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Writing MVC Javascript – A Node JS tutorial

I’ve been using Backbone JS daily as part of my day job for about three months. I’ve learned a lot in that time and have found it to be very effective at what it does. Whilst I am now much more comfortable with the framework, I had some false starts and I found the documentation slightly intimidating for a noob! Whilst I appreciate that this is in part due to the philosophy behind the software, I would have loved a structured tutorial with an accompanying “Hello World” example.

The problem with “Hello World” is that being an application that outputs only one string, it’s not really suited to a demonstration of MVC techniques which require slightly more dynamic data sources. Instead, I decided to write a simple calculator web server that multiplies two operands supplied by the client and returns the result. It demonstrates the basic principles of MVC on the client using both JSON and traditional form submits. It also has a script to generate its own documentation web pages from the source code, which are served up as part of the tutorial application.

The frontend is written in Backbone, jQuery and HTML5 and is served by Node JS using Express, Backbone, Jade and Browserify. All the documentation is generated with docco and it comes ready for deployment to Heroku.

Fork the code on github
Check out a live demo on Heroku

  1. I’ve been learning backbone too! I agree that the docs seem pretty intimidating so I’m gonna have a pop at this.

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