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ComponentJS TodoMVC Example

About ComponentJS

ComponentJS is a stand-alone MPL-licensed Open Source library for JavaScript, providing a powerful Component System for hierarchically structuring the User-Interface (UI) dialogs of complex HTML5-based Rich Clients (aka Single-Page-Apps) — under maximum applied Separation of Concerns (SoC) architecture principle, through optional Model, View and Controller component roles, with sophisticated hierarchical Event, Service, Hook, Model, Socket and Property mechanisms, and fully independent and agnostic of the particular UI widget toolkit.

ComponentJS —

Running the ComponentJS TodoMVC Example

Either run it directly from Github:

Or perform the following steps to run it locally:

  1. Install Node into your system
  2. Install build-time dependencies via NPM: npm install
  3. Install run-time dependencies via Grunt and Bower: grunt build
  4. Run development environment via Grunt and Connect: grunt dev
  5. Test-drive the ComponentJS TodoMVC Example: http://localhost:8080/

Third-Party Libraries

This ComponentJS TodoMVC Example uses the following libraries and frameworks (which are all installed through Bower):

  • ComponentJS 1.0.1
    The MVC framework.
  • jQuery 2.0.3
    The DOM manipulation and eventing library.
  • jQuery-Markup 1.0.25
    The view mask template integration library.
  • Nunjucks 1.0.0
    The view mask template engine library.
  • Flatiron Director 1.2.0
    The URL routing library.
  • UUID.js 0.7.5
    The UUID generation library.
  • Lo-Dash 2.3.0
    The collection utility library.
  • todomvc-common 0.1.9
    The background image and integration code.

Hints about the ComponentJS TodoMVC Example

This ComponentJS TodoMVC Example tries to closely follow the official TodoMVC App Specification as long as there are no conflicting ComponentJS best practices. The known resolved conflicts were:

  • Component Reusability and CSS Usage
    TodoMVC todo-common provides a base.css which was not directly used within this ComponentJS TodoMVC Example. There are two reasons for this:

    • Single vs. Multiple Files
      The base.css provides all styles of the TodoMVC application in one single file, while in ComponentJS-based applications the styles are local to the components which create the corresponding DOM elements. In ComponentJS TodoMVC Example we have three such components (root, main and todo) and hence the base.css was split into three parts accordingly, too.

    • Unique Ids vs. Class Selectors
      The styling in base.css is mainly based on unique identifiers (#foo) instead of classes (.foo). This is a big "no-go" for UI approaches like ComponentJS where UI widgets (here the todo UI component) are fully reusable and are potentially rendered multiple times into the same DOM tree. For the particular TodoMVC use case this does not happen, but the ComponentJS TodoMVC Example should have been strictly the way things are done in ComponentJS applications. As a result, all CSS selectors of base.css were converted from unique identifiers to BEM-like classes.

  • Source File Grouping
    TodoMVC recommends to group all sources files according to technical classifications. ComponentJS-based applications usually use a domain-specific classification to group files, i.e., the UI is split into domain-specific components and each component is fully self-contained. This means that each component consists of its own JavaScript code, its own style, its own mask, etc. As the TodoMVC use case is a trivial one, in the ComponentJS TodoMVC example you see this through the common filename prefixes only. In a real-world ComponentJS application one would see this also through the directory tree.

  • URL Routing
    The TodoMVC application speciification just requires that an URL based routing exists. In order to avoid extra code, one could have implemented this by using FlatIron Director directly within the todo component and especially just use direct hyperlinks in the view mask. While sufficient and perhaps acceptable for a trivial use case like the TodoMVC, it is not for a larger application. There the URL routing should be done only by a component which has the whole UI as the scope (the root and main components but not the todo widget) and there should be no direct hyperlinks within a single component (as it is not allowd to control the URL of the whole apllication). We use Flatiron Director in the main component and perform a two-way binding into the todo component.

  • LocalStorage
    The TodoMVC application speciification just requires that the todo list is persistend in the the HTML5 localStorage. In order to avoid extra code, one could have implemented this by allowing ComponentJS to implicitly persist the Todo list items into localStorage from within the todo widget with the help of the component.plugin.localstorage.js plugin. While sufficient and perhaps acceptable for a trivial use case like the TodoMVC, it is not for a larger application. There the Todo items would come from an underlying service tier and its UI-independent Business Model (while the UI widget uses a so-called Presentation Model). We decided to already use this strict separation between Presentation and Business model for the trivial TodoMVC use case, even if it increases the total amount of required code, of course.

Learning ComponentJS

The ComponentJS website is a great resource for getting started. Here are some links you may find helpful:

For more details about the TodoMVC initiative and the idea behind the TodoMVC applications see:


ComponentJS TodoMVC Example






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