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Building Pageless Apps with Rails and Backbone js

Matt Kelly (ZURB)
Location: Ballroom I
Average rating: ****.
(4.61, 56 ratings)

ZURB is an interaction design and strategy company with more then 12 years of experience helping companies make users happy through great web interactions.

In this talk Matt Kelly (Lead Engineer) will explain the benefits of removing page loads from web applications to vastly increase the perceived performance of the app, and allow interactions and transitions that are not possible with a traditional page load.

The bulk of the presentation will be presenting Backbone.js and walking through each of the steps to create a pageless app using Backbone.js and Rails. With each step the design and interaction decisions will be explained, and what not to do with pageless apps will be illustrated.

The following details will be covered:

  • Organizing your JavaScript with Backbone.js
  • Using page templates that are renderable by both JavaScript and Rails
  • Client side routing using Backbone
  • Anchor (page fragment) vs. PushState for creating history and linkable states
  • SEO considerations
  • Advantages of only making sections of your app pageless
  • Passing data between Rails and JavaScript at page load time
  • Other tools to help make this process easier

Matt Kelly


Matt Kelly is the lead engineer at ZURB. He is responsible for Notable, Verify, Bounce, Clue, and more recently Strike, all of which are built on Rails.

Matt came to ZURB to work as the only engineer in a pack of interaction designers and learn about building great products that people love to use.

He most recently spoke at jQuery Conf Boston about creating great interactions with jQuery.

He’s been coding Rails as a full time job for over 5 years, and has a passion for implementing well designed products.

Comments on this page are now closed.


Choi Jong Yoon
05/26/2011 6:08pm EDT

It works. thanks!!

Picture of Shirley Bailes
Shirley Bailes
05/26/2011 6:58am EDT

@Jong Yoon, try now? Works for me.

Choi Jong Yoon
05/25/2011 8:40pm EDT

The download link for pdf is broken. check it out plz.

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Liam Morley
05/22/2011 2:11am EDT

Matt Kelly always gives good talks, and this was no exception. Great presentation.

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Stephen Walker
05/20/2011 10:48am EDT

Great presentation, well thought out, with code! Thanks for a great overview and a fun presentation. Maybe you can review some of the other sessions and give some tips.

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Jason Gilman
05/20/2011 10:44am EDT

EPIC talk. We’re still joking about the unicorns bleeding rainbows at my job.

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Paul Cook
05/20/2011 4:51am EDT

Best talk of the conference, probably even more so than the Keynotes. Awesome job Matt! Hope you’ll be presenting at next years RailsConf.

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Conrad Taylor
05/19/2011 8:08pm EDT

Matt, you ROCKED!!!!!! I look forward to learning from the slides and other resources on Backbone.js. Matt, can you also port the code from the session? Thanks a bunch.

Lailson Bandeira
05/19/2011 7:42pm EDT

Yep. Best talk for me too.

Leo Liu
05/19/2011 12:45pm EDT

Out of this world!

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Ben Kimball
05/19/2011 12:31pm EDT

Slides? Need slides!

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Wesley Gamble
05/19/2011 11:46am EDT

Fun talk. Tons of information – slightly overwhelming.

Teddy Caddy
05/19/2011 11:29am EDT

Matt Kelly should be a keynote speaker. Not just informative presentation, but fun, too. Can we give more than 5 stars?

Francisco Viramontes
05/19/2011 11:28am EDT

best talk, really

Julien Biezemans
05/19/2011 11:21am EDT

Awesome from the first second ‘til the last one! Great content, excellent speaker and freaking funny!

Paul Morganthall
05/19/2011 10:52am EDT

Informative, great code demo. Entertaining presentation style; well done!

Christopher Jeris
05/19/2011 10:40am EDT

good talk. also best use of Ke$ha in programming conference.