Angular vs Ember vs Backbone: 4 Factors to Consider For Choosing The Best Framework

If you’ve been using JavaScript and want to do more but with less code, then choosing a suitable JS framework is the right choice for you. In fact, selecting the right framework will give you the ability to deliver your project on time. However, it’s important to choose a proven framework that you can use for your project development. Though there are several frameworks to choose from, however, considering how quickly the web is evolving and new technologies are being developed – you must adopt the new ones as old methodologies become inapt.

In essence, it becomes important for you to select advanced frameworks such as Angular.js, Ember.js and Backbone.js. The web is filled with plenty of resources that will help you understand which one of these frameworks best suit your needs. But, let’s face it. they’re hardly incomprehensible. So, to make the task of selecting the right framework easy for you, I’ll be covering 4 most basic yet important key points that will help you make an informed decision.



1. Level of Community Support

Regardless of how complex your queries may be, you’ll most likely find volunteers in the community surrounding the JavaScript frameworks ready to help you out. And thus, the strength of the community becomes a major factor that you should consider when opting for a framework. The more large the community will be, the more your questions will be answered. Also, you can expect to get more resources you can refer to meet your development needs.

A recent online research proved that Angular has more contributors – that helps provide support for projects – compared to Ember and Backbone. While Ember is the second best JavaScript framework containing good contributor participation. Not to mention, Backbone is the last choice you should make if you’ve been searching for a JS framework on the basis of community.




2. The Learning Curve

The first and most obvious factor that you need to consider when choosing a JS framework is: which one can help you quickly jumpstart the process of creating a web application in a relatively easy manner.

When it comes to building an app using Angular.js, you can easily initiate the process with the help of two-way binding. And, you don’t have to learn much. So, at first glance you’ll perhaps find Angular.js pretty easy to learn, however, as your needs to develop an application grows, you’ll find that this framework has a steep learning curve. That’s because, using Angular.js requires learning a lot of concepts, including dependency injection, modules and more.

Ember.js is having an easy learning curve when compared to Angular.js.

But, the winner in this case is Backbone.js, as it is a lot easier to understand compared to other two frameworks. Although, this framework will seem difficult to grasp in the beginning, but once you’ve nailed it, you only need to stay updated about some of its best practices and you’re good to go.


3. Flexibility

You can find a dozen of amazingly useful plugins and libraries available online that helps us perform specialized things. They help get the things done in a more efficient way possible than what frameworks can do alone. And thus, it is important that the MVC framework you’re about to choose can easily integrate with any third-party plugins and libraries. Put it simply, you need to make sure that the framework you’re choosing is flexible enough to integrate with necessary tools.

In terms of flexibility, Backbone is a clear winner. It avoids rigid guidelines and frees developers, allowing them to make their own development decisions.

Even though, Ember.js and Angular.js also proves flexible to a certain extent, but you’ll probably have to fight against these frameworks as they might do certain things that you won’t like.


4. Size of the Framework

Website page load time plays a vital role in making the website successful. Today we have to deal with not-so-patient users, who expect to acquire information as quickly as possible. So, deciding which MVC framework helps a page to load faster depends on two things:

  • framework size;
  • and how quickly it bootstraps.

Despite the fact, Backbone is smaller it might make a page to load slowly compared to Angular.js. This is because Backbone requires at least Underscore and Zepto to work. On the other hand, Angular doesn’t need any extra libraries.

Ember.js also requires jQuery and Handlebars to work. Since Angular.js doesn’t require any additional libraries to work, it makes the web page load more quickly in comparison to other two frameworks.


Final Thoughts

There’s no denying that each of three JavaScript frameworks that we have discussed in the post are quite useful, and comes with their own set of pros and cons. And so, suggesting which one is a better choice than another won’t be sensible, as all these frameworks work with a single objective to boost the application development faster. This is why choosing the right framework largely depends on your needs – what you’re trying to create – or what are your preferences are as a developer.

  • March 15, 2015
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