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Node for Front-End Developers by Garann Means

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Out-of-the-Box MVC

Because of the popularity of client-side MVC, you may have an existing client-side architecture you want to port over to Node. That’s especially true if you have concerns about JavaScript not being present or not being current on the client.

One of the more popular MVC frameworks is Backbone.js. Backbone is available as a CommonJS module in npm and tries to be non-DOM-centric, so it makes a nice fit for Node. If you’re using Backbone, you’ve probably realized that your models, collections, and templates could be reused on the server with minimal effort. You may also have noticed a caveat that would never be an issue on the client-side: there’s no shared global namespace from which all the components of a Backbone application can be accessed. If you’ve separated your client-side code out into nicely organized files, that actually creates a disadvantage in Node. Objects not sharing the scope of the same module will have to be explicitly passed around. One possible way to deal with this is to create a single module that requires all your other Backbone files, reassembling the namespace you would have created client-side and exposing the entire client-side app in a single object:

var main = require("../public/js/lib/main"),
  user = require("../public/js/lib/modules/user");
  
var BackboneApp = {
  application: main,
  modules: {
    user: user
  }
};
      
exports.app = BackboneApp;

In the next section we’ll deal with how to build modules that work on either the client or server, but note ...

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