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Tower.js Roadmap

For 0.5.0, Tower will include the features below. It's going to be a rolling list. If you have ideas or features you'd like to see, include them in the section Potential features section and we'll move them up if they're in scope.

You are free to contribute any of these features in any order… I'm more of a fan of doing what you want when you want to, as long as it follows some general plan. I stay motivated and get way more done that way.

Any features marked with * have been started.

0.5.0 - Full Featured Release

  • awesome generators like rails_wizard
  • javascript and coffeescript versions
  • *everything in mongodb has an API for it in the ORM
  • basic ember view patterns established (for tables, forms, and menus)
  • relatively stabilized folder/file structure
  • *authentication and authorization
  • *file uploading
  • *background jobs in redis
  • mailer
  • error pages
  • *data syncing
  • *client routes
  • testing patterns for an app
  • grunt --config ./
  • make it more obvious that there is integration (

0.6.0 - Testing, Robustness

0.7.0 - Performance Tuning

0.8.0 - Multiple Databases, Batch Requests, Content Processing

  • postgresql
  • mysql
  • sqlite
  • cassandra
  • redis
  • neo4j
  • database migrations
  • transaction support
  • batch requests
  • video/audio/image processing

✔ 0.4.0 (functional release)

  • Extend helper method urlFor so that can it resolve to registered paths (aliases) for routes
    • urlFor route: 'signIn'
  • hasMany through associations (Post.hasMany "comments"; Post.hasMany "commenters", through: "comments")
  • database seeds
  • test model pagination
  • auto-restart server when file changes (development)

✔ 0.4.1 (tests)

  • generate test/models with example code for scaffold
  • generators for tests
  • load tests in browser
  • make "database cleaner"
  • test setup for http requests (controllers)
  • test the command-line api
  • basic client test setup for tower development
  • extends hook for coffeescript
  • test "factories"
  • basic tests for
  • generate test/controllers with example code for scaffold
  • NODE_ENV=production

0.4.2 (folders)

  • standardize file structure for apps
  • client-side test setup (with phantomjs)
  • move tests to model/shared, etc.

0.4.3 (controllers)

  • fork node.js process to speed up app booting
  • ember.js integration
  • more tests
    • generator code
    • phantomjs for client (and generate apps with different models and test them dynamically)
  • integrate Ember.StateMachine into client side routes (
  • write render for client that handles creating ember views
  • better redirectTo
  • better urlFor
  • finish resourceful routes
  • better controller rendering
  • some sort of updateAll|deleteAll ​functionality for controllers (array of ids)
  • finalize resourceful controller actions (see
  • error hooks for controllers
  • test subdomains on heroku/nodejitsu
  • switch to parsing url params with URI.js
  • basic controller logging/subscriptions
  • https helper methods
  • http caching methods in the controller
  • redirect helpers at the top level, so you easily write permanent redirects (
  • namespaced controllers
  • update to express 3.0
  • *rails like flash messages
  • rename flattened namespaces (e.g. change Tower.ModelCursor to Tower.Cursor, which was originally Tower.Model.Cursor)
  • standardize folder structure for app tests

0.4.4 (views)

  • automatic sorting when new model is added to cursor (Ember.Sortable)
  • automatic form validations based on model of client
  • error/stacktrace printing when view fails to fully render
  • finish table builder
  • make form builder more robust
  • 404/etc error pages
  • error handling on forms when validation error
  • test client side view rendering with coffeecup
  • test client side view rendering with ember
  • test files reload when changed (integration test)
  • test assets can be served with gzip

0.4.5 (models)

  • uniqueness validation (database should not save a record unless specified attributes are globally unique (i.e. username))
  • email/phone validation (and other common validation helpers)
  • add includes to associations: Post.includes("author").where(author: firstName: "=~": "Baldwin").all()
  • mongo url handler (
  • model indexes in mongodb (and potentially in memory, i.e. a redis-like plugin for the browser)
  • model#reload
  • acceptsNestedAttributes
  • mass assignment security
  • migrations (at least the general class/file structure, so if you add a field to mongodb there's a space for you to write code to update your models with the new values).
  • make metadata and fields (and all class accessor-like methods) use get as ember computable properties.
  • *remove dependency on mongodb
  • test index creation in mongodb
  • nested field queries ("", etc.)
  • basic model logging (so you can see things like database queries)
  • *mongo embedded documents
  • test inheritance with type property
  • completely finish (robustness-wise) all different types of query conditions (find(id: null) # find by null, where(name: "!=": "x"), find(address: city: "San Diego") # nested doc/object queries, etc)
  • make store global, so you only have to apply it once, not per model. makes testing easier.
  • i18n (internationalization/localization, how to organize the random labels in the app, and prepare for translation into other languages)
  • confirmation validation (password confirmation, agree to terms, etc.)

0.4.6 (model extensions)

0.4.7 (sockets)

  • push notifications (web socket integration into the controllers)
  • swappable sockets api (,
  • subscribe/notifications
  • write lots of tests for this

0.4.8 (background jobs, emails)

  • Test the mailer on heroku
  • background queuing with redis (User.queue("welcome", 1) vs. User.welcome(1), for background processing) -
  • test running background jobs on heroku and nodejitsu
  • inline css in email templates

0.4.9 (helpers, configuration)

  • add underscore helpers
    • pixel transforms (px to em to percent to rem)
    • color transforms (hsl to rgb to hex, etc.)
    • unit transforms (miles to km, etc.)
    • geo transforms (lat/lng to x/y in pixels, etc.)
    • date helpers
    • string helpers
    • number helpers
    • validators
    • masking input fields (phone numbers, social security, email, money, etc.)
  • customize template engine, orm, and test framework in App.config
  • create normalized file/directory api (wrench, pathfinder, findit... need to merge this stuff into one)

0.4.10 (cleanup, optimizations, documentation)

  • autocomplete in the terminal (rubymine, node-inspector)
  • autoreload in the console (using
  • *chunk code into parts for the client, so you can use only bare minimum if desired (so you can do things like require('tower-model'))
  • finalize tower.js internal code organization
  • optimize file watching (either optimize or reimplement using new node > 0.8 features)
    • remove ruby dependency if possible
    • make css @import compiler smarter
    • test and make sure it compiles all files on the first run
    • deleting/creating files isn't registering anymore, fix.
  • document code
  • Add generator for translating different locales in tower.
  • standardize Tower.x api for global helper methods.

0.5.0 (theme)

0.5.1 (benchmarking)

Other todos

  • compile all test/cases into tests.js to render on
  • port most/all rails tests
  • test included and extended callbacks
  • make javascripts compile with function wrapper in Watchfile (for client)
  • add cid or equaivalent
  • think about making scopes use get(), so App.User.get('recent'). This way they can be used in views.
  • handle app config: ruby config.encoding = "utf-8" config.filter_parameters += [:password, :password_confirmation] config.time_zone = "Pacific Time (US & Canada)"
  • make logs write to ./log folder.

Separate plugins

  • Make a mocha web console reporter.
  • User stamping
  • Versioning
  • Advanced (lucene) search (down the road)


  • authentication extension (so it's easy to start using authentication, potentially with passport
  • tower generate authentication Session
  • see devise for inspiration, but I'm not a fan of devise b/c it's way too hard to customize and creates too much abstraction. But the feature set it includes is great.

Tower.Authorization (Tower.Ability)


  • paperclip?



It's going to be very easy now to make Tower work with titanium mobile. With coffeekup, you can have the form builder compile down to titanium objects no problem, something like:

  tabs: (options = {}) ->

  tab: (options) ->
    options.window ||= @currentPane

  pane: (options, callback) ->
    @currentPane  = Titanium.UI.createWindow(options)
tabs ->
  tab id: 'posts-tab', title: "Feed", ->
    pane title: "My Blog", ->
      table id: 'posts-table', data: App.Post.all()

Support for alternative data stores (as plugins)

These are next, larger features. These will be included in earlier releases if a member of the community contributes them. Otherwise they might be approached after the 0.5.0 release according to community requests.

  • Neo4j support
  • CouchDB support
  • PostGreSQL support
  • MySQL support
  • SQLite3 support
  • LocalStorage support
  • Redis support

Potential Features

Random Issues

  • need to figure out how to append fields to a model base class after the other models have been subclassed.
  • convert modules to Ember.Mixin objects.
  • convert all class X in tower to .extend, just javascript

Helpful Libraries

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