Ampersand.js vs Backbone.js: What are the differences?
Ampersand.js and Backbone.js are both open source tools. Backbone.js with 27.5K GitHub stars and 5.72K forks on GitHub appears to be more popular than Ampersand.js with 818 GitHub stars and 52 GitHub forks.
What is Ampersand.js?
What is Backbone.js?
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The front end for Heap begun to grow unwieldy. The original jQuery pieces became difficult to maintain and scale, and a decision was made to introduce Backbone.js, Marionette, and TypeScript. Ultimately this ended up being a “detour” in the search for a scalable and maintainable front-end solution. The system did allow for developers to reuse components efficiently, but adding features was a difficult process, and it eventually became a bottleneck in advancing the product.
Today, the Heap product consists primarily of a customer-facing dashboard powered by React, MobX, and TypeScript on the front end. We wrote our migration to React and MobX in detail last year here.
We are in the middle of a change of the stack on the front end. So we used Backbone.js with Marionette. Then we also created our own implementation of a Flux kind of flow. We call it eb-flux. We have worked with Marionette for a long time. Then at some point we start evolving and end up having a kind of Redux.js-style architecture, but with Marionette.
But then maybe one and a half years ago, we started moving into React and that's why we created the Eventbrite design system. It's a really nice project that probably could be open sourced. It's a library of components for our React components.
With the help of that library, we are building our new stack with React and sometimes Redux when it's necessary.
When the data request returns, Backbone.js gets busy. The idea with Backbone is that we render each Model that comes down from the server with a View, and then Backbone provides an easy way to:
1) Watch for DOM events within the HTML generated by the View and tie those to methods on the corresponding Model, which re-syncs with the server
2) Watch the model for changes, and re-render the model’s HTML block to reflect them
Neat! Using that general approach, we get a fairly regular, comprehensible, and maintainable client. We custom-built a client-side Model cache to handle updates and simplify client-side Model reuse.
The main web store is a Backbone.js single page web application, and so it hits API endpoints to do all the calls, and we use those same API endpoints for the consumer iPhone app, the consumer Android app, and the consumer mobile web app. It worked out really nicely, us just building one API and just all these clients, including the web client, using that.
Major part of our UI application uses Backbone models and views extensively. Though there's a plan to migrate to React and Redux.