We launched Discover Meteor nearly five years ago, and today we’ve decided to stop selling the book.

To be fair, it’s probably something we should’ve done a long time ago. We haven’t updated the book in over a year and a half, and even before that its was already showing its age.

That doesn’t mean its contents are worthless though. Not only can they still be useful to Meteor beginners, we are also still both very proud of what we achieved with this project. I’ve heard from many people that Discover Meteor was one of the best programming books they ever read, and to this day I still regularly meet people who learned Meteor with it.

So we’ve decided to keep the book available online and make it accessible for free.

(Note: if you’ve purchased the book in the last 3 months, we’ve already processed your refund)

Discover Meteor 2.0?

You might be wondering why we never upgraded the book for the React era. One reason is that over the past couple years, Meteor has had a hard time reclaiming the momentum that made writing the book in the first place so exciting.

Another reason is that today’s Meteor is very different from the project that launched in 2012. The all-in-one vision that made it so easy to quickly launch apps –and by extension made it possible to write a relatively succint book about how to do it– is gone, replaced by an admittedly much-needed embrace of the JavaScript ecosystem at large.

And as Meteor got better at playing nice with React, Angular, GraphQL, and all these other key technologies, it also lost some of its original reason for existing. So paradoxically, while Meteor as a platform is better than ever, there is also less of a reason to write a book about it today.

The final reason is that while I still use Meteor myself (more or that shortly), Tom isn’t working on any Meteor project at the moment, and it just didn’t make sense to us to write a book about a technology we weren’t both using regularly.

Chromatic: Visual Component Testing

Speaking of Tom, he’s been hard at work on his new project, Chromatic. I’ll let him talk about it:

Chromatic solves one of the most elusive web and app development problems: user interface regressions.

UI is the hairiest part of the stack to test: automated tests are difficult to write and maintain, while being prone to false positives. Most teams give up on automating UI tests at all, impacting development speed and quality. However, with the rise of component based UI development (like React), it’s time to reconsider that approach.

Components are key to UI testing because they provide a clear, standardized set of inputs to a unit of UI. This means Chromatic can automatically compare the visual output of components between changes to ensure your app keeps looking and working great. Better yet, if you are using Storybook to develop your components, you can get a full automated visual test suite running for your UI in minutes; you can find at more at our site.

VulcanJS: Keeping Meteor’s Original Vision Alive

As I said, I still use Meteor to this day. Not only that, but I also still believe in that original vision of achieving easy, approachable web development through an all-in-one full-stack framework.

I think that Meteor simply came along too early, at a time where the Meteor Development Group had to build the entire stack from scratch, from front-end framework to state management to build tool.

But that era is over: today, world-class, well-adopted libraries exist for every brick of the stack, from React for the front-end to MDG’s own Apollo library for the data layer. And in fact Meteor itself has quietly become an amazing build tool, implementing innovations like code splitting as fast as any of its competitors.

So all the pieces are waiting to be put together in one tidy package, and that’s exactly what I’m trying to do with VulcanJS, an open-souce React+Apollo+Meteor framework I’ve been working on for the past couple years. And by the way, Vulcan is actually the evolution of the Telescope project that was at the origin of this very book!

Moving On

Vulcan isn’t the only JavaScript project I’ve been involved with lately. For the past two years, I’ve been running the State of JavaScript survey, which collects data from over 23,000 developers in order to find out the latest trends in the JavaScript ecosystem.

And from what I can see, the ecosystem is more dynamic and vibrant than ever. So if like me you embarked on your JavaScript journey with Meteor, I think there’s no better time than now to venture out and explore the wider world out there.