It’s been a while since we’ve shared any news here, but that doesn’t mean we’ve been sitting still. In fact, both Tom and I have been involved in new projects lately, so we thought it was time to give you all a quick update.

What Sacha Has Been Up To: Vulcan

If you’re familiar with Discover Meteor, you might also know the open source project that inspired it, Telescope.

As I mentioned in our post about the benefits of switching to Apollo, the Telescope core team recently migrated the app from Meteor’s pub/sub data layer to Apollo. In the process, we came up with quite a few time-saving patterns and components which make using Apollo almost as smooth as the original it-just-works Meteor experience. We thought these improvements could be valuable to others, so we decided to extract them into a stand-alone app framework, which we call Vulcan.

Vulcan

The result is a new Apollo-powered framework that gives you all the convenience of GraphQL, but with a few Rails-like conventions to speed up new projects. Here are a few examples of what Vulcan can do:

  • Generating your GraphQL schema.
  • Data loading.
  • Generating and validating forms.
  • Handling user accounts, as well as groups & permissions.
  • Other features including server-side rendering, internationalization, and more.

We believe one of the main reasons for the success of Discover Meteor was that Meteor itself had a very forgiving learning curve, meaning you could go from 0 to a working app fairly easily.

So the philosophy behind Vulcan is to get this ease of use back, except this time built on top of widespread standards and libraries like React, Apollo, and GraphQL. If that sounds interesting, please give it a try or stop by the Vulcan Slack chatroom if you have any questions!

What Tom Has Been Up To: Chroma

I’ll let Tom take it from here! – Sacha

After recently leaving the Meteor Development Group to start Chroma, a new company, Zoltan Olah, Dominic Nguyen, and myself have been investigating new ideas in the development space.

Chroma

One area that is particularly interesting to me is the trend towards “componentization” of user interfaces (UIs). As we’ve matured as a JavaScript development community from the most basic jQuery-driven UIs, there has been a collective understanding that making our UIs more modular is a “good thing”. However, I think we are still at the start of the journey towards getting the most out of the benefits of thinking in components.

I’ve been writing quite a bit about our “component-driven development” philosophy, and in particular I wrote a tutorial series following the development of a React+GraphQL-powered task list using a component-driven process.

If you are interested in learning more about the next level of component re-use make sure you sign up for our mailing list. We’ll keep putting out tutorial articles, and we might even expand them into a full-fledged book on the subject eventually.