how stable is AirBnB node.js rendr?

Problem

I wanted to know if anyone has been using AirBnB Rendr and is it stable and ok to use in commercial projects or is it still changing a lot?

I'm developing a website which can run both client and server based, this mean I need to be able to render pages and widgets server and client based.

The server is running Node.js, dust.js and has custom server based code to render the pages and widgets on the server side. I need to pick how to handle it on the client side. Naturally I want to try and not repeat code, but obviously the client is different I can:

  1. Keep my current page based server rendering and develop custom client side code.
  2. Use backbone.js on client side and keep my server based code the same.
  3. Use AirBnB rendr that is based on Node.js and backbone to use the same code on client and o server. AirBnB Rendr Library

I like the 3rd idea very much, but I'm looking for some input from you guys. Has anyone used it? any experience with it in terms of stability and/or how often their api changes etc?

Problem courtesy of: Dory Zidon

Solution

I've just started playing around with Rendr. If I ignore the learning curve and oboarding friction, I like it a lot and I plan to write my next large production app using Rendr.

Unfortunately, as bababa listed above, the documentation needs a lot of work. There is an explanation of how Rendr works in its README and the example app's README but beyond that you'll need to source dive in order to figure out how the gears are turning. Currently, there is no forum for questions (other than stack overflow :D) and I've had a hard time figuring out its idioms on my own.

Despite all the struggles, I finally see the light and I'm starting to understand why Rendr is so powerful.

tl;dr - If you're willing to source dive and figure out your own workflow, I would suggest using Rendr. Otherwise, I would recommend going old school by writing a traditional client app with a more mature library. (is it too early to say that? =X)

Solution courtesy of: muffs

Discussion

I used (tried to use) and Rendr on a project and gave up. There are just to many limitations (currently) and the lack of documentation doesn't help. I ended up need to rewrite the source code to accomplish some things I would consider trivial with other frameworks, such as passing multiple collections to a view. It just wasn't possible (at the time I used it) and that was a deal breaker. Not being able to pass a collection of categories and results to a page was to much of a limitation.

I have no doubt it will eventually be ready for production use, but right now I would say unless you are an engineer at AirBnb and know how to hack the source then no, it's not ready.

If you really want to know if it will work for your needs, take a look at the issue list on github. That will give you a good idea where the projects at.

Discussion courtesy of: imns

Well given AirBnb is a successful commercial enterprise, there's some validation that the library works well enough for them. This question is probably best answered by watching their github commit log for breaking changes. Given backbone is 1.0 and essentially stable at this point, rendr will probably quickly stabilize, but honestly your fear of instability is probably unjustified. I think rendr looks compelling and although my current project is using a very similar home-grown solution, I would consider using rendr in a future project or even porting our code to rendr. "Stability" per say is much less important to the web development community compared to other situations like packaged or embedded software.

Discussion courtesy of: Peter Lyons

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