Introducing Meteor to the Masses

Learning new technologies and seeing where they can apply is at the core of Thinkovator.  One of the new technologies we are learning and applying to real world problems is a javascript framework called Meteor.   It was built with the ability to subscribe and publish data real time, make a change in one app and have anyone who is watching on the other end get that update instantly.  To us that sounded like a cool idea so we started to dabble, here are a few things we have found a long the way.

1) Quickly Proof of Concept an Idea

Out of the box Meteor allowed us to quickly create some proof of concepts on what we thought would be pretty cool ideas… Turns out they weren’t but we found out before we had spent too much time going down a rabbit hole.  This ability came from the framework being able to kind of magically find where all the files lived in the folder structure and it using MongoDB to store the data so we didn’t have to worry about schema and creating relational mappings.

2) Live Updates Are Mind Blowing

In a world where we are use to refreshing our browsers or pulling our screens down on a phone to get new data, with the built in ability to have live updates watching a screen update with no interaction involved is quite nice.  Meteor has this concept of reactive so the framework is constantly watching the data in the app and as something changes the “reactive” aspect kicks in and will react to the data change and update things accordingly.

3) The Community and Packages Are Abundant

With this technology still being pretty new there were a few things that we were concerned about.  The first was community, how many developers are using Meteor, why are they using it, and what problems are they seeing.  The other was how many times will we need to reinvent the wheel because there isn’t any open source solutions.  It turns out that the answer to these questions is nothing but positive.  The community is large and growing with people helping us along the way and as far as reinventing the wheel, we have found that if there is an open source project that does something you like there is probably a Meteor package to help you bring that into your project.

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