A Cordova/Backbone project template
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Cordova Backbone Template (v1.0.0)

Cordova Backbone JavaScript

What is it?

This goal of this repository is to jump start you past all the complexity of setting up a Cordova app and project workflow and get you straight to building. You should be able to download, compile and run the project on iOS or Android in a few commands, and easily get developing and making changes to your mobile app straight away.

I've chosen Backbone as a framework for this template project for the following reasons:

  • Backbone is simple to understand.
  • Backbone doesn't prescribe the architecture of your application too heavily.
  • Backbone is widely used
  • Backbone is easy to extend, manipulate and use alongside other libraries, which you will probably eventually want to do when your app gets over a certain size.



  • NodeJS
  • For iOS releases:
    • XCode
    • Xcode Command Line Tools (Google for lots of instructions on installing these).
  • For Android releases:

Running on a device or simulator

Installing node/bower dependencies (both locally and globally for node):

npm install -g
npm install 
bower install

Building your JavaScript:

grunt build

Running your tests:

grunt test

Adding your ios or android platforms:

cordova platforms add ios
cordova platforms add android

Building your application for iOS or Android:

cordova build ios
cordova build android

Running your app in an iOS or Android simulator:

cordova emulate ios
cordova emulate android

Running your app on a physical device:

cordova run ios
cordova run android

Working on your application

### Automating your workflow with grunt tasks

When making an application from this template, you'll largely be editing source in the assets folder, which will then be automatically moved into its correct position in the www folder for Cordova. In order to automate this process and streamline your workflow, there are some helpful grunt tasks included:

grunt watch

This will watch the assets folder for code changes, and copy your JS, less and images on the fly.

grunt server

Runs a HTTP server on port 5000 to server up what's in your www folder. You can run your app in-browser at http://localhost:5000, or run your tests at http://localhost:5000/js/spec.

With these two tasks running, code changes you make in assets are ready to view in a matter of seconds, meaning you don't have to manually re-compile or re-deploy to a device to view your work.

Running your tests

The default template includes a couple of very basic Mocha/Chai/Sinon tests to get you going, you'll find these in assets/javascripts/spec, and they can be run with the grunt test command. When adding new test files, be sure to include them in assets/javascripts/spec/app_spec.js or they will not be run.

Your tests are copied across to www/ the same way your application code is, so be sure to keep your grunt watch task running while working on them, or if you don't want to run the watch task, run grunt build before you run them each time to see changes.

With grunt server running, you can also access your tests at http://localhost:5000/js/spec.

Adding new libraries

You can add new libraries and modules to use in your project via bower or node. E.g:

bower install my-desired-module --save
npm install my-desired-module --save

Use bower for libraries and modules you want to be available in your application, these are installed into the components directory. Use node for ones you want as part of your development workflow (this includes running tests), these are installed into the node_modules directory.

For any bower components you want to use in your project, you'll need to configure them for use with requirejs, to do this. Add them to your assets/javascripts/app/require_config.js file. If you're struggling with this, read up on how requirejs works.

Projects built from this template


Major thanks to Sam Breed of QuickLeft for bringing me up to speed on all things Cordova.