Chaplin.js on Node.js. Use it for performance boosts, SEO, re-usability.

The Tramp

Chaplin.js on Node.js. Use it for performance boosts, SEO, re-usability.

Project Status


It is currently being tested in a Chaplin app. The following work:

  • Controllers
  • Models (including validation w/ Backbone.validation)
  • Views & Sub-views
  • Handlebars templates & helpers
  • Chaplin routes integrated into Express' router
  • Common.js modules using Chaplin's loader

Need to implement:

  • Tests (that pass on client and server)
  • Composition
  • Collection View
  • Handlebars Partials (they might work, just haven't tested)
  • Sub-views that were not marked as DualViews (so they will be rendered on client-side on if they were a part of the initial view)
  • Require/AMD support

A typical single page app will render after the following requests (in descending order) are made:

The problem is the last request can become very large over time, especially as back-ends scale. This can result in up to or even more than one second of delay.

By rendering the initial page on the server-side, this can greatly reduce the initial page loading time, as the last call made in the previous diagram is now done on the server-side before the site loads.

An express app is created on Node and then the Tramp is required. It's designed to be a drop in plugin, but at the moment there are a few changes that have to be made to the Chaplin app:

Internally, Chaplin uses loader instead of the word require for loading modules. In order to get the modules to load in the browser & Node and not change the app's build process, it is necessary to change all instances of require in the app to loader. The behavior is the same; it is just a syntax change.

You may or may not agree with this approach; as this project aims to be an addon to Chaplin, it tries as much as possible to not introduce anything different than how Chaplin's source handles things.

In a new property needs to be created: templateHelpers. This is an array with the path to each template helper file. Each template helper file now needs to be exported.

module.exports = (Handlebars) ->

The Handlebars object is passed in because the Handlebars object that express uses is tied to hbs.handlebars and as such needs to be passed into each template when they are required.

The Tramp introduces a new class, DualView. It extends Chaplin's View and adds a few pieces of logic to provide support for rendering a view on server-side. If a view is not extended from a DualView, The Tramp will skip it. The same goes for subviews that are not extending from a DualView.

An example repo has been made to show how to use The Tramp. View Example.