Meteor and Rails Compared

I’ve started playing with Meteor.  I’ve done several tutorials for it in the past, and even went to Meteor SpaceCamp in 2015, but now I am actually building things.

I’ve been contributing to the new CodeBuddies website (original here, kudos to Linda for building the site and the community!) and I’m building a workout log for myself (mainly as a learning experience).

Meteor is something like Rails:  a way to get started fast and have a working web app with minimum code.  It’s more opinionated:  currently it uses Mongo as the database straight out of the box.  It also has less convention than rails:

  • There is no accepted folder structure (although there are some basic rules that can help you organize your own code).
  • ActiveRecord is a great help in setting up associations – Mongo is much more free form
  • Mongo has no set schema – items in the same collection (aka”table” in SQL) can have different fields from each other
  • There are no form helpers – everything is javascript and html, and you have to write all events and helpers yourself

There are also some changes to look forward to, or maybe dread if you’ve done a lot of development with Meteor already.