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Client-side MVC framework based on Addy Osmani's talks about Aura.

Halo was conceived while Aura was still in private development, causing some concepts to be shared and others to be significantly different.

Getting Started

Download the production version or the development version.

In your web page:

<script src="dist/Halo.js"></script>
// Define a controller. Each controller has its start/stop methods proxied via Sauron, a global mediator.
define('controllers/main', ['jquery', 'HtmlController'], function ($, HtmlController) {
  var params = {
    // Name of the controller -- this acts as the channel for Sauron
    'name': 'main',
    // Start method to call -- invoked via Sauron.controller('main').start(args);
    'start': function (data, cb) {
      // Generate and callback with some content $("<div>hello world</div>")
      var $content = $('<div>' + data + '</div>');
  return HtmlController(params);

// Require Sauron and our controller
require(['Sauron', 'controllers/main'], function (Sauron) {
  // Start the controller and render $content to $main
  var $main = $('body');

  // These are the (data, cb) passed to the 'start' defined above via Sauron, our global mediator.
  // The first parameter is stripped and used as the container for the called-back $content
  Sauron.controller('main').start($main, 'hello world', function () {
    // The callback is wrapped such that $content is automatically appended to $main
    $main.html(); // "<div>hello world</div>"

There are also a bunch of framework-specific libraries to make your life easier. Continue reading Documentation to find our more.


Halo comes packaged with require.js and jquery as well as a bunch of MVC nicities.

Each script is namespaced within require.js to its own filename (except for require.js).

External libraries

File Require.js namespace Description
require.js N/A AMD loader which exposes require and define globally.
jquery.js jquery One does not simply describe jQuery. Cross-browser WebSocket implementation.
Sauron Sauron Mediator which provides a channel system for talking between models and controllers.
Builder Builder Build chain for client-side MVC views. You will <3 me later.
text text require.js plugin which loads text files. This is a dependency for our mvc routing library.

Framework-specific libraries


mvc is a require.js plugin which allows for easy routing to your models, views, and controllers. For example,

require(['mvc!m/user']); // is equivalent to require(['models/user.js']);
require(['mvc!v/main']); // is equivalent to require(['text!views/main.html']);
require(['mvc!c/home']); // is equivalent to require(['controllers/home.js']);

// Coming soon!
require(['mvc!c/main!c/home!m/user']); // is equivalent to...
// require(['controllers/main.js', 'controllers/home.js', 'models/user']);

mvc is configured via require.js' configuration.

  'paths': {
    _modelDir: 'path/to/models', // Default: 'models'
    _modelExt: '.modelExtension', // Default: '.js'
    _controllerDir: 'path/to/controllers', // Default: 'controllers'
    _controllerExt: '.controllerExtension', // Default: '.js'
    _viewDir: 'path/to/views', // Default: 'views'
    _viewExt: '.viewExtension', // Default: '.html'

URLs are constructed via directory + '/' + module + extension.


PrimalClay adds a set of functions to controller and model templates.

Currently, there is only addMixin which handles the common mixin logic across models and controllers.

PrimalClay takes one parameter which is the constructor function to wrap.

MyController.addMixin; // undefined
var $MyController = PrimalClay(MyController);

// Add a new mixin (myMixin) for MyController which processes params through myMixinFn
$MyController.addMixin('myMixin', myMixinFn);


Halo comes with two model templates for usage: CrudModel and SocketModel.

CrudModel provides the memory mixin and Sauron hooks for create, retrieve, update, and delete.

SocketModel extends on top CrudModel by adding a to all methods, this.socket, as well as Sauron hooks for createEvent, updateEvent, and deleteEvent which are intended to handle server push events.

More information on CrudModel, SocketModel, and their mixins/methods can be found in docs/


There are two controller templates available: BaseController and HtmlController.

BaseController does not provide any mixins by default and binds start and stop to Sauron listeners.

HtmlController wraps BaseController and proxies start and stop to append and remove generated content respectively.

Detailed explanations of BaseController, HtmlController, and their behaviors can be found in docs/


We have tried to stay as true to the thought

A view is markup and interactive logic

as much as possible.

As a result, we built tools like Builder and jqueryp to make all of your interactive set up a breeze.

Further documentation can be can be found in docs/


Full stack

// index.html
  // Configure everything and kick-off the index controller
  require(['config'], function () {
    require(['Sauron', 'mvc!c/index'], function () {
      Sauron.controller('index').start(document.body, function () {
        // document.body will either display an error message about failing to load user
        // or it will display the user's name and email

// config.js
// Load in Builder, jade, and all jQuery plugins
define(['Builder', 'jade', 'jqueryp!bootstrap!timpicker'], function (Builder, jade, $) {
  // Set jade as the template engine
  Builder.set('template engine', jade.render);

  // Add in all jQuery plugins (Builder.jquery specific)
  Builder.addPlugin({'module': 'timepicker', 'selector': '.bootstrap-timepicker'});

  // Return an empty config
  return {};

// views/index.jade
  if (err)
    p An error occurred. =(
    h1 User info
      .span6 Name: #{}
      .span6 Email: #{}

// controllers/index.js
define(['Sauron', 'Builder', 'HtmlController', 'mvc!v/index.jade', 'mvc!m/user'],
  function (Sauron, Builder, HtmlController, template) {

  // Create and return our HtmlController
  return HtmlController({
    'name': 'index',
    'start': function (cb) {
      // Grab user info
      Sauron.model('user').retrieve({'id': 1}, function (err, user) {
        // Create data to render with
        var data = {'err': err, 'user': user};

        // Render the content and callback
        var $html = Builder(template, data);

// models/user.js
define(['SocketModel'], function (SocketModel) {
  // Forward all calls to server
  return SocketModel({
    'name': 'user',
    'mixin': 'autoCRUD'


In lieu of a formal styleguide, take care to maintain the existing coding style. Add unit tests for any new or changed functionality. Lint and test your code using grunt.

Also, please don't edit files in the "dist" or "stage" subdirectories as they are generated via grunt. You'll find source code in the "src" subdirectory!

Using src

If you plan to use the src directory, you will need to adjust your require.js config accordingly.

We use multiple directories to separate the purpose of files. However, upon compilation, we flatten it to a single directory which allows for require(['HtmlController']) without any additional routing.

You have a couple of options for the src directory routing

  • Convert all BaseController, HtmlController, CrudModel, and SocketModel calls to mvc!c/BaseController, mvc!c/HtmlController, mvc!m/CrudModel, and mvc!m/SocketModel respectively.
    • This will cause all look ups to go through the mvc plugin which knows the paths to your controllers and models folders.
  • Manually adjust paths within your require.js config for BaseController, HtmlController, CrudModel, and SocketModel to their new locations.


While grunt can run the included unit tests via PhantomJS, this shouldn't be considered a substitute for the real thing. Please be sure to test the test/*.html unit test file(s) in actual browsers.

See the Why does grunt complain that PhantomJS isn't installed? guide in the Grunt FAQ for help with installing or troubleshooting PhantomJS.


Copyright (c) 2013 Ensighten Licensed under the MIT license.


Client-side MVC framework based on Addy Osmani's Aura.







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