ASP.NET v5 vs Meteor – Using Less

I was watching a video today from Microsoft going through Visual Studio 2015 and how well it works with bower, npm and grunt. This might be the case but it just seams to me that Microsoft are making development more time consuming.

It’s 2015 and developers should be able to focus on the web app they need to complete in the least amount of coding possible. I know there’s a fine line and there needs to be enough flexibility for the developer but I think Microsoft are giving the developer too much, which in turn makes them unproductive.

Recently I have been really enjoying developing on the Meteor framework. I’ve use C9 as my development environment and its been great.

I still develop in ASP.NET MVC so it’s very interesting to compare these two.

Anyway back to watching the video, they were explaining how you get less to work in an ASP.NET 5 project and I was amazed how many steps and how much code you have to write just to get it working.

So you have add a line to the package.json file to include grunt-contrib-less, then you have to write another line in your gruntfile.js and finally you have to add 10 lines of code (ok some are { } ) to get things working.

In Meteor you just call the command line meteor add less and your good to continue with your development. I can continue to stay focused on my project and don’t have to think which files I need to update to get a package working.

I would love to get your thoughts and comments on this.

Meteor Resources to Get You Started

As with any new development platform or framework, it takes time to master. Getting the right information to start you off is the key to enjoying the ride and building successful web apps.

I have collected a number of references to sites and videos that I refer to and used to learn the way.

In the Beginning

If you know nothing about Meteor then to get you started I would recommend Discover Meteor eBook, which takes you through the main features of Meteor while you build an app. You can get the first part of the book for free if you sign up with your account

Another great tutorial is provided by tuts+ and aimed at prototyping with Meteor. It’s a great primer for learning though.–net-30915

BulletProof Meteor is a good turtorial that goes deeper into MongoDB and NodeJS, so recommended after you have completed Discover Meteor.

Learning Resource

There’s a great selection of resources at which has some great links, including resources on Javascript if your not experienced in the language yet.

Best resources to become a master is another great page for Meteor related websites, blogs, books, Youtube videos and communities.

Meteor Hacks has a growing resource of tutorials, hacks and projects.

Once you understand Meteor then Meteor Tips and Workarounds is a handy site for you to get some useful info.

Video Tutorials

Meteor tips has a complete video training course if you prefer this form of training. The course is very reasonable at $39.

You should defiantly subscribe to the Meteor channel on YouTube to get the latest information and see videos from Dev Shops and conferences.

Cheat Sheet

Patrick Leet as created a cool cheat sheet on GitHub that I reference and I highly recommend. It’s code with comments but helps you remember functionality. I would recommend understanding the structure of a Meteor app before using this though.

Meteor Packages

One of Meteor’s strengths is the ability to extend its features with meteor packages. So adding login accounts features or including Bootstrap is a breeze. AtmosphereJS is a fantastic site where you can search for these Meteor packages.

News Sites

The following news sites are a great resource to keep up with what’s happening in the Meteor world, so keep an eye on them.

Meteor Project Startup Sheet

Recently I have been developing web projects in Meteor and really enjoying the platform. Whenever I develop in a new platform or framework I create a kind of crib sheet of commands I use to start a project up.

Here’s the list I use for Meteor:

  • meteor create <project name>
  • add folders to project – client [helpers, stylesheets, templates], lib [collections], public & server
  • meteor add jquery
  • meteor add bootstrap
  • meteor add iron:router
  • meteor add accounts-base
  • meteor add accounts-password
  • meteor remove autopublish
  • create server/publications.js
  • create client/template/application/layout.html
  • create lib/router.js
  • create server/fixtures.js
  • create client/main.js

In addition I have been experimenting with polymer, which you can add to your project with meteor add ecwyne:polymer-elements