Grow some backbone, will ya?

Okay, so let’s talk about Backbone.js and hopefully I can show you quickly what it is, how I’ve used it, and where to get some good tutorials. I also hope to follow up this post with some tutorials of my own.

What is Backbone.js?

Backbone.js is a small JavaScript library that helps give you some structure with the following:

Models, which are data objects.

Collections, which are groups or collections of those objects.

Views, which are also objects, but they strictly handle how you view or see the Models and Collections. (Views also handle events, so Backbone.js is not exactly a MVC framework, since the Controllers sort of fall in between Views and Routes).

Routes, which allow you to easily create custom urls within a single-page application.

So basically, with Backbone.js, you can build web applications in a nicely structured way.

How I’ve used Backbone.js

I was telling a friend of mine from church about some issues I was having with writing code in JavaScript and he suggested looking into a library/framework like Backbone.js. So after several months of trials and many errors, I’ve figured out how to use it to build several projects, including leaderboards, dashboards, rosters, etc.

Where to find more?

Joe Zim’s JavaScript Blog

Joe has several videos about Backbone.js on YouTube. He’s slower paced than what you might see in other tutorials, but I liked that since I was able to watch with time to think about what he was doing. In his videos, he covers Models, Views, Routes, Collections and AJAX handling.

These were the videos that helped me in finally understanding how Backbone.js worked.

Backbone.js Tutorials by Thomas Davis

If you prefer reading, Thomas Davis does a good job explaining how Backbone.js works. He’s also got a video tutorial on YouTube:

Addy Osmani’s Developing Backbone.js Applications

Addy does an excellent job getting into the details about Backbone.js. This is a book worth of information shoved onto a single web page, but the reading is very useful. is the home page for Backbone.js. You’ll need to look this up as a reference often.

That’s it for now. Hopefully, I’ll be able to introduce getting started with Backbone.js tomorrow.

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