It’s good to be SMUG: South Bay Mobile User Group

The SMUG group held a meeting this week on campus. The meeting was a mixture of classmates and paying members. Since my school was hosting the group, students at my campus were able to attend free of charge. Nice arrangement.

South Bay Mobile Users Group

What Exactly Is Their Group?

Their Meetup group says that they are “dedicated to educating, promoting and supporting the mobile technology community in Los Angeles and the surrounding counties. Our group of technology enthusiasts gather once a month for presentations, discussion and networking.” I believe that they choose a new mobile framework each month. They do this to keep up with the fashionable languages and frameworks that emerge every few months.

This week, they presented about Meteor framework. It is built purely in JavaScript. On the server, it uses Node.js and MongoDB. On the client side, Meteor uses a small amount of HTML and a large amount of JavaScript. Synchronization between the server and the client is done using a miniaturized MongoDB written in JavaScript. I love the idea of having a mini-version of MongoDB in JavaScript. That could be very useful outside of a framework.

The presenter, Alex Reich, did a great job running through the basics of Meteor. It was like a super fast paced in-person on-line tutorial. At times, I felt like he went too fast, and if anyone wasn’t on their game, they would easily be left behind. Personally, I understood the basics and all the code-players involved. I did get a little behind on the framework comparisons and the selling point of Meteor, besides the “You can make a prototype website really fast” comment, that we all hear too often. They say it like everyone is dying to have a wonderful and fabulous website up in exactly one hour. Then, we could exclaim, ‘It’s alive, and beautiful, and functional! Let the people pour into my site like water into a glass.’ It’s an exaggeration, but that’s what I imagine all those impatient wannabe website owners doing. It’s helpful to remember that some things just take time and skill if you want something to be sturdy and secure; and beautiful, of course.

Speedy production aside, it’s a cool framework. I like the idea and features offered. It is definitely in-fashion. Doing a simple internet search shows a lot of articles ranging from Wired to Tech Crunch.

I love learning about trending code frameworks and the people who use them. If you are using Meteor, please share your experience. Also, state the project for which you are using it … in the comments.

Here are some links Reich gave out. Feel free to ping me if I missed one:

https://www.meteor.com/install (Tutorial we followed)
http://crater.io/ (Community)
https://atmospherejs.com/ (Community Packages)
http://www.reddit.com/r/meteor (Community)
https://www.meteor.com/ddp (DDP Definition)
https://github.com/boundsj/ObjectiveDDP (DDP for iOS)
http://material.meteor.com/ (Material Design)

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