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JavaScript Smackdown! Choosing Your MVC between Angular, Ember, and Backbone

Brian Holt (Microsoft)
Front End Libraries
Location: Salon 8 Level: Intermediate
Average rating: **...
(2.32, 19 ratings)

Workshop Prerequisites

Attendees should have the following libraries downloaded if they intend to follow along:

  • AngularJS 1.2
  • EmberJS 1.3
  • Ember-Data 1.0
  • jQuery 2.0 (not 2.1, Ember gets mad)
  • Handlebars 1.2
  • Backbone 1.1
  • Underscore 1.6

Brian will be using Chrome and Sublime Text to demonstrate the concepts indicated. Attendees are welcome to use whatever tools suits them best.

Workshop Description

As a developer recently tasked with the decision of choosing a JavaScript MVC for the next big project, this is an overwhelming decision and often made with arbitrary criteria. The point of this workshop is help provide context to those in this position to be able to make this decision or simply to provide exposure of different frameworks to those who desire it.

The workshop will be hands on and will ask attendees to follow along in the example. The workshop will be divided into three more-or-less equally timed segments devoted to each framework. In each segment, we will build a simple to-do app that interacts with a Heroku service to perpetuate data.

After a brief introduction of myself, I will then go into the technical segments. Each segment will follow this outline:

  • Introduction to framework
  • Overview of framework specific separation of concerns
  • Bootstrapping a new app
  • Templating
  • Adding and finishing tasks
  • Calling the API to perpetuate task list
  • Concluding remarks on framework

The purpose of this presentation is not to swing attendees to one framework or the other; it is simply for them to gain some meaningful experience in each and give them better insight for which framework best suits their apps’ needs.

Photo of Brian Holt

Brian Holt


Brian Holt is presently the director of redditgifts front-end development at reddit, a job he got in large part due to his participation in Fluent last year. He’s in love with his job and the opportunity to use the latest and greatest technologies.

Brian currently lives in Salt Lake City, UT. When not in front of the keyboard, Brian enjoys skiing, mountain biking, trail running, and spending time with wife Nikki and puppy Luna.

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Picture of Hussam Dawood
Hussam Dawood
03/11/2014 9:51am PDT

Two way bindings along with built-in templating (conditional and looping logic as well) do make Angular an easier choice than Ember or Backbone. The HTML partials also use handlebars type template :)

You even initialize your app in your index on a given HTML element. No need for initialize() and application.create()!

Picture of Hussam Dawood
Hussam Dawood
03/11/2014 9:27am PDT

AngularJS has a good separation of concerns. It allows you to inject Services that do the work that a “fat” model would do; so it meets you in the middle where you can have skinny controllers and views and the model can leverage Services to do the work it needs to!

Snoo plush toys!

P.S did you wash after the Nic Cage incident on Mar 9th, 2014?