Backbone.js and jQuery

It is said that Backbone handles all the higher level abstractions, while jQuery or similar libraries work with the DOM, normalize events and so on..

Could someone please help me understand this statement with any simple practical example.

Also one important feature of MVC framework like Backbone, Knockout is that it keeps the model (data) and the view in sync. But this seems to be specific at a page-level and not across the entire application. So can we have the model/data and the view synced across multiple pages..(kind of global)


Backbone / Knockout is typically used for single page applications. So while jQuery is a toolbox that can be used with any webpage, Backbone is meant for a specific type of application and helps you organize your code for it. At least in my experience one of the biggest challenges in building a single page app is keeping the code clean and modular, and backbone helps a great deal with this.

The characteristics of a typical backbone app are:

  • Essentially static html page, with nothing generated on the server
  • Server acts as a json REST api, which provides the content for the app
  • The dom elements to display the data are created with javascript in backbone views, using jQuery and various templating libraries to help
  • Communication with the server as well as between different parts of the app is done through the backbone models

Regarding your question about keeping the data synced across multiple pages, my instinctive answer is that you don't need multiple pages: the user may perceive that the page is changing, the address in the url bar changes thanks to pushState functionality, but technically the entire app is one page.

The biggest advantages of this kind of approach are a smooth user experience (no reloading pages), good caching support as everything except the json data is static content, for mobile targets the possibility to turn the web app into a mobile app with phoneGap (because everything except json is static).