State of Meteor?


#1

We’ve been using Meteor in production for 3+ years. Gone through a number of changes with different versions, moving to React, changing hosting, scaling up etc.

Just curious how active Meteor is these days, how many people are still choosing it etc?

We run our site on AWS with 3-5 instances depending on load, and run self hosted Kadira. But we’ve faced many issues over last year or so related to performance problems, increasing memory usage etc.

At some point we want to transition to GraphQL etc but we lack the resources to do so.


Important libs abandoned
#2

We’ve had a Meteor app running in production for over three years now. Currently at v1.6.1.4. So far it’s been a smooth ride, nothing but positive things to say about Meteor. Even Blaze works great for us: we have quite a complicated UI (one part of our app is a website builder, for example) and we have not faced any blocking issues.

Regarding the performance problems you mentioned, we don’t have a ton of simultaenous users, but still, scaling has not been an issue for us. We are running only two app servers, 1 cpu each, and at ~100 simultaenous users our cpus are at around 20% load. We could easily do with just one server, but like to run two of those just in case the other fails for whatever reason, which has not happened ever.

So I would say “state of Meteor” is very good. Future of Meteor, who knows. It seems like the pace of development is slowing down, with the latest beta release pull request having no sign of activity for approx. 3 weeks.


#3

We have been using it for 3+ years as well and really happy with it, it allowed us to get where want to be and focus on our core operation with a relatively small team. No performance issues to speak of, all the issues we faced were related to our code, we’re running Meteor latest.

I hope Meteor keeps getting better :slight_smile:


#4

I’ve a web app runs for several months without any problems. Meteor is awesome.


#5

I’ve had Meteor apps in production since mid-2013, updating all apps to new Meteor versions as they are released. No way could I have achieved a fraction of my productivity without Meteor.

The things you could do with Meteor in 2012/2013 were awesome and it was way ahead of its time. Today you can use Meteor to do the same things the same way (and it’s still an amazing developer experience) or you can use it do great things in many other ways. It’s better than ever and never took a step backwards.

If Meteor was abandoned, in its current state, I’d still be using it for the foreseeable future.

Nothing I’ve seen comes within a bull’s roar of Meteor for taking away developers’ roadblocks.


#6

We have been using Meteor in production with AWS EBS for 3 years now and love it (before was on DigitalOcean for 3 years).

I am starting to notice a few Meteor projects popup right and left online. It seems the platform is mature enough, no one bothers coming to the forums anymore :slight_smile:

I am know I am guilty of that too – this is my first post in many many months.


#7

We’ve been using Meteor for 4 years and have 4+ large Meteor apps in production. More than 10% of US real estate transactions go through our software!


#8

That is quite impressive, I wonder if thats typical? My app can’t handle that many users on 1 server. I think our heavy use of pubsub is causing perf issues.

Do you use it heavily? I know some people recommend not using Meteor pubsub too much and instead use DDP method calls or something else. What do you use to host Mongo? I’m using Atlas.

I don’t even want to think how much time we’d have spent learning a new build tool/framework every day back then when JS ecosystem was in constant churn.


#9

Our main Meteor application is over 4 years old. 4 years ago the javascript ecosystem was a very different place. Meteor allowed us to survive those 4 years with incremental refactorings. I don’t think this could have been possible with any other framework from back then.

For every hobby project I start I try to use webpack/parcel/… together with the hot-framework-of-the-day, but the experience is always way worse than Meteor.

I’m sure that if Meteor would be relaunched today, with its current feature set, it would attract a large following.


#10

We have an enterprise geospatial platform, with a very complex backend, entirely fronted and managed by a large modular Meteor app. Because of the framework’s unique package structure, we could afford to build the app as a set of decoupled vertical services, each with their own backend, API, frontend, collection, etc. All these services live and work together together in the … ‘packages’ folder.

Or they can be simply pulled out and run as standalone apps.

It’s our reliable workhorse - 5 years down the line, always up to date, none of the issues we see some people complaining. Lightweight and fast because of DDP and dynamic imports, accessible to electrical planners in the wildest corners of the Philippines (where it’s used for rural electrification), as well as to civil engineers and home builders in the heart of Texas. Seriously, you wouldn’t expect this kind of app to work on 2G/GPRS, or satellite connection. Yet it does.

We use pub/sub wherever we can for some amazing user experience. You should see the kind of reactive filtering of map layers we do, or data widgets & charts updating in real time as large datasets update in the spatial database.

But we structure our code properly, index our collections, limit the fields in our queries, use a shared memory cache with automatic propagation to peers, and a few other things. None of it very exotic, just leveraging Node.js and Meteor’s amazing capabilities.

Meteor communicates with several backend services, acts as an authentication proxy too for some specialised GET requests (map tiles and data), works with another database along Mongo, and, seriously, I can go on and on.

I visit the forum rarely nowadays, because 1) I’m too busy, 2) I like to keep a lower heart rate. The latter is because of the flood of negative, inept comments and discussions, about how poor this framework is, and how much better something else is.

Meteor has been giving us all space flight tech when we were looking at what animal to put in front of the cart. If some still want the animal, fine. Bashing the rocket engineers because all one needs is a cart is not OK.

(Hmm, the irony, it doesn’t even take “rocket science” to build something great in Meteor)


#11

You should write a blog post. There are several interesting things you are doing - apart from using Meteor. Proper structuring of application code, division into components (without calling them microservices :slight_smile: ), a modern web app that works over 2G !!!, and many other architecture details, are all worthy of more details.

I would suspect there are many more people like you who use Meteor features combined with their own setup, but we never hear from them.

Can I ask how you scaled your app and did you come across any bottlenecks?


#12

Ha! I told myself so many times that I should take to Medium, but always postponed because I thought there are other community members much better positioned to do so, and doing it already very well. @veered, @sacha, and @diaconutheodor come to mind, but there are so many more. I guess I’m going to do it at some point.

You know, it just boils in me and almost spills over :slight_smile:

< rant >
Meteor is beyond great, it helped us build an innovative product, a real business on top of it, and with a huge bonus in the form of, you know, hundreds of thousands of real people benefiting from it (e.g. the electrification projects).

The kind of network planning our data science partners deliver through our platform requires enormously expensive software. We make that a lot more accessible. And because it’s accessible, those at the receiving end of this knowledge, small electrical cooperatives, save millions of dollars. And because of those savings, many more villages get electricity.

You wouldn’t believe the impact…

We’re soon going to Haiti, and likely Africa and other places.

Then I see the FUD and downright stupid comments on HN, on this forum, and other places. I wonder how many of those, clearly n00bs, have ever built something really useful beyond “to do” apps with infinite scrolling pages, in need of the latest reactive renderer. Gee!
</ rant >

Regarding scaling, to be honest, Meteor and Mongo - the M&M :smile: - are small fish. We can serve 100 - 200 connected users from a local Mongo, and three instances of PM2 managed Meteor, all in one 4GB 2vCPU server, with plenty of room still left. Mongo can be rebuilt from data stored in Postgres easily if something happens. But we did not have a single issue because of Mongo. And we are sooo liberal with pub/sub, and believe it or not, actually composite publications most of them.

Our main concern is the tiling service, a Java beast running on a homebrew semi-elastic Tomcat cluster. Then we keep tons of spatial data in Postgres + PostGIS (talking tables with 20 - 30 million complex geometries sometimes). Plus a whole caching architecture. From there, we serve (tens of) millions of map features and data widgets to said users.

As @veered hints above, actually it takes a lot of traffic to really need to start talking seriously about scaling in the context of M&M. Until this day I really don’t understand what people are on about when complaining, particularly with redis-oplog available, or Grapher. It’s lack of coding skills, I tell you, not lack of options.


#13

Fantastic to be reading the posts here. Inspiring and building more confidence to Meteor

Thanks for your apps. You are helping the rural communities in our dear country :slight_smile:


#14

Thank you for the words of appreciation. Though I must say, credit is also due to the funding entities that invest into these development projects (e.g. the EU), the electrical engineers and data scientists in our team doing the planning, and last but not least the Philippines agencies supporting us locally.

But it turns out our app makes a huge difference. And Meteor made it possible and makes it stand out. Can’t say that enough.


#15

Damn, that’s amazing to read, fantastic project you’re working on :slight_smile:

You should 100% blog about how you do some of the things you mention. Even if you repeat yourself compared to some old meteor posts, it’s always refreshing to read about this!


#16

I’m no more using Meteor since… In fact i would like to, but now, i’m not confident about Meteor roadMap. Maybe i’m wrong. It seems that MDG moved into GraphQL way because there is maybe more business on that side.
That would be cool to get a clear communication about Meteor future. Will MDG still keep a team on this project ? is it still a reliable stack for next few years ?

About the PR you mention, you may have a look at the release in github and you will see that they are at the 20th beta version on 1.8.1
And there has 5 release during las month. So i think the latest release will come soon.

Now what about a 1.9 or more ?


#17

People have been saying this about Meteor since 2015 (four years ago), some made products that got money and improved their live and the life of others and some are constantly chasing latest technology or paralyzed by FUD and future worries to the point of standing still.

While certainly there are legitimate concerns and there is always the desire for more communication. But my experience with open source so far is that if the tech add an economical value and some people manage to build businesses around it, then it’ll be more resilient than closed source.

The reality is that there is nothing guaranteed in tech or even in life, nothing will last, tech is in a constant state of evolution and progress. But MDG has all the reasons to keep maintaining Meteor, they’ve invested tons in it and they use it internally in addition to being a source of revenue via Galaxy. I also view Apollo as another option to the data layer so it adds and doesn’t subtract from the whole ecosystem. But even If you consider the worst case scenario that they completely lose interest in maintaining it than I believe there is enough smart people around it to maintain it, and if there is none you can fork it or refactor to other node stuff. The real risk, in my opinion, is for small teams using large co-operations tech and framework expecting to compete in a cut-throat global market, or constantly chasing latest tech trends while delivering nothing, that is the real risk and failure.

Meteor, as it stands today, is a state of art web framework with tons of quality engineering that went into it over the years. I’ve experimented with almost every NodeJS framework out there and nothing compares in terms of speed of delivery and the scope of capabilities. Thus the question is not will it last 5 years from now, because you can always work around that with open source, but the real question is what can you do with it today?


#18

We have a meteor app that’s been in production for ~3 years. It’s low traffic, but a while ago we switched out pub/sub for methods for most of the data, and the impact was huge. We only use pub/sub now for things were real time actually matters (and a few places where it’s so small that there’s no point in not).

I don’t even want to think how much time we’d have spent learning a new build tool/framework every day back then when JS ecosystem was in constant churn.

Yep :slight_smile: Meteor’s been amazing for pulling so many different things together in a package that’s easy to set up and run with. And for all the advances, it’s been remarkably stable.


#19

Pretty much yeah. For everything we can we use methods, but since our app is multi-user in such way, that any number of people might be interacting with the same data, we need to be aware of those changes and keep a live subscription.

We run Mongo by ourselves in the same data center as our app servers. Gotta love the speed!


#20

@alawi I agree that it seems highly unlikely that MDG will ever stop maintaining Meteor. They are knee deep in it both financially and ideologically.

But if it ever comes to that, then Qualia is open to taking over sponsorship of Meteor, hiring a dev or two to work on it, and heavily engaging the community to keep momentum and growth. I’ve never discussed this idea with MDG in any way, but I thought mentioning might help sooth any fears that people may have about the longevity of Meteor.