JavaScript (or JS) frameworks are becoming popular among web developers for building single-page applications, as they assist in keeping the code structured and maintainable, which eventually helps save a lot of time in the long run. Essentially, JS frameworks avoid the mess created by, spaghetti code – a derogatory phrase for source code having complex and unorganized structure.

There are many JavaScript frameworks available online, such as: Backbone, Ember, Angular JS, Knockout and many others. But, with too many options, choosing the right one becomes an overwhelming decision. Perhaps, you may try experimenting with one or two frameworks, but may still feel confused about selecting the one, you would want to master.

In this post, we’ll be comparing three of the most talked about JS frameworks: Angular, Ember and Backbone. But prior to that, let’s first have a brief overview of these frameworks.

A Quick Look At Angular, Ember and Backbone JavaScript Frameworks

Angular.js: This JavaScript framework give developers the ability to “extend the HTML vocabulary for web apps”. Also, Angular help in adding some control to the applications using data binding, controllers and plain JavaScript. Besides this, the framework allows developers to create reusable components, and so much more.

Ember.js: It is a great framework for creating highly productive web applications. It comes with Handlebars integrated templates that help in writing less code for complex apps. Almost everything needed for writing an application is built-in, including components, routing and many other things. This saves developers from reinventing the wheel.

Backbone.js: Backbone help in making the code less cluttered models, by implementing  an event-driven communication between “Models” and “Views”. This framework help developers uncover the minimal set of models and collections, as well as, UI primitives used for creating web apps using JavaScript.

A Comparison of Angular, Ember and Backbone JavaScript Frameworks

Here we’ll discuss about a few factors to understand which one of the three JS frameworks (i.e. Angular, Ember and Backbone) will best suit your project needs.

1. Community Around the Framework

You can always seek help from volunteers in the frameworks’ community regarding your queries. And so, the level of community support a JavaScript framework provides is an important factor that needs to be considered for when selecting a framework. Not to mention, the larger the community will be, the more support you can expect in the form of tutorials and other useful resources.

If you’ll look at both of the above screen shots, it is clear that Angular.js has attracted more interest and has a more active community (evaluated in terms of opened and closed issues). This doesn’t mean that the two other two frameworks, i.e. Ember and Backbone render poor community support, but Angular’s growth seems to be a lot better than those frameworks.

2. Learning Curve

Once you’ve come to know about the framework that provides a better level of community support, next it is important to determine which one can help you begin with the web application development task without much hassle. Put it simply, you’ll have to identify which one of the three frameworks has an easy learning curve.

Angular’s two-way data binding will save you from writing “boilerplate” (i.e. repetitive) code, when building a web development services application. But, as your application becomes more complex, you’ll find that Angular.js has a steep learning curve, as you will need to become familiar with lots of concepts which includes filters, modules, routing and more.

Ember.js is easy to learn in comparison to Angular.js. But unlike the Backbone framework, Ember.js fails to offer guides on getting started with web app development. In essence, it does not have a good documentation.

Compared to Angular.js and Ember.js frameworks, Backbone is relatively simple and easy to use. That’s because, you only need to grasp a few concepts like Models, Collections, etc. Plus, Backbone.js has a great documentation.

3. Optimized for Performance

Compared to Angular.js and Ember.js, Backbone.js performs much faster. The performance of both Angular.js and Backbone.js frameworks may appear to you as same when building applications with smaller pages. However, as the page grows, apps created using Angular two-way data binding might result in decreased performance.

On the other hand, since Backbone.js doesn’t perform data binding, you’ll need to write the binding on your own. Though, this will make you write a large amount of code, but it will also help you focus more on improving performance without the need to make changes to the underlying framework.

Final Words

There’s no doubt that all of three frameworks, i.e. Angular.js, Ember.js and Backbone.js, are great and a lot useful. However, the frameworks contain their own set of pros and cons, and so it is important for you to carefully review, which JavaScript framework provides a better set of advantages over the other for your project needs. Through this post, we’ve tried to cover three of the most important factors for choosing the right framework. However, make sure to select one that best fits your project specific needs.