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Base classes for building Backbone applications that you shouldn't leave home without.


Namespacing: JavaScript doesn’t have a native namespace language feature. We use a simple function to do our namespacing. We even put it on our PollEv object to avoid with other possible namespace implementations.

FannyPack.namespace 'MyApp.View', (View) ->
  class View.PollWidget extends FannyPack.View.Base
    show: ->
    hide: ->

Router/Application/EventBus: FannyPack applications are Backbone routers and use the router as an eventBus. Your application should consist of 1 router that lives at All FannyPack base views are aware of the application at FannyPack also comes with its own base view which takes care of rendering views. You can override the default behavior to introduce transitions.

# A sample FannyPack application router
class MyApp extends FannyPack.Router.Base
    "": "index"

  index: =>
    view = new View.Index

    # @view view is the routers own view. Call `activate` to replace the existing rendered view with the new view
    @view.activate view

# This goes in your application.html
$ -> = new MyApp().start
    pushState: true # Enable if you want to start Backbone.history with pushState
    el: $('body') # The is the element the router will attach its application view to

Base Class: The base class can’t infer the current application you’re working on, so you need to define a base class for your application that all your views will inherit from.

FannyPack.namespace 'MyApp.View', (View) ->
  # set up an application specific base view that
  # inherits from our FannyPack base view
  class View.Base extends FannyPack.View.Base

Templates: We use haml_coffee_assets for our templating.

FannyPack.Base#template resolves the path to your templates relative to your application. First create a .hamlc file in your templates directory (eg. in viz: lib/assets/javascripts/my_app/templates/header.hamlc)

Then, make sure to require it with sprockets.

# FannyPack.Base#renderTemplate usage

#= require my_app/templates/view

FannyPack.namespace "MyApp.View", (View) ->
  class View.Header extends View.Base
    render: =>
      } = @model.flashOptions().attributes

      @$el.html @renderTemplate 'chart_header',
        title: @model.get('title')
        headerPlacement: headerLogoPlacement
        headerLogoUrl: headerLogoUrl

      return @

Note: Since launching HTML charts we've decided to start practicing 'logic-less' templates. That is, we aren't going to pass variables into to templates or use any control flow inside them. They will simply be used to insert markup into the DOM. Any dynamic hiding, or updating text will occur in view methods (this makes re-rendering individual pieces much easier and makes it easier to optimize performance in slow browsers).

Events: In addition to the standard event bindings that Backbone sets up for views, we use an eventBus pattern that allows any view to trigger an application specific custom event that other views can listen to. This is better for testing and refactoring than passing hard dependencies into each view’s constructor. You should try to keep all interaction within the appropriate view but sometimes outside or coordinating views need to respond to things happening within subviews.

# FannyPack.Base#triggerEvent usage

FannyPack.namespace 'MyApp.View', (View) ->
  class View.Header extends View.Base
    toggle: =>

      # send the 'header:toggle' event to any view that is listening
      # passing them a boolean of whether the current view is hidden
      @app.trigger 'header:toggle', @$el.hasClass('hidden')

  class View.Body extends View.Base
      'header:toggle': 'resize'

    # this is called whenever ChartHeader or any other view
    # triggers 'header:toggle'
    resize: =>

Modules: Use modules to break up large classes that have repeated behaviors or just to isolate related behavior. Call include in the class declaration to include other modules.

# FannyPack.Base#include usage

FannyPack.namespace 'MyApp.View' (View) ->
  View.MyModule = (self) ->
    eat: ->

    sleep: ->

    breathe: ->

    getModel: ->

FannyPack.namespace 'MyApp.View', (View) ->
  class View.Person extends View.Base
    initialize: ->
      @include View.MyModule

view = new MyApp.View.Person
  model: new Backbone.Model

# view now has all these methods # => 'mmm'
view.sleep() # => 'zzz'
view.breathe() # => '*silent*'

view.getModel() # => Backbone.Model

Memory Management and listening to model events: Usually Backbone Views are a huge pain to manage in terms of leaking events and memory. FannyPack deals with memory management for you.

# FannyPack.Base#include usage

FannyPack.namespace 'MyApp.View' (View) ->
  class View.DontLeak extends View.Base
      'otherView:update': 'render'

      'click': 'respondToClick'

    initialize: ->
      # set up your view to listen on change events
      # emitted from the passed in @model
      @listenTo @model, 'change', (model, attributes) =>
        # Do stuff

    render: =>
      # ...

    respondToClick: (e) ->
      # ...

  view = new View.DontLeak
    model: new Backbone.Model

  # FannyPack unbinds all model events set up with listenOn,
  # all jQuery events, all external events and removes the
  # view element from the DOM


A simple set of base views to help develop Backbone applications.







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