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Easily use backbone.js with rails 3.1
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Easily setup and use backbone.js (0.5.0) with rails 3.1

Rails 3.1 setup

This gem requires the use of rails 3.1, coffeescript and the new rails asset pipeline provided by sprockets.

This gem vendors the latest version of underscore.js and backbones.js for Rails 3.1 and greater. The files will be added to the asset pipeline and available for you to use.


In your Gemfile, add this line:

gem "rails-backbone"

Then run the following commands:

bundle install
rails g backbone:install

Layout and namespacing

Running rails g backbone:install will create the following directory structure under app/assets/javascripts/backbone:


It will also create a toplevel file to setup namespacing and setup initial requires.


backbone-rails provides 3 simple generators to help get you started using bacbone.js with rails 3.1. The generators will only create client side code (javascript).

Model Generator

rails g backbone:model

This generator creates a backbone model and collection inside app/assets/javascript/backbone/models to be used to talk to the rails backend.


rails g backbone:router

This generator creates a backbone router with corresponding views and templates for the given actions provided.


rails g backbone:scaffold

This generator creates a router, views, templates, model and collection to create a simple crud single page app

Example Usage

Say we have just created a new rails 3.1 application called blog. Edit your gemfile and add gem rails-backbone.

Install the gem and generate scaffolding.

bundle install
rails g backbone:install
rails g scaffold Post title:string content:string
rake db:migrate
rails g backbone:scaffold Post title:string content:string

You now have installed the backbone-rails gem, setup a default directory structure for your frontend backbone code. Then you generated the usual rails server side crud scaffolding and finally generated backbone.js code to provide a simple single page crud app. You have one last step:

Edit your posts index view app/views/posts/index.html.erb with the following contents:

<div id="posts"></div>

<script type="text/javascript">
  $(function() {
    window.router = new Blog.Routers.PostsRouter({posts: <%= @posts.to_json.html_safe -%>});

Now start your server rails s and browse to localhost:3000/posts You should now have a fully functioning single page crud app for Post models.

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