This week in Meteor #1

by Rishi Goomar

Welcome everyone to the start of a weekly curated list along with analysis of updates in the Meteor community. I've been pulling this summary together each week recently, for internal consumption at Differential. Then, Colin Flynn suggested that we should just share it publicly... so here it is... issue #1. There will be a section about updates related to Meteor core itself and things that Meteor Development Group (MDG) are working on. Then, there is a second section about updates & thoughts from the community.

Updates in Meteor Core (MDG)

Cordova Updates

The Cordova version in Meteor is not fully up-to-date yet and the new version of Cordova has things that will be useful for many app developers such as splash screens for iPhone 6. But, Slava Kim is working hard to get it updated and it is making very good progress.

Oplog Backlog

At a larger scale, the Meteor server has trouble keeping up with all of the oplog requests. Although, David Glasser implemented an "oplog backlog" which should get around this issue, but it still needs testing. It turns to a polling method if there are too many oplog operations queued up.  

Windows Preview 0.1.7 Released

MDG has been working very hard on improving Windows support. It is not an easy task and it is coming along quite well. Currently, there is no support for developing mobile apps in Windows which honestly makes sense to me. They need to first get all of the core Meteor features to build web apps working and only then they can add on the mobile support. Just like they did for *nix systems. 

MongoDB 2.6 Support

Meteor has now upgraded to support MongoDB 2.6 which comes with a lot of nice features. But, one thing to point out is that they have updated the node-mongo driver to a point that should be able to support MongoDB 3.0 (not tested yet). This is HUGE because MongoDB 3.0 has very big performance improvements due to the new storage engine and recent acquisition WiredTiger. 

Upcoming Blaze Features

There are a bunch of new Blaze features incoming. Below are the related pull requests:

Template Level Subscriptions helper

Local reactive template state

Updates in the Meteor Community

Asteroid: A JavaScript client for a Meteor backend

This is a very powerful tool. Asteroid allows you to connect to multiple Meteor servers via DDP and lets you use any front-end framework you want. This allows you to use Angular, Ember, or even React. 

This is especially useful because of the recent work on React Native. If React Native goes well, it should be viable to build native mobile apps by using Asteroid + Meteor + React Native. That way, you can still use JavaScript to build cross-platform applications. 

Also, it should theoretically be possible to use Asteroid to build a native desktop application with nw.js (formally known as node-webkit). 

New Chapter in Discover Meteor: Animations

Pretty self explanatory. Discover Meteor added a chapter on implementing and using animations in your application. 

Cluster: A load balancer for Meteor Applications

This is a new package created by Arunoda and the MeteorHacks team. It allows you to load balance servers for a Meteor application and there are performance tests done and based on those, it is definitely something to look into. 

Publishing join queries in numtel:mysql package

The MySQL package has been updated to allow for join queries. This is an interesting package to keep up with and could help make big pushes with SQL support in Meteor.

That's all for this week! Stay tuned for a new post next week!

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