The Single Page App Jumpstart
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The Single Page App Jumpstart

Understanding and Mastering JavaScript Applications

About the Book

"The Single Page App Jumpstart"...

…explains building a Single Page App by example, starting fresh with vanilla JavaScript and then, step by step adding libraries and abstractions to make the code simpler and more modular.

…uses a common example, the TodoMVC project, to make the code in the book comparable to other solutions, libraries and frameworks.

…aims to be the best and easiest to understand introduction to the subject.

The best way to learn a new subject is to start off from scratch, putting all abstractions and little helpers aside and get down to the nitty gritty. If you have come to terms with the basics, it’s the right time to find out how to make things easier, faster and more manageable.

This is exactly the approach this book follows. At the end, you will have learned a great deal about thefundamentals of javascript applications, but you will also understand the meaning of yak shaving and why using libraries and frameworks can actually save you a lot of time.


This book is not finished: I'm trying to add a new chapter at least every other week. With every new chapter, I'll raise both the minimum price and the recommended price, as to thank early supporters for their contribution. The final price is not set yet, so if you want to make sure you'll get the book at a pretty cool discount, buy it now!


I have a newsletter and a blog you might want to subscribe to. The newsletter will be published at most once a month and will contain the latest updates regarding the book and some cool tips and tricks, while the blog is updated more frequently and contains all kinds of news from JavaScript land.

Cover Penguin photo by Bruce McAdam, used by kind permission.

About the Author

Jan Krutisch
Jan Krutisch

Jan Krutisch a web developer for life, tech writer, speaker and general multi purpose geek.

Jan loves web development, likes to dabble a bit with hardware, especially music related electronics, and, apart from that, will happily apply his coding and hacking skills wherever possible.

Jan has a background in writing web frontends for almost as long as the web is commercially available (He published his first personal website in 1996) and has seen quite some number of technologies come and go.

About the Contributors

Daniel Harrington
Daniel Harrington


Daniel was one of the first readers of my book and he had some pretty good feedback on the first chapters that still continues to shape the way I write and edit the book
Jakob Fricke
Jakob Fricke


Jakob, of and Viktor & Pettl fame is one of my prime sources of inspiration regarding my self publishing adventures and has also been really helpful with feedback on the first chapters.


Please help me shaping this book. It's at a very early stage and I would love to hear your feedback. Leave a comment on this book page or send me an email (, reach me on twitter (@singlepageapp) or facebook, what ever works best for you!

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
    • Some existentialism
    • About the code samples
    • Thanks and <3
  • Let’s roll
    • A kingdom for an idea!
    • Filling in the blanks
    • Entering data
    • The DOM song
    • Almost there
    • Keeping the lid on the scope
  • Having a list
    • innerHTML inside
    • Nodes inside of nodes inside of…
    • Security is King
    • Identifying the view layer
    • Persistence is futile
    • Making it beau-tee-ful
  • Making things click
    • There’s a handler to be handled
    • Finding things
    • Migrate all the things
    • Deduplication needed
  • The famous in-place-editing
    • Using Id’s
    • Some CSS required
    • Look at all the things I’m not doing
    • Adding a trashcan
    • Oh the hackishness
  • Your mother has a UUID
    • Dat Id
    • Refactoring goodness
    • Some closing notes
  • Feature complete
    • Don’t get lost in the states
    • Stat!
    • Even more stuff!
    • Almost done here
    • Stand back, I know regular expressions
    • Wrapping it up
  • The Great Big Refactoring
    • Housekeeping
    • Naming things is hard
    • Where did you get that data?
  • Objects, Objects, Objects!
    • Prototypes
    • Encapsulation is key
    • Tackling the procedural mess
    • Each to it’s own
    • Filtering at the source
    • It’s a hack!
    • Extract and clean
    • We have a model
    • Events as glue
    • One function to bind them
    • Done for now
  • Let’s get some help
    • Taking a step back
    • Of Libraries and Frameworks
    • The functional Underscore
    • The practical Underscore
  • A minimal backbone
    • The Em to the vee to the cee
    • The Model layer
    • Viewing things differently
    • Application View
    • Not exactly the shortest
  • A tale of two bindings
    • Some upfront philosophy
    • Viewing
    • Two-way binding
  • The terror of choice
    • The ecosystem
    • Aesthetics of code
    • Structure
    • Performance
  • The missing backend
    • Now you have two problems
    • It’s not a question of technology
    • Authentication and security
    • Architectural clarity vs. efficiency
    • Self hosted vs. Services
  • Beyond the Jumpstart
    • Tooling
    • Testing
    • Bug reporting
    • Design
    • What’s the purpose?

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