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Weekly Typed

I love Backbone.js for many reasons: it’s lightweight, small (it’s the first open-source library whose code I’ve actually completely read), super simple to get started with and has a very active community.

Backbone Views leave a bit to be desired because they do very little. As the documentation itself says “Backbone views are almost more convention than they are code”.

One particular pain point I’ve had is the inability to manage collections of views. There already exist a number of solutions that provide you a nice way to build applications with more structure that what Backbone alone will give you. I decided to write Backbone ViewCollection for 2 reasons:

  1. I wanted to write it myself, to learn how
  2. A Backbone ViewCollection provides a better way of managing Backbone views while still keeping the application pure Backbone

What should a View Collection Do?

These are the things I wanted from a View Collection class:

  1. Renders a Backbone Collection into a Backbone View that is composed of further, child views. Each model in the collection corresponds to a child view
  2. A render method that calls render on all its child elements
  3. Handles delegateEvent and all the other crap associated with it
  4. Manages child view creation and destruction and prevents memory leaks or zombie views
  5. Child views can be anything - as long as they are nodes of the parent view

Here is an example of what such a class would do:

var Pokemon = Backbone.Model.extend({});
var Pokedex = new Backbone.Collection({
	model: Pokemon;
 	var PokemonView = Backbone.View.extend({
	render: function() {
		//some code to render a Pokemon's info
 	var PokedexView = new Backbone.ViewCollection({
	childView: PokemonView,
	collection: Pokedex
 	//This will create an instance of PokemonView for each model in
 	//the Pokedex collection and call its render() method

In the coming blog posts, I will describe how I made my ViewCollection.

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