The speakers in the SPA sessions gave an interesting amount of attention to a framework called Durandal, an AngularJS competitor built on top of Knockout and RequireJS. I was surprised to see Durandal and Angular getting equal billing from all the speakers, since I had never even heard of Durandal before.
Later it occurred to me, I’ve also never hung out with several hundred Microsoft developers before! I checked out the “Testimonials” section of the Durandal website, and noticed a pattern:
Durandal is the missing piece in my Knockout SPA toolkit. It handles the infrastructure and lets me focus on delivering functionality. Powerful, yet lightweight, pluggable and built on proven patterns from WPF/Silverlight development.
Hans Fjällemark, Freelancing HTML5 consultant – Tellurian Interactive
Ward Bell, V.P. of Technology – IdeaBlade
Rob set high standards with Caliburn.Micro… When we develop WPF/Silverlight applications using it, we get better code organization, flexibility and, ultimately, higher code quality and team productivity. He’s done it again with Durandal – which brings all of the same qualities to the world of HTML5 applications. Amazing work!
Srdjan Strbanovic, CTO – Cignium Technologies
It turns out that the founder of the Durandal project, Rob Eisenberg, is also director of a popular Windows GUI framework called Calliburn.Micro. Both projects feature mythical sword motifs, as well as a few paradigms apparently borrowed from Silverlight development.
I should stress that although I’m not a Microsoft guy myself, I DON’T mean to imply anything negative about Durandal by association. From what little I saw at yesterday’s symposium, it looks like a capable competitor to Angular with some really good ideas.
Durandal seems popular among Microsoft developers, because it originated from that community. In addition to Rob Eisenberg himself, Durandal’s underlying Knockout library was created by Steve Sanderson, a .NET author and Microsoft employee. These frameworks no doubt feel more familiar to developers coming from a similar background.