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Join Durandal. Build the Next Web.

Durandal is a lightweight JavaScript framework designed to make building Single Page Applications (SPAs) simple and elegant. It has strong support for MVC, MVP and MVVM so that no matter what type of front end architecture you prefer, Durandal can handle the task. With RequireJS as its base and a thin layer of conventions, Durandal can provide amazing productivity while helping you to maintain SOLID coding practices. Pair that with out-of-the-box support for rich UI composition, modal dialogs, messaging, widgets, transitions, routing and more....and there's no doubt you'll be able to build whatever apps you can imagine.

While Durandal has only been publicly available for about a year now, the community has grown at a breakneck pace. As a result, we’ve launched a Kickstarter to help us accomplish some amazing things in 2014. I’d like to take a few minutes to share our planned initiatives and invite you to join us in shaping the future of the web. Our goals break down into four categories: releases, tooling, training and the next generation.

Releases

Durandal had 16 releases in 2013. That’s 2 major releases, 2 minor releases, 4 patches and 8 pre-releases. It was a ton of work, but it was worth it and we were able to maintain a rigorous adherence to semantic versioning principles along the way as well as provide upgrade guides to our developers. But we aren’t satisfied with that. 2014 has to be better. We want to be able to address bugs faster and get release packages out sooner. We want to be able to rev the framework in a non-breaking way so that we can better meet the increasing demands of our customers as they explore ever challenging landscapes. We want to have richer, task-based documentation that helps developers fall into “the pit of success”. All this requires enormous time and effort. We are up to the task but we need your support.

Tooling

Traditional web development tooling has come a long way over the years. But Single Page Apps are so new that the tooling tends to be fairly primitive or non-existent. Durandal has a good start in this area due its collection of starter kits geared to various build platforms. But, we consider that a bare minimum and it falls far short of our vision. In 2014 we want to take things a little further by putting some more essential pieces in place. First, we want to improve our own build tool, Weyland, by fixing some bugs and opening up new scenarios. Second, we want to add better support for Grunt, a very popular JavaScript build tool. Finally, we want to create a dev-time tool that monitors your views and modules for changes while you work. When a view changes, it will update the html "in place" inside your app without needing to restart it or refresh the browser. If your code changes, it will automatically refresh the browser for you. We know this will change the way many build apps. There will be no more “design-time”. The running app will be the design surface. We’ve wanted to build this for a long time now. We know how to do it, but we need your support in order to carve out the time to make it happen.

Training

The web is changing. In much the way that AJAX transformed the way web apps were written in the last decade, SPA frameworks are changing things today. It’s an exciting time with amazing possibilities, but many developers are left having to “figure it out” by themselves. There are precious few resources on building these apps, and among the resources that do exist, many are poor or incomplete. The Durandal project aims to change that. We want to produce three full series in 2014. Each series will take you through building a different SPA from end-to-end. No stone will be left unturned. From data-binding, validation and dirty tracking to routing, history, pub/sub and UI architecture patterns, these courses will not only give you knowledge but walk you through real scenarios and empower you to create awesome applications for the future. We’re confident that this will be some of the best JavaScript learning materials on the web. Want to see one of the apps we’ll teach you how to build? Check this out. We want you to have it. Will you join us?

NextGen

Durandal is opening up amazing new opportunities for developers today. We’re working hard on our current versions and that’s a big part of our plans for 2014. But we’re also thinking about the future. Right now groups like ECMA and W3C are planning a host of new technologies for the browser; everything from new JavaScript language features to improvements in the networking stack to enhancements and extensions of the DOM. It could make the browser into an awesome development platform...or it could destroy it. How do we know we can use what they are designing? How do we know they won’t favor a certain company’s framework or “way”? How do we know that they’ll even enable good web development practices that have emerged over the years? I’d hate to be stuck with bad or practically useless technology when amazing opportunities exist. Durandal can help with this. In 2014 we want to build an alternate implementation of Durandal on top of emerging browser technologies. We want to put these specs to the test and provide the standards groups will real case studies. As it turns out, the ECMA and W3C groups really want this. They’ve been asking for it because they don’t want to mess up. They want to help web developers get what they really need. As a result the Durandal project has had some great interactions with these groups and has already been able to affect changes and improvements in some specs. But, we need time to really dig in and re-imagine the framework in terms of things like Web Components, Object.observe and ES6. With your help we can build an awesome NextGen app framework and provide the needed feedback that the standards bodies desire. Check out this video that demonstrates our progress to date.

Taking Action

The Durandal project has helped thousands of developers build awesome apps. As you can see, we’ve got big plans. But, we need your help. We hope you’ll take some time to look at our Kickstarter. There’s some cool rewards available and some great opportunities for individuals, consultants and large organizations. It’s a great way to support open source, help build the web and walk away with some excellent perks. What do you say? Will you help us make history?


Posted 12-18-2013 3:17 PM by Rob Eisenberg

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