Marionette.js A to Z
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Marionette.js A to Z

About the Bundle

Marionette.js has become a popular Backbone-based javascript library, because it helps you avoid boiler-plate code and focus on what makes your app special. But how do you get started?

Whether you want to finally get started with dynamic client-side programming (like one reader did), or are an experienced front-end dev who has inherited a Backbone application you need to maintain/refactor, you'll find what you're looking for with these books. The books assume no javascript knowledge: if you've ever used jQuery, you know more than enough!

Each book has a related code repository so you can check your progress, or jump to any chapter you fancy to work with the code.

Naturally, I'm pretty biased as the author, given the time I've spent on making these books the best learning resources on Marionette.js. But don't take my word for it, check out the reader reviews:

  • Backbone.Marionette.js: A Gentle Introduction feedback
  • Structuring Backbone Code with RequireJS and Marionette Modules feedback
  • Backbone.Marionette.js: A Serious Progression feedback

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About the Books

Backbone.Marionette.js: A Gentle Introduction

Build a Marionette.js app, one step at a time
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If you're interested in getting the latest and greatest in Marionette, help by making a book on v3 a reality here.

I might be writing a new book covering v3. I don't know whether there will be enough interest to warrant it, or when it will be ready, so you'll probably still want to pick this one up: current readers will get a major discount on the new book when it ships.

The book is up to date for Marionette 2.3. In addition, you also receive the book covering Marionette 1.7.4.

Given the popularity of the short tutorials on Marionette.js I've published on my blog, I've decided to write a book on Marionette.js. The style is the same as in my tutorials: explaining concepts step by step, so you fully understand what is going on, and why we're doing it. This book has great feedback, including Marionette.js' creator (Derick Bailey):

Seriously, why haven’t you bought [this book] yet?

— Backbone.Marionette (@marionettejs)May 29, 2013

And from Derick's foreword:

This is the book that I wanted to write, but never had time to write. It is a complete and thorough introduction to building scalable applications with Marionette.js. Better still, it advocates and demonstrates the same patterns and principles that I use in my own applications. You owe it to yourself to work through all of the exercises in this book, even if you are a seasoned Backbone and Marionette developer. David has done a wonderful job of breaking down the architecture of large Marionette applications, lighting the path for each step of the journey.

I've worked really hard to make this a great resource for learning Marionette the "right" way, even for total beginners: you'll gradually discover Marionette components, along with when/why to use them, and how to structure/refactor your code so it stays manageable even for large applications. After you've made it through the book, you'll be comfortable writing a Marionette application on your own.

Exercises covering the basic concepts are included (with solutions), so you can check for yourself if you've properly understood the functionality that was covered in a given chapter.

Grab your own copy today!

What You'll Learn

How to build this application step by step, including:

  • Structuring your large apps with modules to manage complexity
  • Using regions and layouts to segment your displays and make them manageable
  • Managing forms, along with error display
  • Handling data latency and displaying loading views
  • Filtering collections and updating views, matching URL fragments to filtering criteria
  • Extending the Marionette framework to clean up your code and make your life easier
  • Using mixins to add common functionality to objects
  • Defining your own view classes to extend from, sharing common behavior
  • Implementing Backbone routing properly
  • Swapping sub-applications
  • Managing menu entries with non-persisted models

And much more! All of this will be covered step by step so you fully understand how and why code is being added, removed, or refactored.

Who This Book is For

This book is for web developers who want to learn how to be able to build highly interactive javascript applications. It will cover using Backbone.Marionette.js to achieve that goal, and will empower you to build your own applications by understanding how Marionette apps are built.


All you'll need to follow along is a basic understanding of javascript and the DOM (Document Object Model), such as being able to manipulate elements on the page using a jQuery selector. In other words, if you've used a few jQuery libraries here and there, you should be able to follow along just fine. You can also take a look at the book sample to see if the instructional style works for you, or check out this review from a back end developer.

Advanced readers

You already have a few Backbone apps under your belt, and want to efficiently learn how Marionette will make you more productive when building Backbone apps. In addition, it's written in an easy-to-follow style (with code listings, screenshots, etc.) so you won't need to be next to a computer if you're familiar with building plain Backbone apps. This book is also a great choice if you're comparing javascript frameworks for a new project: you can just read along to understand how a Marionette application is developed, and decide if the framework fits your needs.

What Readers Are Saying

I've included some sample reader feedback below, but if you need more convincing take a look at the feedback page.

[...] Back in my commercial programming days, I went on lots of courses and they always asked you at the end whether the course would help you in your day to day work. Largely they were of some help but with David’s book I can wholeheartedly say it was an immense help. Pitched at the perfect level it took a grisly middleware digital plumber out of his binary cave and into the vast open plains of the client landscape. I thoroughly enjoyed it! -- Alistair Young

This book has been invaluable in helping me ramp up my knowledge of developing modern single-page applications. I wish I had found it a few months ago, instead of wasting so much time with short-and-simplistic tutorials that don't help much when you are trying to build a larger application. -- leonardocsouza

Best tutorial book I've ever read on *any* programming subject, never mind one as complicated as this. Thanks for an amazing book. -- Mike Brady

Really great introduction, and nice overview of what is possible architecturally when using backbone. The way David gradually builds up his app is great, and helps drive home conceptually what is going on well. Well worth buying if you are thinking about using Backbone! -- alpower

This was an awesome book for getting started with Marionette. [...] The best part about this book is that it walks you through the concepts starting from small bite size chunks.. slowly refactoring to an elegant system. David, I hope you continue to write books on this subject, you have an awesome style! I give this book 10/10. -- Kirk Quesnelle

Just the right balance of telling you the answers and encouraging you to think for yourself. [...] After an afternoon with this book, I an confident that I will be able to build a solid, maintainable single page application. -- Bastidias

Derick Bailey and Jeremy Ashkenas are giants, and David Sulc is the escalator to their shoulders. I have read both of David's Marionette books at least 3 times. If you have wandered down the the JS rabbit hole this far and found Marionette, this is the tour guide you need to get it right. -- Chet Harrison

Made me realise what I was doing wrong and the proper way to do things. -- marconijr

I'm very glad I bought this book, I only wish I'd bought it sooner - it would have saved me weeks. David does a great job explaining how to use Marionette, and also why you should use it in one way or another. [...] I find that this is a book I keep coming back to for clean ways to architect my own code. The end result for me? I have taken a hideous, inflexible and inefficient survey application and made it pretty and easy and fast. Happy times. -- Christo Fogelberg

New to Backbone and far from a JS expert. This book was great for someone like me - not overwhelming and really helpful to conceptualize the framework. -- keeper2597

I had no experience in web development and had to develop a fairly complex complex single page app. [...] This book has helped me to develop a well-structured, easy to maintain and extendable app in no time. I can't wait to read your more advanced book on Marionette. I'd recommend this book to anyone interested in single page apps development. -- Alberto M Valdunciel

Really great introduction, David. I'm an experience Backbone developer (a couple large apps under my belt), but I was having trouble seeing how all the Marionette pieces fit together. Your introduction connected the dots in a very intuitive way. -- Scott Riding

Great book. Ordered it because we started building a complex frontend application with Backbone Marionette but didnt have proper understanding of it. Now everything is clear, we are having insane speed developing the application. Planning to write a blog post about how to learn Backbone Marionette, I'm 100% sure that this book will be mentioned among the first ones. -- Blacksonic

David's writing style makes it seem like you have a super-calm coach in the room with you. Highly recommended. -- Adrian Goins

Structuring Backbone Code with RequireJS and Marionette Modules

Learn to use javascript AMD in your apps the easy way
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The book is up to date for Marionette 2.3. In addition, you also receive the book covering Marionette 1.7.4.

Due to popular demand from my well-received previous book on Marionette (Backbone.Marionette.js: A Gentle Introduction), I've taken the Contact Manager application developed in that book and rebuilt it using RequireJS to load dependencies. It has great feedback so far, and I hope you'll like it, too!

Who This Book is For

Essentially, this book is written as a sequel of sorts to my first book. If you want to learn about using RequireJS and AMD (Asynchronous Module Definition) to use in your own applications, you should be fine following along provided you're comfortable with Marionette and its modules, as well as the Contact Manager application (see its source code). In other words, this book does not cover how to develop a Marionette application, only how to use RequireJS to manage dependencies and optimization/minification. If you want to learn how to create a Marionette application, refer to my Backbone.Marionette.js: A Gentle Introduction book.

What You'll Learn

Rebuilding the existing Contact Manager application, but using RequireJS to load all dependencies (other modules, libraries, templates, etc.). Common errors and their likely cause will be discussed, so you can debug your own projects more easily. Running the r.js optimizer to generate a single, minified js file will be demonstrated. In addition, you will actually understand and learn how to "think AMD" and how to apply that mindset to your own projects.

Starting/stopping sub-applications to improve performance will be demonstrated, as well as loading libraries from a CDN, with a local fallback.

Although this book is focused on using RequireJS with Backbone and Marionette, once you're done with it you should be able to use RequireJS in other projects. This is because the book emphasizes the logic behind the implementation, and once you've understood how to use shims and load dependencies, applying this knowledge to your own projects should be straightforward.

How This Book is Structured

This book's goal is to make you independent and productive using RequireJS. As such, only the first chapter is written as a step-by-step guide. Subsequent chapters will be structured as exercises (with step-by-step solutions): each chapter will introduce the objective (e.g. implementing a new module), will point out various things to keep in mind (required libraries, dependencies, etc.), and will explain new concepts you'll need to use in the chapter.

After that, you're on your own: you will implement the new module by yourself. Of course, if at any time you get stuck, you can continue reading the chapter and you will see the step-by-step implementation explaining how the new module is implemented.

What Readers Are Saying

I've included some sample reader feedback below, but if you need more convincing take a look at the feedback page.

This book builds nicely on David's "Gentle Introduction". In my case I had used RequireJS and then needed to retrofit Marionette modules to my code, so the flow described in the book itself wasn't directly useful to me, however seeing how David had married the two was very useful. The initial material on best practice require.js configuration and the broader discussion on Marionette modules versus Require JS modules were also good. As I continue to work on my code I find myself flicking back through the book regularly to see how he has approached similar problems. -- Christo Fogelberg

I have read both of Sulc's books 3 times. I've spent the last 3 years in Objective-c land, so diving back in to JS has required a little brush up. He has provided me with a fantastic foundation. If you have wandered down the JS rabbit hole and found Marionette and company you are definitely in the deep end. But come on in the water is fine. I haven't had this much fun writing code in my life. Well done David! -- Chet Harrison

Structuring Backbone Code with RequireJS and Marionette Modules was a natural progression after reading David's first book on Marionette and very worthwhile. Being already comfortable with RequireJS I was more interested in how Marionette modules were tied in and these were explained really well. He explains the concepts clearly and makes weaving these two libraries together quite easy. -- Mark Coleman

This is another great book of yours that helped me a lot to get my head around Backbone + Marionette + RequireJS. And it came at a vary good time - just when I got into trouble while adding RequireJS to my Marionette project. -- Mickey Vashchinsky

Backbone.Marionette.js: A Serious Progression

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The book is up to date for Marionette 2.3. In addition, you also receive the book covering Marionette 1.7.4.

Now that you've read the Gentle Introduction book and have a good grasp on Marionette fundamentals, take the next step in your journey: learn to develop advanced functionality with the framework!

This book takes up where the Marionette introduction book left off. It will use an actual API back-end developed for this book, that will be easily adaptable to your framework. Dowload the sample to see how the ContactManager application is configured to connect to the remote API.

If you'd rather use your own API, each chatper details the relevant specifications your API must conform to.

Written in the same easy to follow style as its predecessor, you should have no trouble following along as you enhance the ContactManager application. Here are some of the topics we'll cover:

  • using Marionette's new Behavior functionality
  • using remote APIs
    • dealing with legacy APIs
    • converting data received from the API using parse
    • massaging data with toJSON before sending it to the API
  • handling server-side responses
    • properly reacting to server-side error codes (e.g. 404 Not Found)
    • processing server-side validation errors
    • usign deferreds or success/error callbacks
  • handling validation with Backbone.Validator
    • model-only validation
    • form & model validation (error display)
  • pagination using Backbone.Paginator
    • explore pagination through client- and server-side pagination
    • developing a general-purpose view to display paginated data (with automatic pagination controls maangement)
    • managing the pagination controls
    • managing the URL and routes
  • data relationships
    • manage nested collections "by hand"
    • using Backbone.associations to handle associations
  • i18n
    • using polyglot
  • authentication
    • strategies to consider
    • handling session timeouts
    • handling authorization
  • wrapping third-party APIs: see how we wrap GitHub's API so we can interact with Git repositories using only Backbone models and collections
    • implementing a custom Backbone.sync function from start to end
  • refreshing client-side data: how to manage cases where the data on the server has changed before a user sends data updates
  • improving memory management
    • defining methods on prototypes
    • using listenTo
    • starting/stopping sub-applications

Previous Praise

This book doesn't really have reviews yet, so I'll do the next best thing to convince you to pick up a copy: quote readers from my previous books.

Best tutorial book I've ever read on *any* programming subject, never mind one as complicated as this. Thanks for an amazing book. -- Mike Brady

I think it was worth the money, as I was really struggling to get a grip on Marionette's philosophy [...]. This book cleared things up nicely and I applaud David for keeping things simple. -- karl

I am very pleased with this book and will have all my front end guys read it before starting to hack on our app. It's a must read if you're building a complex app with Backbone and Marionette. -- John Paul Narowski

Super happy with the way this book is written and I feel that I've made leaps into understanding [...] Marionette. I really recommend everyone to read this book. -- Jo-Pierre Lerm

This was a great supplement to take my app development several notches up. -- Mark Coleman

I wish many books were written in a similar style. I would highly recommend this book. -- Mohideen Noordeen

I just want to say that both your books have been tremendously useful. I had little to no knowledge of requirejs or marionette and your books got me up to speed in just a few days.Can't wait for your upcoming 'advanced' book. -- Ronny

This book is a gem. I would not hesitate recommend this book to anyone who wants to dive deep into Backbone.js and Marionette. -- Branden

I never finished a book so fast! -- Chris Ballenger

I'm only 1/2 way through the book right now, but... wow. Very well written and concise. I like the approach of refactoring the app as you work. -- Bastidias

Every javascript developer should have a copy of this book. It allows you to write structured and documented javascript code. After reading this book my chances of sticking with javascript has increased -- Lukman Adekunle

This book was fantastic in teaching me a solid approach. -- Adam

David's writing style makes it seem like you have a super-calm coach in the room with you. Highly recommended. -- Adrian Goins

The time i invested was very good. The examples works fine and they are exactly what i was looking for. I encourage everybody who wants to go ahead with SPA and this framework to start with David's book. -- Christian Neißl

I really enjoyed this book. The book is well written and is easy to understand and follow along with. -- Bryan

I followed along with the example, progressively building up the application. It was a very enjoyable experience. -- Matthieu

The best book on marionettejs around! A must have to start, I suggest also other one book about requirejs & marionette! --  Gaetano Padalino

Just finished this earlier, as always great book! spent the whole night refactoring the app I'm writing. -- marconijr

As I continue to work on my code I find myself flicking back through the book regularly to see how he has approached similar problems and I am eagerly looking forward to his next book on Marionette. -- Christo Fogelberg

I haven't had this much fun writing code in my life. Well done David! -- Chet Harrison

Loved this book as well! -- Jeff Sheffield

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