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Durandal’s Edge

Durandal’s Edge | Development on Various Platforms | Scoop.it

With so many SPA-style frameworks emerging in the last couple years, you may wonder what makes Durandal unique or different. Why would you want to choose it for your next project?  I’d like to share a few key points to that end…

Rather than re-invent the wheel, Durandal starts by combining and building on top of three existing libraries. Each of these libraries is very mature, has a large, active community and was strategically chosen because it meets one specific need very well. First we start with jQuery. In some ways you can think of it as a better DOM or the “missing JavaScript core library”. Next, we add in RequireJS, which gives us rich, declarative JavaScript modules. Finally, Knockout provides us with powerful two-way data-binding.

With these three libraries as a foundation, Durandal constructs a thin integration layer and transforms them into a powerful SPA framework. In addition to strategically connecting these libraries, Durandal adds new functionality. Some things Durandal adds are:  a client-side router, rich view composition, screen state management, pub/sub, simple conventions, modals/message boxes and more…


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AngularJS vs. DurandalJS

AngularJS vs. DurandalJS | Development on Various Platforms | Scoop.it

Here’s the deal, I like DurandalJS. Though, I’m not going to lie, I really like AngularJS as well. These two technologies compete in many respects as they both seem to tackle the same problem. What problems are these frameworks trying to tackle? I have made a diagram of what I see to be the core developments in client side technologies, and after you view this, I will talk about where I see Angular and Durandal fitting in (note that there are a myriad of other useful frameworks that do storage, pub/sub eventing, animation, data-binding, AMD pattern ala requireJS, and a slew of other things, but this represents what I believe is the focus on today’s client-side development).


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FluentKnockoutHelper - generate Knockout syntax with strongly typed, fluent, lambda expressions for ASP.NET MVC

FluentKnockoutHelper - generate Knockout syntax with strongly typed, fluent, lambda expressions for ASP.NET MVC | Development on Various Platforms | Scoop.it

* Painlessly generate Knockout syntax with strongly typed, fluent, lambda expression helpers similar to ASP.NET MVC
* Rich intellisense and compiler support for syntax generation
* Fluent syntax makes it a breeze to create custom helpers or extend whats built in
* OSS alternative to ASP.NET MVC helpers: feel free to add optional features that everyone in the community can use and I'll merge your pull in ASAP!
* Painlessly provides validation based on .NET types and DataAnnotations in a few lines of code for all current/future application types and changes
* Client side JavaScript object factory (based on C# types) to create new items in for example, a list, with zero headaches or server traffic

 

Durandal.js is a new framework that uses Knockout, jQuery, Require and Sammy that makes it very easy to create single page applications. It 'just works' with Knockout and feels very clean so I have created the Survey App using it. Also take note other than for the start page and WebAPI MVC isn't used at all for views. This seems pretty natural so far but time will tell as it is built out.

Take a look at Survey App demo to see a full demo using Durandal.js


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Knockout Validation with Durandal JS Single Page Application Framework

I have seen issues people have been having with knockout validation and integrating it into a Durandal SPA scenario.

This video assumes you know some basics about Durandal and javascript structure (e.g. revealing module pattern).


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Durandal vs. Framework “X”

Sometimes I am contacted by consultants or businesses regarding Durandal as it compares to other frameworks. And sometimes the questions that are asked take the form of “So and so says Durandal isn’t as good as Framework X because of Y. Is this true?” Frequently the people making the original statements aren’t basing them on correct information. Other times, they ignore the imperfections in their “framework of choice.” Below is a list I was asked to address recently for a customer who was very happy with Durandal, but who was receiving some pressures from a 3rd party who wanted them to switch to Angular.


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Building a Dynamic Application Menu with Durandal.js, Knockout, and Bootstrap

Building a Dynamic Application Menu with Durandal.js, Knockout, and Bootstrap | Development on Various Platforms | Scoop.it

I’m going to do a longer series here about how to create a dynamic menu bar system with Durandal, Knockout, and Twitter Bootstrap.  This menu bar is going to emulate the traditional desktop application menu bar you find in apps (like the File, Edit, or View menus, for example).  The special thing here is that it will be 100% dynamic.  This will allow interesting scenarios such as dynamically altering the application menu when the application is in a different mode or allow something like plug-ins to alter the menu structure adding new commands.


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Get Angular, Durandal, and JavaScript Templates with SideWaffle

Get Angular, Durandal, and JavaScript Templates with SideWaffle | Development on Various Platforms | Scoop.it

Hungry for some file templates to get you started in the morning? Well now you can fill up on a set of web template packs for Visual Studio 2012 and 2013. SideWaffle is an open source project that creates a Visual Studio extension containing a set of file templates you can use for web projects.
SideWaffle currently has several templates including 10 I contributed for Angular, Durandal, and creating a JavaScript IIFE. One of the best parts is that SideWaffle will be frequently updated with new and useful templates (they do check for high quality templates). I expect that in the near term we’ll see a lot of additions.
* Angular Controller (using Controller As syntax)
* Angular Controller (using $scope)
* Angular Directive (creates a skeleton for a directive)
* Angular Factory (great for data, logging, and other services)
* Angular Module (sets up a module)
* Durandal ViewModel
* Durandal Service
* Durandal main.js (common creation syntax for kicking off Durandal)
* JavaScript IIFE (Basic IIFE using vanilla.js)
I use the Angular templates in my upcoming course at Pluralsight on using Angular and Breeze to build a powerful SPA.


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Compare Durandal to Angular, Not Knockout to Angular

Compare Durandal to Angular, Not Knockout to Angular | Development on Various Platforms | Scoop.it

Odds are you have been asked recently: “How does KnockoutJS compare to AngularJS?” There seems to be a lot of attempts to compare these two awesome libraries. We can certainly compare them, but will this really get you where you want to go?

If you hear this question, ask “why” the person is asking it. If s/he wants a JavaScript/HTML based presentation framework then suggest that you compare Durandal to Angular. Why? Because Knockout is at heart a data-binding library, while Angular and Durandal are presentation frameworks. This is a hugely important concept to grasp, so let’s break down what’s at the heart of these questions and how Knockout, Durandal and Angular approach them. But let’s be clear: Knockout rocks. Durandal rocks. Angular rocks.


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