Cloud Connected

"The only difference between Cloud CMS and your current on-premise document repository is that you don't have to worry about software or hardware installation and upgrades any longer."
Jeff Potts, Founder
Metaversant Group

Building Applications with Ratchet JS MVC

Over the past few days, I’ve had a chance to delve back into ratchet.js which is a JavaScript MVC framework that I had a hand in building in 2010. By this point, there are a lot of JavaScript MVC frameworks that you can utilize. However, at the time we built it, we were very inspired by sammy.js, backbone.js and knockout.js.

A few points on these libraries:

  • I particularly liked sammy.js for its simplicity. The developers of that library do a great job minimizing the work and also utilized an interesting “chaining” approach during the rendering phase which was inspirational. We really liked the chaining approach and used it in Ratchet as well as our own Cloud CMS JavaScript Driver.
  • Both backbone.js and knockout.js are fantastic frameworks for defining scoped-observable variables in the model. They solve things like how to update content on the page in real-time, build components that listen for update events and pass messages between controls or elements on the site.

We sought to produce an MVC library that gave us the singular foundation that we needed to build really great HTML5 and JavaScript-based applications. Furthermore, we wanted a framework that would be ideal for real-time, cloud-connected applications. Thus, while it’s important to get the foundation bits right in terms of observables, components, templates, routes and so forth, we also felt it was very important to define an asynchronous rendering pipeline that could manage state for the backend, stream content forward and aggregate it into HTML5.

None of that is really too outlandish. A few years ago, for those old enough to recall (not that it was that long ago), everyone was crazy about mashups. The basic idea behind mashups was that content would be sourced from other locations and presented singularly. That idea hasn’t gone away and with the explosion of cloud-based services including Cloud CMS for all of your content and application services, we think its high time that a JS framework was built to address that need.

So that’s where we’re headed going forward. I find it an absolute joy to work with ratchet.js and would recommend to readers that they take a look. It’s a purely open-source project under the Apache 2 license. All of the source code is available on GitHub.

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