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The voice of soothing calm.

Patterns of pattern ignorance

Those wanting to pick up Backbone.js and can see past it’s current placement in the trough of disillusionment (see hype cycle) would likely encounter confusion with the names of its major components. Having read the codebase and coming from a Rails-flavored MVC/Model 2 background (namely ASP.NET MVC), I tend to understand the underlying patterns of Backbone.js components accordingly:

  • Routers work as front controllers,
  • templates (along with the browser’s DOM) as views, and
  • Views as presenters (from the MVP pattern).

Models are flavored with the Active Record pattern. Presenters and views are tightly coupled.

MVC and MVP coexist because the controllers respond to navigational input (mapping to model-presenter pairs) and the presenters respond to page-specific input (mapping to model manipulations and, possibly, server calls).

Considering that prominent tech bloggers are encountering similar naming confusion with other prominent libraries, this seems to be reflective of either lack of academic discipline by library authors or calculated marketing choices. Combined, that yields a zero net effect on adoption.

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