From developing dynamic user interfaces to powering some of the most popular websites on the Internet, Knockout.js’ footprint is growing by the day. But what are the unique features and use cases that help this framework stand out from the pack? What coding fundamentals would you need to learn to work with Knockout.js for your next project? This guide will cover the basic structure of the framework, as well as some of the best reasons to consider choosing Knockout.js for your development and programming needs.
What is the structure of Knockout.js?
MVVM Framework Features
Knockout.js offers the MVVM or “Model–View–View Model” application design architecture. The acronym represents the different elements that constitute the structure of the framework, specifically:
- Model – A Model represents data or information, storing the information but not the additional behaviors or services that manipulate the information. It is done with assistance from the View and View Model, as they both are interconnected through a two-way data binding mechanism.
- View – A View is the actual representation or construction of the data for the end user. A view is an HTML template which includes Knockout bindings. The view incorporates data-bind attributes to display and edit data, while also containing HTML elements like buttons, images, grids, links and more.
MVVM frameworks are specifically optimized for creating dynamic user interfaces, simplifying app and web development by achieving separation of concerns. For example, frameworks like this separate GUI (graphical user interface) rendering logic from application logic.
However, Knockout.js allows embedding data binding expressions in your HTML, as well as associating DOM elements with model data using a simple syntax. Additionally, Knockout.js is a data-binding library and allows developers to create custom bindings inside data-bind and declarative binding to connect parts of a project’s user interface to the required data model.
The ability to incorporate custom behaviors as new declarative bindings for easy reuse in just a few lines of code can save developers tons of time and effort and avoid the formerly frustrating process that this would have required.
Additionally, Knockout.js also incorporates a two-way data binding mechanism between the UI and data model, which means that any edits or changes added to the data model are automatically displayed in the UI, and vice versa. UI elements of an HTML page reflect changes done to the Data Model by updating DOM automatically.
Because Knockout.js automatically tracks dependencies and dynamically updates the appropriate parts of the user interface, the framework offers a remarkably simple way to manage complex, data-driven interfaces without needing to rely on or write event handlers and listeners for dependency tracking.
While open sourcing has been rapidly becoming a norm among modern programming tools and frameworks, Knockout.js also includes all of the benefits that open-sourcing entails. Namely, as the community of developers using Knockout.js continues to grow, the growing library of online tutorials, app examples, FAQs and answers, and documentation available on the Knockout.js website continues to grow as well. In addition, popular developer website hubs like Stack Overflow and Github also feature thriving communities and resource hubs for developers getting their feet wet with the Knockout.js framework.
So how can I learn to use Knockout.js?
- Practice exercises to ensure you have mastered the concepts and can apply them in real world scenarios
- An ever-growing code playground, where you can actually play around with live code and apply the lessons from different tutorials to see how a program is actually created.
- A thriving learner community that offers a variety of opportunities for collaboration, getting questions answered, and even challenging fellow learners to coding competitions.
- A unique learner profile, where you can track learning achievements and progress toward milestones to help keep yourself motivated while you learn!