Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Meteor approach

Yesterday I've finally fulfilled my wish and tried out Meteor. This is a new framework for developing web applications using JavaScript as the main language.

I just loved how easy it is to create a site and how few lines of code it requires. I also liked the way how it makes the changes immediately reflected in the running application.

But the most valuable tome is the ability to move the functionality between client and server with no efforts. There are actually three folders: one for server, one for client, and one for both. Moving stuff between them you change the architecture of your system. This may be very interesting for balancing complex systems load. For example, you have a client-server system which should support 1000 simultaneous users. You are kind of limited on the amount of horse power under the hood, the server is rather weak. So you may decide to move as much of computation as reasonable to the client side. In the traditional system it would require a careful planning and decent programming. In Meteor this is just a matter of Cut/Paste the Try. So you can easily adopt trial and error method.

Meteor is built on templates. Everything is defined as a template and it requires quite a bit of abstract thinking if you want to design a new system from scratch. be prepared to start thinking in different categories.

But Meteor is not only a framework. It's a Cloud. It takes just one command line call to deploy your application in a cloud. very easy and robust.

Meteor uses a non-relational database in the back-end. I hope they will implement connection to other database engines in the future.

Of the disadvantages I would mention using JavaScript, which is not object-oriented (despite some may argue, f.e. http://www.javascriptkit.com/javatutors/oopjs.shtml). Hopefully they will consider new replacement from Microsoft (TypeScript). Also there is only one database engine available yet (correct me if I am wrong). which also puts limitations on the system. We know that changing DB engine is not an option for many very complex systems. Allowing use of engines like Oracle, MS SQL Server, and DB2 would make that new framework more attractive to the enterprise software produces, including my company.

System is still in development, so don't rely on it if you need to make a commercial package. The documentation is scarce but you may find several examples and tutorial videos on the Internet. It is definitely good enough for evaluation and playing around with it. Believe me it's a pure fun :)

If you want to read more, just visit their site at http://meteor.com/main.


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