Can you share a little information about yourself, for those that may not be familiar with your work?
What made you decide to port Eloquent to node?
As it’s a relatively new technology, the database abstraction scene seemed a little immature. A few ORM libraries existed and had gained a bit of popularity, but for one reason or another each was missing something important. None of them seemed to keep a good separation between the query layer and the model layer, or didn’t support transactions (which are pretty important and difficult to tack on last minute when everything is asynchronous), or didn’t support various relation types. Each good efforts, but really a bit disappointing when coming from more mature frameworks / languages.
So while building some projects in Laravel, and using Backbone’s models and collections client side, I thought – wouldn’t it be great if there were a package for Node that offered the convenience of Backbone’s models / collections, but with the power of Eloquent and the Laravel query builder? I guess one day I just decided that it would be a good idea to
start seeing if it’d be do-able. Knex, the query builder was initially an almost 1-to-1 port from the Laravel Query Builder, though the code has changed quite a bit since then. Bookshelf is actually a hybrid of some ideas from Eloquent, but actually takes more influence and patterns from Backbone.js’ Model and Collection foundations.
My major goal with these libraries is to try to dispel this myth that if you’re going to use Node, you need to do so with Mongo, or some other NoSQL variant. Relational databases are tried and true technology, based on relational algebra, and they’re really not going anywhere. I think making them “cool again” in Node by providing strong, well written libraries, and building upon the foundations of other languages and frameworks will really fill a big need in the Node ecosystem.
Every time I step away from Coffee for a bit and come back, I’m amazed at how much quicker I feel I write. I’ve definitely heard the opposite though, so I guess it really depends on what you like.
As a Backbone contributor and user to you ever use extensions like Marionette, Chaplin, or Thorax?
I haven’t personally ever used extensions like Marionette, Chaplin or Thorax, mostly because I haven’t found the need, but that’s not to say that they’re not a good choice. In fact, if you are beginning with Backbone, I’d almost recommend starting with something that provides a few opinions, particularly if you don’t have any. Backbone’s main feature is its simplicity, which also ends up being its curse. It leaves a lot of room for shooting yourself in the foot, which I have probably done myself on more than one occasion.
Do you ever see Backbone growing to more than the simple library it is now?
What is your preferred editor? Sublime, VIM, etc.
I go with Sublime, mostly because I’ve only been programming for a few years, I haven’t really taken the time to learn anything too fancy. Maybe one day.
Anything else you would like to say…
I’m really impressed at what a great community come together around Laravel, I’m looking forward to heading to the conference again this year and meeting some new friends!