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Seven Reasons to Back Durandal in 2014

When I began planning the Durandal Kickstarter campaign, I knew that raising the necessary funds wouldn’t be easy. However, I’ve been really surprised at the small number of supporters (though the few have been very generous). Since the strength of crowd funding isn’t in a small number of supporters donating massive amounts of money, but rather a large number of supporters each contributing a little….I thought things would go a bit differently. After all, this blog post will be seen by upwards of 20,000 developers in the next few days. It’s interesting to think that if each person who saw this donated $5 then the project would not only be fully funded for the entire year, but would be moving towards additional stretch goals as well.

Alas, I am no marketer. I have ideas and I write code. I build things people use to write software…a lot of people and a lot of software. I’m not sure if I’ve given good reason to back the project or not. Naturally, there are concrete rewards for backers. But, I thought I would also give you a list of seven other reasons you may not have thought about. Time is running out for our campaign. I hope you will take it to heart.

1. Support Open Source

If you’re a web developer…no… if you are any type of software developer, you’ve probably leveraged open source libraries, frameworks or tools at some point. Have you ever considered how much time and effort went into creating those? Have you ever considered how much money you or your business has saved by not having to develop all the functionality represented by the open source you used? Or how much time you saved? One of the things my company has done over the years is contribute financially to projects and individuals whose open source we’ve used on different projects. We don’t contribute to everyone all the time, but we usually pick one or two projects and send them some cash (or even something from their amazon wish list).

When you think of open source, I hope you feel a great sense of gratitude. I hope you’ll express that gratitude by regularly financially supporting projects that you leverage. Naturally, I would love for you to support Durandal (and get cool rewards too)…but if you don’t want to do that, please go find some project you can get behind and help them out with a financial contribution.

2. Advance Web Development

If the Durandal Kickstarter is backed, we’ll be brining our NextGen Preview to life. This implementation is the easiest, most powerful and flexible SPA framework to date. It also performs better than other frameworks (yes, including Google’s) and is based on more web standards than any framework. It’s a major win for the web development community. It’s certainly far ahead of it’s time, but it will never see the light of day without you.

3. Protect the Open Web

There are lots of future web technologies being worked on by ECMA and W3C; 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 useless technology when amazing opportunities exist.

Durandal has already gotten involved with these groups and affected changes in existing specs. We want to continue to engage these groups by providing the real world scenarios that only a project like ours can bring to the table. But without your support we won’t have the time and resources to adequately participate.

4. Prevent Monopoly

We’re at an exciting point in history…and a dangerous one. Google is poised to truly own the web. They’ve got the leading web browser, the leading search engine, the leading app framework and a new programming language they created which they are standardizing and trying to put into the browser.  They’ve also got one of the most popular OSes, are leading the mobile adoption world and are making strong movements in the desktop and “living room” space. Do we really want one company to dominate everything? Certainly our industry experience (ehem…Microsoft) tells us that this is really, really bad for everyone.

I hope you believe that it’s not only BIG companies that can make a difference or have good ideas. I hope you see the value in small business and the contributions of individuals to making the world a better place. If you do, you should back that up. We believe that and would love your help.

5. Learn Something New

The web is changing and the future will be filled with more and more SPA applications. Do you know how to build an app like this? In my experience this is untrod territory for almost all developers. Even those that have worked in this area find themselves lost when trying to build more complex systems.

The Durandal Kickstarter offers you an opportunity to get ahold of some awesome training materials for cheap.  If we succeed, we’re going to create three full courses. Each course 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. Check out this quick video showing the app we’ll build in the second course then head on over to our Kickstarter campaign to grab it up.

6. Get New Tools

Durandal has plans to create tooling that will fundamentally transform the way web apps are developed. Our Kickstarter is about taking the first steps in that direction. But, if we can’t take these first steps, we’ll never get to the truly transformative bits. We need your help to bring these tools to life.

7. Do Something Good

It’s a new year. What does that hold for you? I hope you’ll fill it up with good things. Might I suggest one thing in particular?

Posted 01-02-2014 10:47 AM by Rob Eisenberg


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