I started using Meteor back in 2016, and I used it for a couple of years. Back then, Atmosphere was still all the rage, but a few of the top packages had started being abandoned, and the npm package support was still in its infancy. Subscriptions were not scalable, and it was advisable to use methods to fetch data instead. I’ve since moved on to using Next or Rails for my backends, but I just came across a transcript of an old talk I had given on Meteor, and it reminded me of the incredible speed at which I was able to stand up fully featured apps using it, so I got curious about how its doing these days.
So, how is Meteor doing? Is there still a big community around it or has it mostly dispersed to other frameworks? Are there any competitors that have popped up? I believe in the promise of Meteor still, so what’s caused Meteor to lose popularity and not be cloned, if it hasn’t been?
Meteor is still around and kicking. There is a major work going on Meteor 3 which is removing Fibers and doing other major upgrades. Community since your time has shrunk, that is just the nature of things. That said, there were a few attempted competitors, but they kind of fizzled out or became something different. At least as far as I know there is no direct competitor to Meteor that is trying to do what Meteor does.
If you look around the forums you will find topic on Roadmap input and weekly updates about Meteor 3.
Meteor 3 is a huge jump. Hopefully we have the stable version soon.
No, the community is small and it’s dying. In a few months there won’t be anyone to contribute to Meteor. As for competitors, who cares man with such shit framework probably any piece of junk would be a lot better. Honestly, you’re wasting time by asking such a question here.
You’re misguided if you think Meteor still has a shot, you’re best bet would a Fortran script running off of your toaster.
There’s no big community around it anymore. Matter of fact, most of the comments replying to this thread are ChatGPT bots – including me!
Finally as to what caused the decline, it was probably people like you who gave in to the FUD without putting in work to research and look things up. sorry not sorry
At least one honest answer here.
Meteor is great. I don’t think there is a more productive JS framework with the capabilities it offers.
npm package support has worked well for a while now.
There are still issues with scaling subscriptions but others have scaled successfully using redis-oplog. There’s ongoing discussion of bringing a solution to Meteor core with either redis-oplog and / or Mongo change streams. Check out the roadmap thread Seeking Community Input: Meteor.js Roadmap
As others have mentioned, Meteor 3.0 is coming soon. It brings support for Node v18+ and a bunch of other improvements. It’s in an alpha state currently.
Excuse my ignorance, but what’s the biggest advantage of removing Fibers?
Node stopped supporting fibers a while back. Removing fibers will allow Meteor to use a current version of node and avoid obsolescence.
Thanks! and in terms of our code, do we have to change some stuff to adapt to Meteor 3?
There is no final answer for this question yet. But if your app has migrated to async apis which introduced since Meteor 2.8 then I think it covers at least 80% of works to migrate to Meteor 3.
Yes, the community is magnitudes smaller as it was back in the days, and the sense of innovation and excitement around Meteor pushing the limits and being the next big thing has kind of waned for me personally (don’t know if others share this sentiment).
There still is a community left though of hard core enthusiasts who put a lot of love and hard work in maintaining the project (currently working on the aforementioned Fibers removal, which you could almost call a rewrite of the framework). And in terms of Reactivity tech and DX, Meteor still has no equal (and I am still baffled that hasn’t caught on, the concept of a database to UI reactive dataflow is just so beautifully elegant).
However, the general community excitement seems to have moved on. If you look at communities like Next.js, not only the speed at which that framework introduces new features but also the amount of community involvement (packages, tutorials, …) is on another level. Worth noting I’m not saying that Next.js is not a direct competitor to Meteor in terms of focus, but it is where a lot of the attention and thus innovation is going (e.g. now with React Server Components and Server Actions, feels very exciting, start of a new phase in web dev).
In my view Meteor is kind of a specialist framework, with a devoted community around it. Still really good at what it does well, but for some reason, has never gone mainstream. Why that is is a different post, but I think Meteor’s image problems created by the early demos live on to this day, they’ve never really been able to rectify it and most people (who’ve never used it) see it as a tool for prototyping that doesn’t scale. Of course, we know that’s not true, most people active here have used it for years on very large applications. But yeah.
One of the main reasons why Meteor hasn’t been widely adopted seems to stem from the industry shift towards serverless frameworks, or performance-focused lower-level languages such as Rust or Golang. However, I would argue that Meteor still holds significant value, particularly from a business standpoint.
The reason why I believe Meteor is exceptional lies in its speed. Development teams can build applications and roll out updates to their customers at an impressive pace using this framework. It’s like a well-oiled machine, enabling you to bring your ideas to life swiftly and efficiently.
Now, as your application starts to gain traction and success, it’s then sensible to consider rewriting the more resource-demanding parts of your Meteor Methods/Services into a microservice. This is where languages like Golang, Rust, or even C can come into play, offering a performance boost where you might need it most.
However, it’s crucial to remember that this isn’t a shortcoming of Meteor itself, but more related to Node. Essentially, while the need to shift to more performant languages might arise as your application grows, this doesn’t take away from the initial advantages Meteor offers in the development stages.
In conclusion, even amidst the industry’s pivot towards serverless frameworks and lower-level languages, Meteor’s ability to allow rapid application development remains a strong argument for its use, especially when time is a business’s most precious resource.
I am a recently retired app architect and programmer consultant. I started programming professionally 52 years ago. I have designed and written small and large apps since the 80s, and worked with many tools, languages, operating systems and protocols during my career.
Hands down, no other platform has allowed me to build seamless functioning server to web apps faster than Meteor. That is why I have stuck with it since Meteor 1.0 as my favourite development tool.
I do believe it still remains the absolute best and quickest way to develop a fully functional and solid MVP webapp for a startup. As the use of the app grows, and requirements become more apparent, then of course portions could be optimized away from the standard meteor stack if required. But i laugh when i hear about the crazy time and expense people have spend on an MVP using anything else, then see their startup collapse because they have no more money left once they want to move to v2, after they understand their userbase and their product better,
My motto is always start with meteor, then optimize later (does it sound familiar?).
I have built fully functional web apps in a matter of days, that are still in use after years - with little or no changes required. Don’t try that with any other framework.
Meteor is maturing with a dedicated user base, who really understand its value as a rapid application development tool. It is aligning with nodejs, and each step forward makes meteor more flexible and powerful.
You need to be reassured? are you worried?
Most of us here survived the worse FUD an online community can have, there were days that I did nothing but respond to one negative comment after another on this forum. Community here has a very thick skin, and the team here is just top notch engineers, respect to their Fiber update effort, it’s been pleasure watching such a complex migration unfold in open source. I have a business running for 4 years, bootstrapped and growing, not a single complaint from customers for years, but then again, I know how to use the tech.
If you really want to bootstrap a business, then this ecosystem unbeatable,
productivity and flexibility wise and there are many folks with successful businesses and positive cash flows, pumping back to galaxy and ecosystem who can help you. The tech is not perfect but it delivers and the team and community very aware and open about the issues with clear map on how to improve. Also, Galaxy takes care of all DevOps requirements, sure some can do serverless, or static pages but some want to control and manage our servers and Galaxy is just a perfect balance between control and outsourcing, you ain’t locked in Galaxy infrastructure, they simply compete in making your DevOps and hosting experience better.
But if you want to chase the latest trends, and feel more comfortable within a large crowd, or if you want spread FUD, then by all means find something else, I can even help you
I love me some vite, roll-up, and next.js but nothing delivers what meteor delivers in such a friendly package. I always said meteor is the most apple product I’ve ever encountered. Meteor has such a high bar for quality and is so battle tested there is nothing quite like it. Working in meteor is a dream. If you make a non meteor app, once you build up through MVP stages to production and years of refinement, you’re going to just wind up with “meteor” but fragile and worse. The choice for me over years of experience, why bother gluing code together when you can have it all from the get go? Meteor has it all!!!
You all know this guy in monkey island 1, in that scumm bar, telling everyone about Loom™? I‘m that guy, just with meteor…
Just chiming in here as a data point: I have used Meteor professionally many years ago when it was starting its hype cycle, and probably know the core framework quirks… and at that time coffeescript was all the rage!
However, due to job changes I had to work with different tech stacks until now (All the JS stuff, Phoenix/LiveView, Rust, Go, …). But today I am the CTO of a scaleup business, that has a stable platform (iE consisting of Rails backend, NextJS frontend + other stuff) that is … hard to move forward actually. Equipped with the decision making power and broad experience, I am building right now new features in a new Meteor app, to first supplement the existing stack with missing things + adding custom business workflows in mere hours for employees. Its shocking for everyone in a positive sense how easy it is to build&ship things - especially that most “senior” engineers under me actually have at most 6 years of experience and never actually have heard of meteor.
Ontop of that, I have a strong DevOps backgrond with AWS specialization even, but I really don’t want to deal with all this stuff anymore If I don’t need to, and as a profitable business hosting costs are not an issue really, so I will move everything meteor to Galaxy next week, to have a kind of “hands free” peace of mind state. And Atlas MongoDB finally has “serverless” mongoDB now, so even less mental load needed.
I do get that the community went through a hard time during the years, but being totally honest with all the experiences I have, Meteor hands down is the single best thing to rapidly build stuff, especially if there are exotic things, where a simpler “CRUD” style doesn’t cut it because the work is highly interactive by its nature. Not to mention tricks like optimistic UI with client-side methods/doubles or even offline working capabilities or (a lot more emphasis now thanks to ChatGPT) chat-like real time interfaces, where I simply don’t have to do anything to see realtime updates in multiple connected clients.
So yes, I am now betting on Meteor, quite confidently. While I cannot actively give a helping hand in maintaining it due to work load, I try to evangelize using it in my corner of the world as good as I can now, which hopefully will lead to helping hands again.
That echos my experience as well, especially when it comes to bootstrapping businesses.
Meteor, galaxy and the community combo really enable someone to bootstrap entire products in the most efficient way and I think that capability is undersold and under appropriate it. Perhaps the marketing message should emphasize that.
As someone with a lot of Meteor experience but not creating many new applications (one every few years) it is still a great product.
What should strongly improve:
From MVP to live process. That is all fine with Meteor internally, you can quickly build an app.
What are hiccups which cost lots of time:
- Setting up Mongo with Atlas, IP whitelisting and other stuff (make this a one click integration)
- E-mail for example with MailGun, setting the right path, have a production and a development setup etc
Actually it is strange that by default there is no meteor npm start --settings development.json config. As Meteor is opinionated this would be a quick fix as well.
All those things are complicated to find out if you don’t do it more often. So see it from the perspective of that: Someone who just want to build some app and deploy it live quickly.
Those things take time which is not focussed on the product/app goal but useless tech config. Meteor is great in reducing that and can do even more to quickly focus on the product itself.
That being said: Many things work way better than for example 2 years ago when starting a new app. There is already great improvement.
If those are the only two hiccups then it says alot about how efficient it is.
Try with other frameworks, you will have those in addition to dozen of other major items.