It becomes apparent that as you start building more and more client-side JavaScript functionality to an application, the code can quickly become a hard-to-maintain mess. You will start to notice yourself trying to build a consistent structure for tying data and events to page elements. Most of the time, for small projects, this is fine. For large projects, however, I’d recommend a supplimental library such as Backbone.js.

Backbone provides a structured platform for developing your JavaScript-heavy applications. It is similar to an MVC and, in fact, has the same goal as a traditional MVC in mind. However, it uses models, collections, routers, and views.


With Backbone, you represent your data as Models, which can be created, validated, destroyed, and saved to the server. Whenever a UI action causes an attribute of a model to change, the model triggers a “change” event; all the Views that display the model’s state can be notified of the change, so that they are able to respond accordingly, re-rendering themselves with the new information.

By writing your application with Backbone, you’re keeping your code in a clean, strict environment, using RESTful services. It also takes care of much of the boilerplate code you’d have to write for interactive apps, and provides you with a best-practice environment that will be easier for you or any collaborators to maintain.

If you’re looking for more information, a good way to familiarize yourself with Backbone is by checking out real-world examples. If you’re looking to learn how to get started, I like this tutorial by Thomas Davis.