From Backend to Frontend - the Mental Transition
Recently I blogged about my thoughts on the idea that frontends are in fact separate applications.
Today, I'd like to describe the transition of my mental model in thinking about views and frontends.
I thought that it was only me who went that path, but this excellent Backbone introduction slide deck helped me realize that it's a common process for backend developers.
This process consists of the following steps:
2. JQuery explosion
This happens when you use straight JQuery, there is lots of JQuery plugins updating different views, replacing html and using some simple Ajax.
3. Page and Widget objects
4. Single Page Application
Single page application is the phase in which you move all of the html generation from the server to the client. There are no full page reloads. Of course, there might be phases between 3 and 4, where some of your html is rendered here, some is rendered there. Luckily, you prefer consistent solutions, so you end up quickly in phase 4.
It's this phase where you think about the frontend as a separate application. All the data you get, come from API requests. You know the difference between MVC here and Model2 on the backend. You explore the different techniques for designing the domain - gui communication.
Any other phase?
In the Sarah's slides you will also find a next phase here - Frameworks. I'm not putting it here, as I think we choose frameworks too early. It's a topic for another blog post.
I'm in the 4th phase for quite a while now and I don't feel any need of a framework.
There's also an interesting area to explore, where you have several mini-application in your web app.
In my next blog posts I'm going to help you learn how to solve typical frontend problems without using a full framework.
Just to be clear, I'm fine with Backbone or AngularJS or others. It's just that I think, that those frameworks can be limiting to our projects very early on.
Which phase are you in?
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