Meteor is still pretty popular.
But honest answer - a couple events have led to people being a bit worried about losing Meteor.
First, there was a bit of a fiasco when MDG announced they were going to switch to React. That was eventually changed to supporting Blaze/Angular/React, but even after they decided that, some of the damage was done and people were a bit worried about future changes.
Then last year a somewhat similar situation happened with Apollo. There was a lot of fear of Meteor getting abandoned. Also, one issue that had a lot of people worried (including myself) was backwards compatibility as Apollo gets integrated in to Meteor. This brought up a lot of potential issues, starting with having to do import statements, to atmosphere packages, and so on.
MDG has stated we don’t have to worry too much, and so far that has been true. But I do believe any users with a large Meteor project probably do have a bit of worry about this. Huge refactors are never welcome in most projects. But so far there’s been no major issues.
Prior to these 2 events, Meteor had a LOT of steam, and I seen a LOT of people talking about it positively.
I think once MDG is past the potential refactors, it will be a great time for them to step up advertising and bring Meteor back up. Because the main issue (both times) has always been users feeling “safe” working in Meteor. Feeling like they have not been forgotten, or abandoned, after supporting Meteor through the tough times.
It’s a hard balance to be simultaneously welcoming to new users, supportive of your current community, as well as developing the platform/framework with modern features that will keep Meteor appealing in to the future.
(Oh, one thing I forgot to mention, the update a little over a year ago, 1.3 I believe? It made the “new user tutorials” MUCH more complex than they were before. They were very well targeted at someone who is first using Meteor before. The new tutorial is more an example of “best practices”, and from having our new employees try it out, their opinion is it is very difficult to understand for someone new to Meteor. I had to personally train them Meteor, because Discover Meteor was out of date, and the new tutorials only confused them.
I think their worried about users getting the wrong idea about what Meteor is if they make it too basic. A lot of experienced node users would look past Meteor, I imagine because the “magic” seems like you have less control over your project. It’s not clear to them that they are using an insecure/autopublished version of what Meteor really is.
So before, the tutorial was great for new users, but turned off experienced Node users. Now the tutorial probably looks wonderful to experienced Node users, but looks complicated to new users.
I still think they should have multiple tutorials. One targeted at complete new users of Meteor, that shows the “magic” of Meteor. Other ones can be put in the Meteor Guide and show best practices. )