Meteor Provides Open Source Framework for App Development

One of the primary reasons that the backlog for developing applications is rising is that there are a lot of manual steps involved in building a JavaScript application. To streamline that process, Meteor developed an open source application development Platform written in JavaScript that has already been uniquely installed roughly 200,000 times.

Meteor co-founder Matt DeBergalis says that ultimately Meteor plans to provide many of the commercial cloud services that IT organizations will use to manage applications built with the Meteor 1.0 framework, which was two years in the making.

In the meantime, Meteor is encouraging developers to use an open source Framework to develop applications that eliminate the majority of the bottleneck associated with creating JavaScript applications using frameworks that are not written in JavaScript.

Describing the hoops that other frameworks make developers go through to write code as “just ridiculous," DeBergalis says that what most developers today are really building is a new generation of “cloud-client” applications based on JavaScript that can run on both the Web and a mobile computing device.

DeBergalis says that using an application development framework written in JavaScript will also makes it easier to provide a better User Experience because developers are not writing as much code to work around the inherent limitations of legacy application development environments.

The Meteor platform itself consists of multiple libraries, including a Blaze User Interface Library and Tracker, a system for transparent reactive programming. Isobuild is a Meteor tool system that can invoke an implementation of a Distributed Data Protocol that Meteor developed. In fact, Meteor is not an actual piece of software, but rather a recommended Stack of software based on packages that are designed to easily fit together.

Meteor has also made available examples of applications, including a collaborative Todos application and a Local Market cross-platform photo-sharing app that a neighborhood grocery store might use to build stronger online community.

It remains to be seen if Meteor can usurp application development platforms that many developers have spent a lot of time mastering. In addition, competition in the application development space is nothing short of fierce. But DeBergalis says that open source approaches to creating a software platform have consistently overcome commercial offerings that are only supported by a handful of developers versus an entire open source community.

In the meantime, as JavaScript becomes the de facto standard for creating applications based on reusable code, chances are high that sooner or later developers are going to start to reconsider their existing application development options.

Be sure to read the next Application Development article: New Docker API Accelerates Application Development Cycles