "help": "help", // #help /hello: { "search/:query": "search", // #search/Regex /(w+): { kiwis yay! }, // this function will return world. help: function() { ... }, on: function (who) { console.log(who) } search: function(query) { ... } } }); } }); DIRECTOR: -  Organize functions into global, views, custom -  Nested function definitions to parallel nested route definitions
  16. 16. HOW TO REPLACE BACKBONE.ROUTER WITH DIRECTOR •  What we don’t need from Backbone.js -  Backbone.Router -  Backbone.History (tracks hashchange events) •  Instead of: var myRouter = Backbone.Router.extend({ … }); Backbone.history.start(); •  We want: var myRouter = new Router(routingTable); myRouter.init(); WHY SO EASY!! J
  17. 17. QUESTIONS?••  Backbone.js:•  Flatiron:•  Director:•  Twitter: @janwdet