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Latest release

1.1.2 (20/02/2014)

Developed by


MIT License

Overall rating



  • javascript

  • web framework

  • mvc


Backbone.js gives structure to web applications by providing models with key-value binding and custom events, collections with a rich API of enumerable functions,views with declarative event handling, and connects it all to your existing API over a RESTful JSON interface.

The project is hosted on GitHub, and the annotated source code is available, as well as an online test suite, an example application, a list of tutorials and a long list of real-world projects that use Backbone. Backbone is available for use under the MIT software license.

Latest reviews


You'll hear all of my complaints about Backbone.js a lot of places from people who have used it to do large projects. They are: 1) the available examples are all for really simple programs, 2) there are not a lot of "best practices" advocated with the framework itself (for example, where does control logic go on the client side, into a new class you create yourself, into the router, into the view?), 3) there are a lot of missing pieces you have to fill in yourself on top of the framework and different projects pick different solutions (among these I'd include binding, validation, modularization of code/AMD, templates, error reporting, etc.).

If you're looking for an opinionated framework like Ruby on Rails but for JavaScript that has tried to make good choices for you to fill in every major gap and solve most of your needs most of the time, then Backbone.js is not that. It's a very very light framework that is missing a lot of pieces and you are left to make your own choices about how to fill in the missing vertebrae and connect up some of the ones actually provided. As such, I haven't become really down on Backbone but I have definitely downgraded the size of application I would consider building with it in the future.

I would happily consider it to give some structure to a page that was going to have a lot of AJAX work inside of it and jQuery plus hand rolled JavaScript would likely turn into a mess. I would not consider it for a large complicated JavaScript app of the scale of GMail. I have come to believe it is a poor fit for that. On top of that, I would say that if you do tackle a project of any size with Backbone and you have more than one developer working on it, you should take the time to figure out what templating library you will use, how will you handle binding of changes to the view (will you use a two-way binding that automatically updates or not), how will validation be handled, etc. just to avoid problems down the road where different developers make different choices when filling in Backbone's gaps.

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