MidwestJS Wrap Up


The second year of MidwestJS in Minneapolis has come to a close. MidwestJS is an annual conference consisting of developers and sponsors coming together to talk about the latest developments in JavaScript and web development. This year was dominated by ReactJS and the newly ratified ES 2015 standard. The conference kicked off with four workshops which included ReactJS, Node, ES 2015 and AngularJS.

Here are some of the project and technology highlights:

Universal JavaScript Apps using ReactJS

Universal React, also known as Isomorphic, is React code that is shared across both the server and the client. Bruce Coddington (@BruceCoddington) demoed a project where the server uses React to render the page. React has built-in functionality for sending components to the client using renderToString. The client code can slurp the state data from the rendered HTML and rehydrate the data stores. The code for the Isomorphic React demo is at https://github.com/brucecoddington/react-timesheet-univ.



Meteor is a full-stack server and client-side JavaScript platform, not just an MVC client framework. Meteor blurs the line between server and client code everything sitting in a single file. There is no need for AJAX calls, writing route files or CRUD controllers. In a traditional React or Angular app when a change is made to the data model you have to make a request, wait for the server then handle the response. In Meteor, everything is automatically synced to the database as the DOM changes. Currently Meteor connects to MongoDB without any additional configuration. Meteor plans on releasing a paid service for seamless deployment, ES 2015 and SQL database support in a future release.



Sails is a server-side JavaScript framework built on Node specializing in simplifying development. Sails has a built-in ORM for connecting to Mongo, Postgres and MySQL right out of the box. It also has a CLI for generating the controllers and RESTful routes for models. All you have to do is just define properties and relations for your models. It promises to remove some of the pain in validation and CRUD boilerplate of other server-side Node frameworks.


MidwestJS wrapped up with a fantastic keynote about the state of the union of JavaScript by John DeJong (@jondejong). He stressed that with all the tooling, frameworks and package managers available there is no reason to create Oklahoma code, or as their license plate says “Just OK.” MidwestJS was a great opportunity to meet lots of people involved in the community, including the creator of the Q promise library, Kris Kowal (@kriskowal). All sample code and slides are available at https://github.com/midwestjs/2015.

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