Derby: The full-stack JavaScript framework for next generation web apps

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In next generation web apps like Twitter and Google Docs, all data is realtime and collaborative. These companies had to invest a great deal of time and talent to achieve this.

Derby represents a new breed of frameworks that brings such capabilities into a single developer’s reach. It is a full-stack JavaScript MVC framework that provides shared server and client rendering, automatic data synchronization, and realtime conflict resolution. Derby makes it simple to write applications that load as fast as a search engine, are as interactive as a document editor, and work offline.

Derby delivers on the promise of server / client code reuse. It renders pages in both places with the same routes, templates, and business logic—reducing loadtime and providing graceful degradation.

Derby automatically syncs data everywhere in realtime. Like many client MVC frameworks, template bindings automatically update the view when the model changes and vice-versa. Beyond this, Derby includes a powerful data synchronization engine called Racer, which automatically syncs data among browsers, servers, and a database.

Racer supports offline usage and sophisticated conflict resolution out of the box. Advanced applications like Google Docs and Git have solved these with algorithms including operation transform and diff-match-patch. Racer makes such techniques accessible to all web developers.

Nate Smith


Nate Smith is an author of the Derby and Racer projects. He was a Product Manager at Google from July 2007 to March 2011, working under the Google Analytics team for a year, managing the Google Images UI for two years, and helping with the most recent web search redesign. Nate spearheaded the Google Images redesign that launched in July 2010, including the initial design and prototype. Prior to Google, he majored in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Olin College in Needham, Massachusetts, where he studied embedded computing, interface design, and entrepreneurship.

Brian Noguchi

Derby project

Brian Noguchi is a software engineer and co-author of Derby and Racer. He is also the author of everyauth, a Node.js auth library, and a co-author of mongoose, a popular MongoDB ORM for Node.js. From 2007 to 2009, he was a co-founder and CTO of Trendessence, which developed machine-learning powered tools for companies looking to expand their Twitter presence. He graduated from Stanford with a degree in Mathematical and Computational Sciences, where he focused on machine learning.


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  • Women Who Code

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