So... how come no resource on how Meteor works?

Hey guys, I finished my first commercial project with Meteor (albeit small), but I am finding Meteor has some of the poorest documentation. I’m trying to understand how Meteor actually works under the hood, and there is literally zero resources. Everything is how to implement nothing there actually explains how things work. It’s like trying to learn writing from a dictionary. a sharp cliff where there is hardly any resource explaining what’s actually going on in Meteor. I think the beginner tutorials like is pretty good in getting a first app up, but then documentation skips straight to an api index. The paragraph on [] is about as much as people try to explain under the hood what’s going on. I see a huge complaint is that Meteor is too much “automagic”, well when no one tries to explain how Meteor works, I can see why that would be a persistent problem. After two days of searching the best result I could find is: [] which is still pretty abstract, but that is by far, above any other attempt. I’ve worked with a lot of popular open source projects so have a good idea on benchline of what good idea of “standard” documentaiton and just don’t see any explanation of Meteor, everything is about implementation. That works for a first step, but after that I want to understand, and there is zero attempt to explain, and I’m really confused, does Meteor not really know what it is, is that why there is no documentation on what Meteor does? Meteor has been around a long time, but this is some basic, intro level, critical infrastructure that is missing.

What’s really missing is a huge chunk of documentation on [] what meteor does, how it works, and where I can see further source code on each part. When the very first tab on a guide on Meteor is a generic style guide, there is a HUGE disconnect between what new users need and what’s being given. A style guide, file structure, and migration? C’mon this is like #30, 31, and 32 on the list of things I want to know about Meteor.

Have you tried looking at various README files throughout the codebase?

The Guide has a very simple goal, perhaps you didn’t check:

This is a set of articles outlining opinions on best-practice application development using the Meteor platform.

Nothing in the docs or guide says that it’s trying to tell you how it works.

For an example of some content that explains the inner workings, check out this README in the CLI tool directory: meteor/ at devel · meteor/meteor · GitHub

I think this is a legitimate thing to be looking for, but I think this post would have been far more helpful if it was titled “Are there any good resources on how Meteor works?” rather than some sort of indictment of resources that are not even intended to contain that information.


Um, you are totally wrong. You’re job is firstly to explain how Meteor works, not lint and react. While you can share an opinion, why would you think that is more important than sharing how Meteor works? If you have to point me to then yeah you’re doing something totally wrong. Instead of saying my words are “not nice” you should be able to say, “You’re new here, but you can find the material on how meteor works right in our dev section”, rather you link me to a deep git (am I supposed to read the sourcecode on every file?), and tell me I should be happy you gave your opinion on coding with Lint and React? This is bad and I’m gonna call it that. I thought Meteor was mature, can’t you guys write up a 5 page guide on how Meteor works for someone new to the environment.

am I supposed to read the sourcecode on every file?

If you spent two hours on that instead of two days on searching for a synopsis, you’d already know what’s happening under the hood, especially with how nicely commented the code is.

Why are new Javascript developers not reading the source of the tools they use anymore? Is it some new trend?

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I believe your two posts can be read as impolite and unnecessary inflammatory. The Meteor guide was created to be a easy entry point for newcomers. As they mentioned you can check the well commented code and their respective readme to learn more about the inner works.

And even if it could be improved (everything in life can be improved) it’s not like this that will you get what you want, you only create resistance against you.


Q. "How does Meteor work?"
A: “Go read the source code & stop being inflammatory!”

Would I be wrong in saying there is no guide on Meteor that explains how Meteor works, above reading your source code?

Please direct me to the “5 page guide” on the magic behind another isomorphic, reactive, node-based build tool.

In the meantime, I’d strongly suggest this read:


While I do believe your comments are both inflammatory and rude – especially when you joined this forum three hours ago, here is an attempt at answering your question:

  1. Meteor is a framework that is well-divided into packages … read the ones you are most interested in, it’s like asking for the internals of an operating system … it’s made up of core (i.e. kernel) and of individual components
  2. The source code is exceptionally well-written — really! And some of the most solid developers in the JS community are part of the team
  3. The API is well-documented, that’s what we all use
  4. Many of us have been using the framework for a (very long in some cases) while, and none of us have complained like you did. I guess we must all be wrong then.

Thanks for the useful reply. Big props to who thought there was value in explaining Meteor’s underworkings, even if its buried for being ‘long-form’. I would suggest you stick his stuff into the developer Guide section and hopefully he can write up more explaining fundamental Meteor parts as he does a good job, and re-label your existing Guide stuff to Suggestions. And sorry for being “rude”, I didn’t know this was such a fragile community, my mistake.

I guess we’ve just become used to having a community full of selfless contributors and with so few discourteous members that it’s kind of jarring when someone breaks the mould.

With Meteor, when finding something is missing, so people many have simply rolled up their sleeves and coded or written something up then shared it with the community. It’s kind of nice to be a part of.


@jotrocuros if you feel like you are missing resources, go ahead, do the work, and create them yourself. You think people like @joshowens gotten to where they are and knowing what they know by complaining about missing resources?! You take too much for granted. This is an open community that is very helpful if you ask nicely. You might have to learn some manners though. With posts like this, you won’t get far here. And trying to mask your rudeness as fragility from our part is just ridiculous and unacceptable behaviour.


Ha! Your comments would be funny if they weren’t rude. Actually, what Open Source products you actually dug into?! By the sound of it, very few, if any.

Oh, I forgot this:


This was mentioned in topic on mongo aggregation not being reactive as a tip.

TL;DR the Meteor Guide is primarily meant to get up and running with Meteor. For more information about how Meteor works under the hood, check out our repo README’s or commented source code - we made these legible for a reason. :slight_smile: