When comparing Backbone vs Ractive, the Slant community recommends Backbone for most people. In the question“What are the best React.js alternatives?” Backbone is ranked 12th while Ractive is ranked 20th. The most important reason people chose Backbone is:
A lightweight view class is provided but there is no default templating method implemented. Because views are minimal it allows for much more freedom to implement views however you would like, and because of this freedom it's possible to write views to more uniquely adapt to a problem. User interactions are done within an events object that allows these interactions to be segregated from the rest of the view code which makes the behavioral aspect of the view easier to read and manage.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Gives you the freedom to implement views however you want
A lightweight view class is provided but there is no default templating method implemented. Because views are minimal it allows for much more freedom to implement views however you would like, and because of this freedom it's possible to write views to more uniquely adapt to a problem.
User interactions are done within an events object that allows these interactions to be segregated from the rest of the view code which makes the behavioral aspect of the view easier to read and manage.
Pro Can be combined with any library you want
Pro Large community
Backbone has existed longer than most frameworks, and has a large following of users and projects using it as a framework.
Pro You can call underscore.js methods directly on Backbone objects
Backbone collections and models are extended by underscore.js method allowing you to call underscore methods directly on the Backbone objects.
Pro Easy to interface with the API
Backbone provides Model and Collection classes that provide strong analogs to restful resources. These strong analogs allow you to interface more naturally with the API, and makes it easier to write custom behaviors for more complicated API interactions.
Collections provide a variety of powerful manipulation methods that are integrated from the underscore library, that allow you to manipulate, sort, and filter collection data easily.
Pro Easy to implement complex user interaction
Because all the state is managed by Models and Controllers, and they are extendable objects, you can isolate all the state logic onto those objects allowing the rest of the application to not worry about it. The app is simplified to just taking in input to modify the Models and Controllers, and updating the views to reflect them, but none of the state needs to be a concern outside of the Model and Controller classes.
Pro Doesn’t force you into a particular coding style or paradigm
There is no “magic” happening below the surface: the source code is clear, readable and well commented. Backbone is also “lightweight” in the sense that it doesn’t require a ton of buy-in to use. It can be easily integrated into an existing page, and you can choose to only use certain components of the library (Views without Models or Collections, for example). While there are many frameworks that seem to be faster to get started with, Backbone’s lack of surprises, clear documentation, speed & flexibility make it a good fit for all types of apps.
Pro Extendable with plugins
Because Backbone is so simple, and the different components are very well isolated, it is very easy to extend the functionality of Backbone. If you're writing your own extended code it's easy to keep it separated out, and share with the community.
The community also has many plugins already available, which you can pick and choose to use to fit your programming style.
Pro Easy to abstract interaction
All Backbone classes extend an events class that allows for listening and triggering functionality. Because all classes implement events by default it is easier to provide asynchronous communication between objects, and it allows better abstraction of interaction so the event emitting object does not need to know the structure or existence of the receiving object.
Pro Live, reactive templating
Ractive.js is a template-driven UI library, but unlike other tools that generate inert HTML, it transforms your templates into blueprints for apps that are interactive by default.
Pro Powerful and extensible
Two-way binding, animations, SVG support and more are provided out-of-the-box – but you can add whatever functionality you need by downloading and creating plugins.
Pro Supports a true templating language
Pro Virtual DOM
Instead of relying on the DOM, Ractive implements a virtual DOM from scratch, allowing it to calculate precisely what needs to be patched during the next screen refresh. This is orders of magnitude faster than fiddling with the DOM itself.
Con Requires more coding compared to other frameworks
Because many features are not provided out of the box, you either have to write more base class code to get those features, or find a plugin that provides them in a way you like.
It does not provide much structure either, things like memory management must be kept in mind by the developer, also the lack of view lifecycle management makes state changes prone to memory leaks.
Con Can easily lead you to spaghetti code
Heavy event-binding can lead to unmanageable spaghetti mess. BB tempts users to overuse it for no reason.
Con No data binding
Backbone does not have data binding support. However, there are some libraries that can be implemented in order to have data binding in Backbone. Such as Epoxy
Con Ractive's two way binding can be a source of bugs
Two-way data-binding means that a HTML element in the view and an Ractive model are binded, and when one of them is changed so is the other. One-way data-binding for example does not change the model when the HTML element is changed.
This is a rather controversial subject and many developers consider two-way data binding an anti-pattern and something that is useless in complex applications because it's very easy to create complex situations by using it and being unable to debug them easily or understand what's happening by just looking at the code.