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Boilerplate application for the Chaplin.js library
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Boilerplate Application for Chaplin.js

This is a boilerplate application built with Chaplin.js, an application structure on top of Backbone.js.

Not a CoffeeScript user? There’s also a plain JavaScript boilerplate!

If you’re not using CoffeeScript in your application, you might use the plain, readable, JavaScript version of this boilerplate.

Running the Example

The original sources are written in CoffeeScript (coffee/ directory), but this repository already comes with the compiled JavaScripts (js/ directory). To recompile the CoffeeScripts, you might run the command line CoffeeScript compiler in the repository’s root directory:

coffee --bare --output js/ coffee/

This repository also contains a recent build of the Chaplin library in js/vendor/chaplin-*.js.

To run the example, copy the contents of this folder to the document root of your favorite webserver. If you’re running a local webserver like Apache or Nginx, the URL is http://localhost/ or similar.

It is necessary that you run the example in a http:// context. Just opening the index.html via file:// won’t work.

If you don’t have a webserver installed, pushserve is a suggested HTTP server with simple syntax and HTML5 pushState support. Install it with nodejs package manager: npm install -g pushserve and then launch pushserve.

If the boilerplate is running correctly, you will see a “Hello World!” message.

If your JavaScript app is located in a subfolder on your domain, for example at http://localhost/my-chaplin-app/, you need to configure the Chaplin.Router accordingly. Open the file and edit the initRouter call. Change the root option accordingly, for example:

this.initRouter routes, root: '/my-chaplin-app/'

Make sure to compile the CoffeeScripts to JavaScript before testing in the browser. Use the CoffeeScript compiler to watch file changes in order to recompile the changed .coffee source files automatically:

coffee --watch --bare --output js/ coffee/

Architectural Documentation

Directory Structure

This example has a standard Chaplin MVC directory structure:

  • coffee/models
  • coffee/views
  • coffee/controllers
  • coffee/libs

All vendor libraries like jQuery and Backbone are located js/vendor/.

Application Startup

There are two special files which are responsible for the application bootstrap:

  • coffee/
  • coffee/ is the application root class which inherits from Chaplin.Application. It starts up all Chaplin core modules and starts the routing. It is loaded and instantiated in index.html. contains all application routes which map URLs to controller actions.


Since Chaplin is template-engine agnostic, you have to decide which templating solution you want to use and how you want to load the templates. This example uses Handlebars templates and loads them on-demand using the RequireJS Text plugin.

Chaplin expects that views implement the getTemplateFunction method which needs to return the actual templating function. Since all views in this example use the same templating solution, getTemplateFunction is provided once by two base classes all other views inherit from:

  • coffee/views/base/
  • coffee/views/base/

The actual .hbs template files are located in the js/templates directory.

Application-specific Extensions

To ease the development, this repository also provides application-specific base classes for models, collections and controllers. They inherit from the Chaplin base classes:

  • coffee/models/base/
  • coffee/models/base/
  • coffee/controllers/base/

Furthermore, coffee/lib/ and coffee/lib/ demonstrate how to extend the feature testing and utility files of Chaplin.

Last but not least, this example uses a specific Layout class which can be found in coffee/views/

The Cast

The Producers

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