[Meteor 1.3] Large project build speed


#1

Hi all,

tl:dr Including big NPM modules, like THREE.js, directly in the package you’re developing massively increases build/reload time. Instead, create another package and export their NPM modules’ top-level object. Packages are only rebuilt when something inside them changes. This is easier in 1.3 because you can require on the client.

I didn’t realise the problem until late in the day. Here’s everything else we did to reduce build/reload time (I think they improved things but can’t be sure):

  • NODE_ENV=production
  • Place all code inside packages (less files loaded by the browser: one per package)
  • Temporarily removed minifiers
  • Remove all unused standard packages
  • Temporarily remove packages that provide parts of the app that aren’t under development
  • Replace CoffeeScript with plain JavaScript to invoke fewer builders
  • Disable source maps in browser so less files are loaded.
  • Move Less/CSS into it’s own package to it doesn’t get rebuild/concatenated.

Some parts of the app are developed as stand-alone NPM modules. However, if you do this under Meteor’s PACKAGE_DIRS, Meteor will watch your node_modules, even though it only contains local development and testing modules. Solution: move the project out of PACKAGE_DIRS and use gulp to build it into the Meteor package directory.

  • Also tried working from a tmpfs. That was scary.

Build/reload time has gone from ~20s server/client reload to ~4s


#2

Please make sure to post this stuff on the respective GitHub issues in the meteor repo.


#3

DON’T DO ANY OF THIS AFTER 1.3

Times have changed and lot of this doesn’t apply. We rewrote our application in ES6 with modules as a single app (not packages), and removed all npm wrapper packages and replaced with real npm modules. Build speed is higher (but still too slow).