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framework-framework

"Framework"

Some totally unrelated things that might let you get away with not using a more complicated framework. I wrote it in about a day. More of a demo than a production tool.

About

When the big frameworks were shiny and new, they brought massive amounts of power to the Javascript language. Seeing a front-end template rendered, and then re-rendered and manipulated in real time, seemed like some kind of black magic, as did data binding, routing, and any of the other techniques used to build real applications in Javascript.

However, their popularity has completely transformed the Javascript language, and today many of the big ideas that made applications possible in Javascript have been reduced from giant libraries to native functions, often with greater simplicity & refinement. While we owe a great deal to those who pioneered these techniques in some of the major frameworks (still popular today), replicating some of their most powerful features has become a much simplier task.

To demonstrate this, I created a very small (~300 loc) "framework" called Framework. Ideally, you might learn something from it, or use it to gain insight into where the javascript language (and frameworks!) could move once new features like Object.observe are implemented. Thanks for looking!

Plug

If you enjoyed this, please take a look at our project, featurekit. It's the simplest way to share updates with your users & gain valuable feedback to improve your product. Even better, it's free.

Demo

http://kidgodzilla.github.io/framework/

"MV*"

Model

  • App.data {}
  • Getters & Setters
  • One-way data binding

Views

  • Templating
  • Routing

Controllers

  • Obsolete much?

Features

Template engine

  • String Interpolation with javascript objects
  • For loops
  • Switch statements
  • Conditionals

Router

  • Automatically registers templates -> routes
  • Loads the correct route from URL
  • Handles forward / backward state changes
  • Intercepts [href] click events (through delegation) & routes them
  • Automatically passes URL parameters (additional, unused route segments) to routing function

Approximate Size

Core Object: 160 loc
Data Binding: 20 loc
Utils: 32 loc
Router: 112 loc
Template Engine: 50 loc

Usage

Importing Dependencies

Take a close look at loader.js. This provides you a few simple hooks to load dependencies, either locally or from a CDN.

Creating Templates

Templating.js includes a feature-complete template engine, & any templates in your document will automatically become routes & views. Simply use the following syntax:

<template data-pathname="index">
  <h2>Your content here</h2>
</template>
  • You should specify, at minimum, an index template.

More Advanced Templating

Syntax for most things (conditionals, loops) tracks very closely to underscore.js & lodash.

<template data-pathname="index">
  <% if (App.data.pageTitle) { %>
    <h2><%= App.data.pageTitle %></h2>
  <% } %>
  
  <ul>
  <% for (var index in items) { %>
    <%= items[index] %>
  <% } %>
  </ul>
</template>

Linking to Routes

Anything with an href attribute will be observed using event delegation. If you link to a hash, it will be handled automatically.

<template data-pathname="index">
  <a href="#foo">foo</a>
  <h3>Index</h3>
</template>
 
<template data-pathname="foo">
  <a href="#">Go Home</a>
  <h3>foo!</h3>
</template>

Programmatic Route Transitions

Need to hook into a route transition from within your app? No problem! Simply call:

Router.routeTo(<route-name>);

Data Modeling

Getter and Setter methods are provided as App.get() and App.set() for very basic data management. See an example:

var name = prompt('what is your name?');
App.set('name', name);
 
// Later 
alert('I remember your name! It'' + App.get('name'));

Data Binding

"Framework" implements a wrapper around Object.observe() to facilitate one-way data binding in modern browsers. If your browser doesn't support this, you might need a polyfill.

// Logs to the console whenever Binding.data.previousRouteUnloadFunction is changed 
Binding.bind('previousRouteUnloadFunction', function (newValue) {
    console.log(newValue);
});

Event Delegation

Just use jQuery (1.6+)! It offers very nice syntax for event delegation:

// Log to the console when #foo is clicked 
$('body').on('click', '#foo', function () {
  console.log('#foo was clicked!');
});

Alternatively, if you are coming from AngularJS & enjoy it's declarative syntax, you could try javascript's built-in, declarative event-binding syntax:

<a onclick="Router.goBack()">Go Back</a>
<a onclick="App.addNewItem()">Add New Item</a>
<input id="input2" type="text" onkeyup="App.handleBoundData('#input2')">

See http://www.w3schools.com/jsref/dom_obj_event.asp for a longer list of DOM events.

Computed Properties

Computed properties are a very useful pattern, popularized by EmberJS. Fortunately, they already exist in javascript:

var obj = {
  firstName: "John",
  lastName: "Doe",
  fullname: function () {
    return this.firstName + " " + this.lastName;
  }
};
 
console.log(obj.fullname());

HTML Imports / Includes

You can opt-in to HTML Imports by calling the following utility method from your app:

Utils.HTMLIncludes();

This will use ajax to load HTML into the content of any element with the [data-source-url] attribute. Note that CORS applies, but in most situations, it should not be an issue if you're using local pathnames. Also, it will replace the content of a section with imported content, so the container should be empty.

Utilities, Data Manipulation, Ajax, etc.

Between lodash & jQuery, you should be fine.

Updates

September 1st, 2015

  • Templates are now compiled using a light wrapper for the lodash _.template function
  • Added a lightweight wrapper for the x-tag component library + examples

August 29th, 2015

  • Code Cleanup

August 27th, 2015

  • Initial release

Adding Features

If you find something useful & would like to improve this repository, or think something's missing (maybe something you're used to in one of the major frameworks), please, open an issue or make a pull request.