When I started my full-time job as a software engineer 6 years ago, the first programming language I learned was Perl, and the first web development framework was Mason. Let me put this way, I was not a fan of either. Later on, I had been mainly developing back-end services using Java and Groovy.
This year I wanted to pick up some front-end development skills. I read about Meteor.js and I was impressed. Here is why:
- It is a complete web framework, not just a library like Angular.js. It is integrated with Node.js on the server and jQuery on the client. It has built-in MongoDB.
- It is easy to test and debug, and once the source code is changed, the page will automatically refresh and the server will automatically restart if needed.
- It has many community built packages that can be re-used as UI widgets, e.g. the entire login widget can be just one liner.
- I have not tested it yet, but it claims to build once, run everywhere including iOS and Android. This is super cool, as there is no need to learn Objective C (BTW I absolutely hate Objective C, probably the worst language I have ever learned), Swift, or Java. I know that many hackathon teams use it for fast prototyping.
To install Meteor.js:
curl https://install.meteor.com/ | sh
Create a new Hello World app:
meteor create hello-world
That’s it! Now you have a complete web app up and running!
Meteor.js is still a relatively new technology, but it starts to gain attractions recently. I think it is totally worth learning and trying out, believe me, it will not even take more than an hour! I will show you my dashboard project using Meteor in a later post, which includes MongoDB, Templates, YUI and Google Maps API.