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An isomorphic module project based on Backbone.js


A Backbone-based javascript isomorphic framework


$ npm install -g central


Bootstrap an app

$ central app_name
$ npm install
$ grunt

Use directly

var central = require('central'),
    server = central.createServer();
    routes: routes,
    staticFolder: __dirname + '/public',
    controller: new Controller(),
    rootEl: '.content'


central.js was built around the famous Backbone.js and highly depends on it. If you are not (yet) familiar with Backbone, it may be better to go and read its documentation first.


The main piece of logic in a central.js application is the Controller. Shared in both client and server, the Controller is what brings together Backbone Views, Backbone Models and routing. The Controller works tightly with the routes.js file, which usually takes this form :

module.exports = [
    path: '/route1'view: 'route1'
    path: '/route2'view: 'route2'

A central.js controller typically looks like this :

BaseController = require('central/shared/')
MyView = require('../views/')
MyModel = require('../models/')
class MyController extends BaseController
    route1: @::view(MyView) (params) ->
        myModel = new MyModel(name: 'Tom'age: 18)
        return model: myModel
    route2: @::viewWithCallback(MyView) (params, callback) ->
        myModel = new MyModel()
            success: ->
                // do stuff
                callback(model: myModel)
            error: ->
                // do error stuff
                callback(model: myModel)

In this example, whenever the user hits route1, the Controller will instantiate MyModel and pass it to the MyView view. route1 uses the ::view() decorator which tells the Controller what Backbone.View it should use.

For route2, the Controller first instantiate a model and requests some data from the database. The @::viewWithCallback decorator allows the controller to wait for the database results before rendering the view, which is only triggered when callback is called.

The syntax of the Controller is the only thing that is imposed when developing an isomorphic application with central.js. Pretty much everything else will look like a regular Backbone.js client-side application.

Launching the app

central.js uses an instance of express.js, which is a server-side server based on node.js, to handle responses. You can use this instance as your primary server, or just to handle your Backbone.js isomorphic application.

To launch the server, you only need a index.js file where you will basically put :

var central = require('central'),
    routes = require('./app/routes'),
    Controller = require('./app/'),
    server = central.createServer();
    routes: routes,
    staticFolder: __dirname + '/public' // path to the static folder 
    controller: new Controller(),
    rootEl: '.content' // CSS selector in the layout file where you want to render your views 

and then

$ node index.js

You also can integrate the central.js app into your existing express.js server, by using it as a middleware :

var central = require('central'),
    express = require('express'),
    app = express(),
    server = central.createServer();
    // Configuration 


MIT © Arthur Himmel