Backbone JS vs Angular JS- Uncovering key differences


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Every since JavaScript development gained traction, the war of front-end JavaScript frameworks hasn't ceased to exist. As a JavaScript developer, I've tried hands on numerous JavaScript frameworks that have some of the finest features, helping in improving the overall productivity. Two of the best JavaScript frameworks that have proved utmost useful in building stunning web apps are BackboneJS and AngularJS. Today, in my post, I'd be taking up a simple and crisp comparison between these two JavaScript frameworks that have been embraced by JavaScript developers, both amateurs and experts.

BackboneJS vs AngularJS – Background

While BackboneJS is a 2010 product, AngularJS was released in the year 2009. Serving as a quick alternative to heavy frameworks, Backbone.js is a light weighted JavaScript framework that loads faster due to use of the Underscrore.js dependency framework. On the contrary, AngularJS is an open source framework that allows an easy extension of HTML in addition to two-way data binding via simple code testing. That means, with the two-way binding, you can use HTML for declaring the template, eliminating the need for writing any code.

BackboneJS vs AngularJS- Website Categories

While Backbone.js serves as an excellent choice for building eye-catchy websites for real estate, shopping, business & industry, arts & entertainment etc; AngularJS has been designed keeping in mind the need for building websites related to Career & Education, Internet & Telecom, Software, Computer & Electronics and many more.

BackboneJS vs AngularJS- Architecture

While the Backbone.js framework uses MVP(Model View Presenter) architecture, AngularJS uses the traditional MVC(Model View Controller) architecture. The main differences arising out of this variation in architecture include the following:

  • DOM -

    Unlike AngularJS which rebuilds the DOM in accordance to the specified rules, BackboneJS manipulates direct DOM for representing the changes made to the data.

  • Data Binding -

    Unlike AngularJS which comes with a two-way binding feature that allows it to run the applications, track and trigger data changes; BackboneJS lacks a data binding feature forcing the developer to create a custom binding mechanism or opt for a third-party data binding service.

BackboneJS vs AngularJS- Templating

Talking about templating, well it is in effective technique of reducing the amount of code that needs to be written for getting the single-page applications off the ground. While on one hand, we have BackboneJS which builds off the Underscore templates i.e. you're expected to write certain custom JavaScript for ensuring smooth functioning of the templates, on the other hand there is AngularJS which offers templating via dynamic HTML attributes that have already been incorporated into the document, ensuring the representation is concise and easy-to-grasp.

You may also like to read: AngularJS Is A Superior Javascript Framework

BackboneJS vs AngularJS- Validation

BackboneJS doesn't comprise of a function that can execute the validations part. That means, you're either supposed to write the logic by yourself or choose one from Backbone validations(9.5 unminified) or Backbone.validation(8.2HB minified) or Backbone.validator(8.2 non-minified) etc. In contrast to this, there is AngularJS which includes validation by default. That means, you can see some of the validations like min-length, max-length, email etc. implemented by default. Moreover, if you're interested in having a custom validation(s), then you can choose to create one.

BackboneJS vs AngularJS- Non-Restful Backend

While BackboneJS is purely meant for Restful backends, AngularJS comes with $http which allows you to go beyond the boundaries of a Restful backend. Well, when it's about Backbone.JS, for each end-point within the backend, there's a need for creating an associated model on the front-end. That means, if you aren't using a Restful backend, then there will be a need for performing a lot of tweaks that may lead to multiple overrides to Backbone.sync. On the contrary, AngularJS makes the concept of having a Restful backend easier. It comes with ngResource- an extra file that's required for adding 16KB min. Hence, you're free to either use this file or $http directly.

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BackboneJS vs AngularJS- Overall Performance

In simple words, BackboneJS is a lot more faster and better performing as compared to AngularJS. The basic reason for this is that as the page grows, AngularJS's two-way data binding feature tends to introduce negative performance effects into the framework. Unlike this, BackboneJS lacks a data binding feature, expecting you to write lengthy code. This allows you to focus on improving the performance, removing the need for hacking the framework from scratch. All in all, it is the compact data representation which makes AngularJS a low-performing JavaScript framework.

Final Thoughts

While each of the two JavaScript frameworks viz: BackboneJS and AgularJS have their own set of pros and cons, it is better to opt for the one which suits your project requirements fully. Remember, a framework that's been chosen after a lot of planning and analysis will fetch you the desired results instantly.

Author Bio:

My name is Andrey. I am a web developer in CMS Website Development Company. I am fond of finding simple solutions to complex problems. If you loved the topic, do share and comment. Also, you can follow me on Twitter for more updates.

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