I do MEAN IT!

Since I finally decided to give up on aspnet and pick Express/NodeJS as my backend I found out that I ended up being a part of MEAN stack developers community.

MEAN stands for:

  • MongoDB which is a NoSQL database server
  • Express which is a server side framework for building your apps with javascript on Node
  • Angular which is a front-end framework from Google
  • NodeJS which is a JavaScript runtime so you can host and execute javascript on the server.

As for the first version of angular, two main MEAN stack implementations have taken the lead: mean.io and meanjs.org, there are not so many examples for Angular2 as it’s currently in beta.

I picked the https://github.com/datatypevoid/ng2-mean-webpack MEAN Stack Development Starter by David Niciforovic, mainly because it’s using webpack (https://webpack.github.io) so that I could learn it, but also because it’s one of the most complete and up-to-date solutions available. I had already some experience with grunt and gulp task runners so webpack was next on my list (there’s also a browserify module bundler on the market, but webpack looks more sexy Smile). Actually it’s using gulp AND webpack, so it sounds like a good start.

First thing to be done after downloading was some reconfiguration and modifying the application/author identities. I was happy to keep the notice about David to let people know about the cool stuff he’s doing out there. I had to upgrade Node to v5.7.1 and npm to 3.3.12 so from the Mature and Dependable to Latest Features, sounds cool huh?

So far so good, I managed to get the app up and running, being able to connect to my MongoDB server within few hours of reading and typing. This wasn’t the case for aspnet core which makes me think they have still a lot of work to accomplish before coming back to this idea with my next project. I obviously don’t plan to give up on that as the aspnet core is a game-changer to me, it’s just a bit to early for now, so I will wait till the next official release with tooling.

Back to my project, the first impression of webpack is that it’s a really nice bundler tool. On the very general level, it’s just used to bundle things you are using as a modules and automagically include it in your web app. It may, for instance, make your CSS files a javascript module and bundle this module together with any other module you’re using on your webpage. Since a lot of features of this bundler is used in the starter pack I will be using, there will be probably a separate post about webpack usage as I move along with the app development and get more familiar with it. Stay tuned.

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