Latest Node.js frameworks trends

Hey, since my last blog post about latest Node.js trends, I get deeper in RailwayJS, a rails-like framework for Node.JS. Despite the lack of documentation, I definitely like it : it is lightweight and allow to start quickly a solid web application. The counterpart is that you have to follow the framework logic. Fortunately, it’s easy to learn. Moreover Railways offers scaffolding, so you can see the way it works. For the bad part, I noticed some bugs with the coffeescript mode (files are still generated in javascript), I hope that they will be corrected soon.

I also discovered Tower.js a complete framework dedicated to coffee script applications. Tower is inspired by Rails too and looks promising (lot of cool ideas) but for now it is a little bit the mess, too much features were added too quickly : documentation is incomplete and performances look poor (see my CPU charge grows of 6% for a single request). Despite of that, the overall design looks great and based on good tools, so after a little pause and a little cleaning it could really become a killer framework. One other good point is that it handles the client part too, so common code for backend and frontend should be easy to set up. Whatever, for now, I would recommend Railway over it, because it is easier to start with and developers seem to focus better on important features.

At last I will talk about Brunch, the Coffeescript client framework, which finally gets to 1.0. Now Brunch has no more weird bugs with watch command (automatic compilation after file modifications was broken) and seems to be faster. The overall project organization is better and dependencies are very well handled. Another good news is that you can use other MVC framework than Backbone: Ember and Batman are availables. As you understand, Brunch is still my favorite client side framework.

Little remark: until now upgrades of Brunch were painful. I hope with that last release, they will stabilize the directory organization and makes updates more seamless.

Finally, via Brunch I discovered Chaplin which is a proposal of BackboneJS app architecture. It has been shared after being built for a real case. It doesn’t look trivial, I hope I could get deeper, I can’t tell a lot for the moment. Whatever have a look at it if you need some inspirations !

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