9 Ways Meteor 1.0 Will Take You Out of This World

Originally published at: http://www.sitepoint.com/9-ways-meteor-1-0-will-take-world/

In December 2011, a small team of talented software engineers officially announced the first preview release of Skybreak, a pure JavaScript web development framework and toolset created to make software engineering efficient and accessible. Thankfully, about a year later, the platform became Meteor, "a second-generation microframework and application server for building websites in pure JavaScript." It's a much better name, don't you think?

That summer, Meteor acquired $11.2 million in funding, and assured early adopters that the Meteor Development Group (MDG) was in it for the long haul. By late 2013, there were prominent, full-scale production applications gaining wide acclaim. It's no wonder, then, that Meteor's 1.0 release was so eagerly anticipated. But just in case you're not yet convinced by all the hype, here's a list of nine ways Meteor 1.0 will take you out of this world!

1. New Documentation and Tutorials, and Updated Example Apps

For 1.0, the Meteor Development Group launched a brand new website complete with statistics on downloads, Stack Overflow questions, events, professional services, and more. But the changes weren't merely superficial (or promotional). The documentation was completely revamped, separating a simplified documentation, with descriptive sections and subtitles, from the full API.

To onboard new developers, the Meteor website now has a short tutorial on installing Meteor and building a small todo application. For those of us looking for more, the MDG created a section describing each "subproject" of the framework in detail with links to the repositories and relevant documentation. Developers can get a comprehensive overview of the Meteor ecosystem.

2. Atmosphere is the Official Smart Package Catalog

Just before 1.0, Atmosphere became the official smart package catalog for Meteor. Packages are installed with the developer's Meteor username or organization, a : and the name of the package itself. This helps to differentiate packages with the same name so developers don't have to come up with any number of clever names for a fork of the same library, for example. At the time of this writing, Atmosphere was just short of 3,000 smart packages. It could very well be more than that by now!

And while searching the new and improved Atmosphere catalog is a breeze, those who love the command line will be excited to know you can search for smart packages using the meteor search command, and get more detailed information about specific packages using the meteor show command.

3. Live CSS Injections

If you were eagerly following the Meteor buzz prior to 1.0, you know Meteor uses Blaze and Tracker (formerly Deps) to create a real-time, synced database accessible from the client and server. That's awesome, but that functionality has been a part of Meteor from the beginning.

However, there was a sidenote to the announcement of the release of 0.9.0 that I believe needs reiterating. Live CSS injections:

During development, when you change your app's CSS but not any other files, the CSS will be updated in all open browser tabs without a page refresh. This works even if you are using a CSS preprocessor such as LESS or Sass.

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