Posts Tagged ‘HTML’

JavaScript Architecture: Underscore.js


Underscore.js, like jQuery, is a toolbox of utilities. Check out the website for a list of functionality it provides, but I’ll split it into two parts:

Array/Object/Function manipulation

As we create software is seems like we come in contact with the same patterns over and over. Usually, we end up re-writing them over and over as well. Take an array of user objects, each with a username property. We need an array of all the usernames from all the objects. So, like many times before, we create a new array to populate, create a for loop, snag the object at the current index, grab the username and push it into the array.

To me, that’s boring. It’s mundane. Underscore makes it fun again. With Underscore, we just use pluck():

var usernames = _.pluck(users, 'username');

Ah…concise, fast, and boilerplate is gone. Want to find all objects within an array that pass a specific test? Use the filter() function. Just want a reference to the first one that passes the test? Use the find() function. Want to retrieve the union of two arrays, that is, retrieve a single array of all unique objects contained within multiple other arrays? Try the union() function. Merge properties of multiple objects into a single object? Use extend().

Once you grasp the power of Underscore you’ll find yourself being more productive with less code while having more fun. Some have called it the bowtie for jQuery’s tux. I concur. Continue reading »

JavaScript Architecture: The Basics


This post is intended to be the first of a series. I want to be clear about what it entails and its intended audience.

For the past several years I’ve been an architect in enterprise-level RIAs. This is a fancy way of saying I oversee the design and construction of apps that are web-based but have a lot of the same characteristics as desktop applications. Some of the applications I work on are in fact desktop applications but heavily communicate with the web. The line becomes very blurry, but the main point is–I deal with applications which in my world are quite different than what is often considered a “website” even though they both live within a browser.

There are others in the industry who do what I do or would like to do what I do. Of those there are some who are new to JavaScript. This is my intended audience. An architect arriving at JavaScript for the first time has a lot to learn and many decisions to make. As the lead architect on a product and being fairly new to JavaScript (well, modern JavaScript) I likewise had to go through this process and have spent countless hours re-learning JavaScript, testing IDEs, discovering communities, exploring deployment procedures, learning what questions to ask, evaluating libraries (mvc, dependency management, dom manipulation, testing, deployment, utilities) and putting all these things together to lead a team and produce an application worthy of enterprise consumption. My hope is to help others along the way. Continue reading »