Firstly, yes, that graphic above is a meteor about to hit a piece of sushi… Coding gets boring sometimes. This is how I break up the monotony. Now that that’s cleared up…
In an effort to get a feel for the framework, I decided to build out a really simple web app that lets you vote for your favorite NYC Sushi restaurant. Valuable tool for visitors? Not really — besides, we all know Sushi Yasuda is the best anyway. Useful for a developer who wants to spend 1-2 hours tinkering with a new toy? Definitely.
I don’t want to make this a full blown tutorial. There are already tons of useful resources out there:
However, I do want to put down a couple thoughts on developing with Meteor:
- The speed with which you can build apps using Meteor is pretty shocking. I’d say I spent about 3 hours on this project, but the majority of that was making it look pretty. The coding with Meteor was probably < 1 hour. While it may not be right for every project, at the very least, it's an incredibly useful tool for building really quick demos/prototypes.
- Meteor takes a lot of the low level work out of your hands (user accounts, database queries, etc.) which speeds up development a ton. On the flip side, I think it leaves you a little less attuned to what’s going on at a low level, which can cost you when bugs and performance issues come up. With that said, this the result of higher level frameworks in general (not Meteor in particular) and can also be somewhat attributed to my lack of experience with Node.js (which us used underneath on the backend).
- The synchronization between client and server is pretty badass. Essentially, your browser is constantly connected to the server. When a change occurs, it’s pushed up to the server, then back down to all the clients. What this means (in relation to a voting app like mine), is that if you have the app open and a user elsewhere votes, your browser picks up on the vote almost instantly and updates itself.