I've been looking for a good, very rich, VM-independent web framework. Vaadin I liked except that decent layouts are next to impossible. So I started looking on the client-side.
I've been using mostly JSF component libraries, and done some stuff in Vaadin and JQuery... I'm more of a backend guy historically, but I'm trying to make some more UI inroads so I can make something good-looking in the browser. Anything there that binds well with a Java EE stack?
AngularJS is a fine framework if you want an all-ecompassing, everything-you-do-is-in-Angluar, platform. It's a bit too intrusive for my tastes. If you like stuff like vaadin (I most certainly do not), it might be for you.
I'm currently enjoying the more modular approach of Backbone with Handlebars templates.
Footnote: it should be no surprise to anyone who's been reading CodeRanch for any time that my preference is to smaller, more modular, frameworks on the client, just as it was when I was working mostly on the server.
Thanks for the response, Bear! I'm looking at the two and they do seem interesting. I'm wondering whether you are doing the Backbone JS data binding at template level, or at page level, and whether you do all the layout & ui stuff in pure CSS/JS or use a library for that (like JQuery UI).