Meteor 1.2 embraces Angular and React

Server-side JavaScript framework built on Node.js now integrates with the most popular client-side tools

With an upcoming upgrade, the Meteor JavaScript platform will accommodate the latest JavaScript standard and will back the Angular and React JavaScript frameworks as view layers.

Due in about two months, version 1.2 of the open source platform will conform with ECMAScript 2015 standard, which underlies JavaScript and was approved in June. Capabilities from the standard include a class system to organize code in terms of hierarchy, shortcuts for developing more concise code, and variable scoping, said Matt DeBergalis, Meteor vice president of product, in an interview.

While Meteor backs ECMAScript 2015, not all browsers or the Node.js server-side JavaScript platform leveraged by Meteor do so, DeBergalis said. With Meteor, developers can write applications leveraging ECMAScript 2015 and have the code translated to older JavaScript, albeit with more complex code. "It's sort of like compiling to machine language," said DeBergalis.

In supporting the Angular (also known as AngularJS) 1.x and React JavaScript frameworks as view layers, Meteor 1.2 is giving developers options beyond the platform's own Blaze user interface library. While developers have used Angular and React with Meteor before, this is the first time Meteor is officially supporting these pairings, and support for Angular 2.0 is planned as well.

Meteor's support of more frameworks expands options for developers, noted Lou Sacco, principal engineer at Qualcomm, which has used Meteor to develop an expense approval application. "It'll mean, from my point of view, is the fact that we can leverage some of those UI frameworks that have pre-built components," like Angular, he said. Meteor, Sacco said, enables Qualcomm to push updates to its application to multiple users without them having to specifically access it.

Also in version 1.2, Meteor supports a pipeline for using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) preprocessors, such as Less. Mobile development support now features updated versions of the Apache Cordova packages, for building native applications via Web technologies. Performance also is being improved in the upgrade.

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