This feels to me a lot like how Rails felt back in 2005. A fundamental leap forward and an understanding of where web technology is going.
I haven't felt that way about Node.js or even its higher-level frameworks like Express or Batman. This feels like "The One", even though I've been absorbing the docs and screencasts only for the last 20 minutes.
I somewhat disagree. I want to preface my post by saying I'm smiling ear to ear—I loved the screencast, and I look forward to using this tomorrow on a project I've been thinking about for a while.
Here's my concern: If I use Meteor as it is intended, and I also want a my application to have API, I'll have to re-implement all of my logic server-side. This seems like a step back, unless I'm misreading things.
I'd love for the Meteor team to address this. Does Meteor make writing APIs easier?
: I'm aware that much of the "client-side" code is executed server-side too, but that's due to Meteor's magically transparent client-side framework.
Hey, one of the Meteor authors here. Meteor's architecture makes it super easy to make an API. It's one of the advantages of building your architecture around sending data around rather than HTML.
We couldn't go into everything in the video (it was already too long!), but the piece you're missing is Meteor.methods(). This lets you define methods, which are functions that the client can invoke on the server by calling Meteor.call(). If you choose to also ship the code for these methods to the client (it's optional) then you'll get full latency compensation like we talk about in the video. (This means that Meteor can latency-compensate arbitrarily complex functions, like "read this record, then add 2 to X if this field is false, else create a new record Y.")
In fact, every Meteor app already has an API :) Your Meteor client can connect to any other Meteor server by calling Meteor.connect(), and can then subscribe to any realtime datasets that that server is publishing, or invoke any methods available on that server. This is done with a protocol called DDP, but we could map DDP to REST fairly easily.
> every Meteor app already has an API :) Your Meteor client can connect to any other Meteor server by calling Meteor.connect()
What about a non-Meteor client connecting to a Meteor server? Does that client have to understand DDP, or is that what you mean by "we could map DDP to REST" - there's no support for non-DDP clients now, but it's planned?
The latency compensation and Meteor.call() interface sound great, but what I understood by the GP's question about an API was "how can other clients besides mine talk to my app?".
From talking to deberg (matt debergalis) on #meteor, ddp stands for distributed data protocol and in his words "is a combination of remote method invocation and attribute pub sub, tied together in a way that [allows] latency compensation on the client by simulating server methods"