Category Archives: design patterns


My previous article focused on what the MV* paradigms are. But it didn’t answer the question whether using one of the MV* patterns is worth the pain. One thing is for sure: none of the MV* paradigms comes for free. It depends on your project whether using an MV* patterns is a wise investment or a waste of time and money.

Dissecting a chess application

For instance, consider my AngularJS 2.0 chess program (see the source code at GitHib or play it at It doesn’t follow any particular architectural pattern. Or rather, it doesn’t follow one of the established MVW patterns. To begin with, there’s no model. I simply didn’t need it. The program’s data are stored in the controller component of the program. I don’t know all the subtleties of the MV* theory, but I guess it’s OK to say the chess demo stores its data in the viewmodel layer.

Actually, the chess demo doesn’t consist of many layers. There’s the HTML code, there’s the chess engine and there’s some glue code.

My previous post (and the majority of tutorials) claims that AngularJS favors the MVVM pattern. Let’s stick to this fiction for a moment. It’s easy to identify the view layer: that’s the HMTL pages and the CSS stylesheets. The glue code is the viewmodel. I already said that there’s no need for a model layer.
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These days it’s kind of official: AngularJS implements the Model-View-Whatever paradigm. That’s a nice solution to a series of fruitless discussions about whether AngularJS implements MVVM, MVC or something else.

However, one of these days I stumbled upon a couple of slides claiming AngularJS implements the MVC pattern during my research for another article. I knew from various tutorials that this isn’t exactly true. My curiosity was piqued. What exactly is the difference between MVC, MVVM and MVP? Are there other useful design patterns? And while we’re at it: do JSF and AngularJS implement one of these design patterns?

Model-View-Whatever 🙂

Actually, I already knew there are different design patterns you can use successfully. When I implemented my former company’s framework, I got the idea of MVC wrong. So I implemented something slightly different. That earned me a lot of trouble with external consultants. You know, every once in a while we invited a consultant to look over our architecture. Inevitably, they would complain about our non-standard implementation. But our implementation worked, and it worked well, so what?

That’s an important thing to keep in mind: don’t waste your time on this nonsense. It’s like talking about politics: it’s a lot of fun to discuss about the advantages of MVP over MVC and whether your program following on paradigm or the other. But at the end of the days, it’ll change little. It’s more important to chose a clean, sustainable architecture and stick to it. If you need a name, call it Model-View-Whatever. Whatever works for you.

But today I’m not going to listen to the voice of reason. Today I want to have fun. Let’s dissect the design patterns, and let’s see how JSF and Angular fit into the pattern.

At a glance

Look at these pictures. They cover three of the most popular patterns: MVP, MVC and MVVM. Don’t soak yourself in the details – that’s what the rest of the article is about. Just look at the general picture. Do you notice anything?
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