🔌 Two-way data binding example for Chapless Brunch with Rivets.js
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Chapless Brunch 0.10.0


Chapless Brunch is a skeleton for building web applications, specifically single-page applications. It is a modification of Brunch with Chaplin. This skeleton leverages node, Brunch, Scaffolt, Bower, Jake, and PhantomJS to provide cross-platform tasks in a simple package. LESS Hat mixins are included. EditorConfig is also provided to help with consistency. Prerender can be easily enabled/configured for search engine crawling.

For a mobile/Cordova friendly variant, check out this skeleton.

File Structure

├── app                     # App is built here. Look at Brunch for more info.
│   ├── assets              # Static files that are just copied
│   ├── controllers         # Chaplin controllers
│   ├── lib                 # Chaplin utilities and helpers
│   ├── models              # Chaplin models and collections
│   ├── views               # Chaplin views and collection views
│   ├── application.coffee  # Chaplin application definition
│   ├── application.less    # Application/page styling definition
│   ├── base.less           # LESS variables and mixins for the application
│   ├── initialize.coffee   # Chaplin views and collection views
│   └── routes.coffee       # Route definitions for Chaplin
├── bower_components        # Packages installed by Bower
├── generators              # Generators used by Scaffolt
├── jakelib                 # Unified set of tasks for development
├── public                  # Generated final product
├── server                  # Server configuration
│   ├── prerender           # Configuration for Prerender server/middleware
│   └── routes              # Custom routes/services/proxies/etc. (server-side)
├── setup                   # Add configuration options to brunch-config
├── test                    # Test-related files
│   ├── assets              # Static assets to run code tests manually
│   ├── code                # Code-based tests for Karma/manual
│   ├── site                # Site-based tests for Mocha and WebDriverJS
│   ├── karma.conf.js       # Karma configuration for code tests
│   ├── mocha.opts          # Default options for site tests
│   └── setup.js            # Configuration for site tests
├── vendor                  # 3rd party JS/CSS libraries
├── .editorconfig           # EditorConfig definition file for coding styles
├── bower.json              # Listing for Bower dependencies to download
├── brunch-config.js        # Brunch app build configuration
└── package.json            # Project dependencies and configuration



  1. Install node.js.
  2. If using Windows and leveraging Bower, install Git.
  3. If doing development, install Jake.
  4. Open a terminal window and navigate to the project directory.
  5. Execute the command npm install to install all package dependencies.


If you want to just run Brunch without using Jake tasks, just use either web:dev or web:prod for the environment. (ex: brunch watch --server --env web:prod)

One-line commands are provided for convenience as well for those that want to start running things as quickly as possible by installing depedencies automatically. Use npm start to download non-development packages and run the server:prod task. Use npm test to download all packages and run the test:all task.

Prerender is not enabled by default.

  • To enable/disable Prerender see tasks add:prerender/rem:prerender.
  • By default it is configured to use a local Prerender server that is set up.
  • To modify the local Prerender server see server/prerender/server.js.
  • To modify Prerender middleware see server/prerender/index.js.
  • For more information visit their website.

Task List

While Brunch/Scaffolt/etc. can be used, Jake commands are provided for a simple and consistent interface. These tasks can be executed using jake. (jake [task]) These are the following available tasks provided out of the box:



Remove downloaded Node modules. This is useful if you want to reinstall dependencies. (ex. updated/corrupted package(s)) Remember that you need to call npm install to install dependencies.



Download and preinstall any Bower dependencies in advance. You can run this if you want to download Bower dependencies in advance.


Remove downloaded Bower dependencies. This is useful if you want to reinstall dependencies. (ex. updated/corrupted package(s))


These commands add additional features/items to the project that are not included by default.

add:testing / rem:testing

Add/remove packages to test. See below for more details on code/site testing packages.

add:codetesting / rem:codetesting

Add/remove packages to test browser code. Packages include Mocha/Chai/Sinon/etc. for Bower and Karma-related packages for NPM.

add:sitetesting / rem:sitetesting

Add/remove packages to test site features. Packages include Mocha, Chai, WebDriverJS, etc. for NPM.

add:prerender / rem:prerender

Add/remove Prerender to handle search crawling in JavaScript heavy applications. See the "Notes" section above for more information.

add:jquery / rem:jquery

Add/remove the ubiquitous library jQuery to/from the project.

add:normalize / rem:normalize

Add/remove normalize.css to ensure a consistent starting point in styling between different browsers.

add:lodash / rem:lodash

Add/remove Lo-Dash to/from the project.

add:rivets / rem:rivets

Add/remove Rivets.js to/from the project for binding models and views. No additional configuration is needed if added. To reference a model from a view with rivets use the model object. To access model properties from Rivets by default use :. (ex: model:name equates to model.get('name'))

add:exoskeleton / rem:exoskeleton

Add/remove Exoskeleton to/from the project for a more lightweight Backbone. Note that this removes/restores classic Backbone, jQuery, and Lo-Dash. You can use other tasks to add/remove jQuery and Lo-Dash again.

add:davy / rem:davy

Add/remove Davy to/from the project for simple and lightweight Promise support. Add this if you are using Exoskeleton and want support for promises.


Scaffolding commands are available in the form of gen and del. (syntax ex: jake gen codetest=user) Multiple scaffolds can be specified in a single command, as well as separating names with commas. (ex: jake gen codetest=test1,test2 sitetest=test3) Unit test files are automatically generated for Chaplin items. For Chaplin views, a template and stylesheet is also provided in addition to the code file.

gen / del

List available scaffolds.

gen model=[name] / del model=[name]

Generate/destroy a Chaplin model.

gen collection=[name] / del collection=[name]

Generate/destroy a Chaplin collection. Generating a Chaplin collection will also generate its corresponding model. Specify the name in singular form, as collection will automatically be pluralized.

gen view=[name] / del view=[name]

Generate/destroy a Chaplin view.

gen collectionview=[name] / del collectionview=[name]

Generate/destroy a Chaplin collection view. Generating a Chaplin collection view will also generate the individual item view.

gen controller=[name] / del controller=[name]

Generate/destroy a Chaplin controller.

gen codetest=[name] / del codetest=[name]

Generate/destroy a test file with the given test name for testing code. (ex: unit testing)

gen sitetest=[name] / del sitetest=[name]

Generate/destroy a test file with the given test name for testing the site. (ex: functional testing)


To enable testing, required packages must be added. Use add:testing/add:codetesting/add:sitetesting tasks to install dependencies via Bower/npm. Tests leverage Mocha, Mocha as Promised, and Chai. Code and site testing is provided. Code testing adds Sinon and Sinon-Chai.

test:all [codereporter=progress] [sitereporter=spec] [browsers=[browsers]]

Run all tests listed below once. For more information on reporters see below.

test:code [reporter=progress] [watch=false] [browsers=[browsers]]

Run code-based tests (ex. unit tests) using Karma. Karma is preconfigured to run with PhantomJS. A Karma reporter can be specified with the reporter option. You can also override the browsers to run with with the browsers option. (ex: browsers=Chrome,Firefox,Safari) If you run this task with watch=true Karma will auto-run on file changes. Otherwise by default Karma runs once. You can also run the server while watching files with watch=server. In addition, if you run a build (see below) with the dev environment the tests are included with a reporter under test to run in browsers. (ex. visit http://locahost:[port]/test)

test:site [reporter=spec] [watch=false]

Run site-based tests (ex. system tests) using Mocha, PhantomJS, and WebDriverJS. A Brunch server is started up temporarily to interact with the site. A Mocha reporter can be specified with the reporter option. If you run this task with watch=true Mocha will auto-run on file changes with nodemon. Otherwise by default Mocha runs once. The global method getDriver is provided to get a setup and built driver. WebDriverJS' use of Promises can be combined with Mocha as Promised to handle asynchronous behavior easily. ex:

describe 'Sample', ->

  before ->
    @driver = getDriver()

  it 'Has a proper title', ->
    @driver.get('http://localhost:3333').then =>
    .then (title) ->
      expect(title).to.equal('Chapless Brunch')

  after ->


These commands are used to assemble the application, generating the necessary JS/CSS and adding assets. Use dev mode to keep readable JS/CSS, plus include source maps as well as tests under the test folder. Use prod mode to minify/uglify JS/CSS as well as omit source maps and tests. If any Bower dependencies have not been downloaded yet, Bower will first download them.


Assemble the application once.


Assemble the application and continue to watch for changes. Rebuild every time a change is detected.


Assemble the application and continue to watch for changes. Rebuild every time a change is detected. Also, the application is served locally to open with a browser. Prerender server and middleware is set up if available. This build uses the web environment.