1 Great Thing in 2014: Meteor

meteor logoEver since I found out about Node.js, I was intrigued by its potential. It had a lot of great features (ex. asynchronous I/O, event-driven, etc), but the one that stuck out the most was the ability to run Javascript on the server-side.

Instead of having to learn a server-side-only programming language (ex. PHP) and a client-side-only language (ex. Javascript - until recently), now a developer could specialize in just one language and use it everywhere. That has the potential to completely change the development landscape and many development paradigms. And it's doing exactly that.

Then came Meteor ... and I was blown away by its potential.

Meteor's a complete Javascript web framework that's built on top of Node.js, but it abstracts away much of complexity to the point that you don't need to even know Node.js. It dramatically lowers the entry level for new developers and saves tons of time for everyone.

Some of my favorite Meteor features include:

  • Isomorphic API: The same code (not just language) can be used both on the client-side and server-side.
  • Instant data updates: Meteor's built from the ground-up to be reactive. That means users feel like they are engaging with the app in realtime, rather than clicking links and reloading entire pages.
  • Relatively easy: I say relatively, because in comparison to other frameworks, it's easy, but there's still a learning curve.
  • Speeds up development: Creating a modern, realtime app in Meteor is fast. What used to take thousands of lines of code, now takes a fraction less.
  • A complete framework: client-side, server-side, and database, it's got you covered.

Meteor v.1 (stable) launched in 2014. My prediction is that in 2015 it will become a leading choice for new projects around the web and that we'll see several high profile companies start using it.

For older projects that don't need a fresh start, Meteor's too much of a "complete package" and would require too much work to migrate everything over to a new framework and maintain consistency, so adoption is likely to be low for older sites.

Either way, I’ll be following Meteor’s development with much interest and I expect big things out of it in 2015.

About the author

Nick is the Director of Support at OSTraining and you can find him in almost every area of the site, from answering support requests and account questions to creating tutorials and software.