Get started with Meteor
Build a simple chat application

The complete source code is available here
start it with "meteor --port=4000"

Install Meteor

On Mac, Ubuntu or similar in the terminal run
curl | sh

On Windows (with a virtual machine) follow

On Windows (with
Tobias will assist you
or follow

Install Meteorite

Well we're going to use packages
from later.

npm install -g meteorite
How on

Create a project

  • Create a projekt
    • mrt create chatapp
  • Run meteor, and open it in the browser
    • localhost:3000
  • Create a client/ folder
  • Create a collections/ folder
  • Create a server/ folder
  • Create a public/ folder for images, if you want to
  • Remove other files, except the smart.json

Create a Template

Tasks (step3)
  • Create a template in a main.html file the client folder
    • <body>{{> messages}}</body>
    • <template name="messages"></template>
  • Create a collection in the collections/ folder (messages.js)
    • Messages = new Meteor.Collection('messages');
  • Add some example chat messages from the console
    • With a name and message
    • Messages.insert({name: 'example-name', message: 'hello world'});
  • Check for your message with: Messages.find().fetch()
  • Render the message(s) in the template (main.js)
  •    messages: function() { return Messages.find(); }


Tasks (step4)
  • Add accounts-base, accounts-password, accounts-ui, accounts-ui-unstyled and render the login-box
  • If advanced, try to use the accounts-entry and iron-router to login and sign-up.
  • Clear the database, with meteor reset
  • Create an account and sign in, and do that in another browser window as well, or on another computer.
  • Now add new messages 
    • with a "user" from Meteor.user()._id 
    • a message
    • and a timestamp with for example "(+new Date)" as before

Render the username

Tasks (step5)
  • Setup users to be able to add a username on signup
  • In the message template render the username from the user with a helper function.
  • Optional:
    • Add the package gravatar from atmosphere to render profile pictures instead of the username.

  • Inspect Meteor.users in the console
  • Log "this" to the console from a helper that should render the username.

Create a message form

Tasks (step6)
  • Create a template for adding messages
  • Render the message form below the messages.
  • On submit on the form add the message, user and timestamp like we did through the console

Create chat Rooms

Tasks (step7)
  • Add iron-router[, and {{> yield}} to main.html (but not in 0.8.3)]
  • Create a chat room collection
  • Create some chat rooms through the console
  • Create a home route (in router.js in the client folder)
    • In the home route render the chat-rooms
  • Create a chat-room route and render the messages template as before, but select only the messages tagged with your chat-room_id.
  • Change the message form so that it adds the chat-room id to each collection.
    • Tips: Router.current() gives the current route your at.

Style your chat application

Tasks (step8)
  • Add css so that messages are right and left aligned, depending on who typed the message
  • Create a bubble around each message
  • Bottom align the message form to add make it big.
  • Make the gravatar round or style it cool

More ideas:
  • Add a like button to reply with
  • Add a ... (typing response) message
  • Show how many users there are in each chatroom
  • Show an notice of empty chatroom if no messages
  • Scroll to bottom when new messages are added