Introduction to Backbone.js

Backbone.js is a JavaScript library with a RESTful JSON interface and is based on the Model–view–presenter (MVP) application design paradigm. Backbone is known for being lightweight, as its only hard dependency is on one JavaScript library, Underscore.js, plus jQuery for use of the full library. It is designed for developing single-page web applications, and for keeping various parts of web applications (e.g. multiple clients and the server) synchronized. Backbone was created by Jeremy Ashkenas, who is also known for CoffeeScript and Underscore.js.

A single-page application (SPA) is a web application or web site that interacts with the user by dynamically rewriting the current page rather than loading entire new pages from a server. This approach avoids interruption of the user experience between successive pages, making the application behave more like a desktop application. In a SPA, either all necessary code – HTML, JavaScript, and CSS – is retrieved with a single page load, or the appropriate resources are dynamically loaded and added to the page as necessary, usually in response to user actions. The page does not reload at any point in the process, nor does control transfer to another page, although the location hash or the HTML5 History API can be used to provide the perception and navigability of separate logical pages in the application. Interaction with the single page application often involves dynamic communication with the web server behind the scenes.

JavaScript often abbreviated as JS, is a high-level, interpreted scripting language that conforms to the ECMA Script specification. JavaScript has curly-bracket syntax, dynamic typing, prototype-based object-orientation, and first-class functions.

Alongside HTML and CSS, JavaScript is one of the core technologies of the World Wide Web. JavaScript enables interactive web pages and is an essential part of web applications. The vast majority of websites use it, and major web browsers have a dedicated JavaScript engine to execute it.

Representational State Transfer (REST) is a software architectural style that defines a set of constraints to be used for creating Web services. Web services that conform to the REST architectural style, called RESTful Web services (RWS), provide interoperability between computer systems on the Internet. RESTful Web services allow the requesting systems to access and manipulate textual representations of Web resources by using a uniform and predefined set of stateless operations. Other kinds of Web services, such as SOAP Web services, expose their own arbitrary sets of operations.

When handling the DOM Backbone.js adopts an imperative programming style, in contrast with a declarative programming style (common in AngularJS using data-attributes).

In computer science, imperative programming is a programming paradigm that uses statements that change a program’s state. In much the same way that the imperative mood in natural languages expresses commands, an imperative program consists of commands for the computer to perform. Imperative programming focuses on describing how a program operates.

The term is often used in contrast to declarative programming, which focuses on what the program should accomplish without specifying how the program should achieve the result.

Trying to provide “the minimal set of data-structuring (models and collections) and user interface (views and URLs)”, leaves to the developer the choice of extensions for enhanced functionality. For example, one can use nested views with Backbone Layout Manager or model-view binding with ReSTbasis.

The above is a brief about Backbone.js. Watch this space for more updates on the latest trends in Technology.


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