For my next project and, after looking for candidates and reading some hundreds of lines of documentation, I finally choose to work with the so called MEAN stack: mongodb, express, angular and node.
Yeoman generators are tasks responsible to build the initial project scaffolding.
Yeoman offers an extensive set of official generators oriented to create: webapps, backbone app, chrome extension, etc but we can also found a myriad of non oficial generators (yes, because anyone can create a new generator to satisfy his/her needs).
Within all the generators I chose angular-fullstack to create my MEAN project structure and next are my reasons:
1. Easy to install
You require to have node and npm installed on your system. Once you have them installYeoman and the angular-fullstack is as easy as:
$ npm install -g yo
$ npm install -g generator-angular-fullstack
Once installed the generator you simply need to create a new folder and initialise your project:
$ mkdir my-new-project && cd $_
$ yo angular-fullstack [app-name]
2. Creates both client and server scaffoldings
The generator generates the full stack of your project, both the client and server code. Your project will start well organised and prepared to create an awesome RIA application.
3. Introduces good practices in the generated code
Because the generated is made by experienced developers, they applies good practices in code organisation and style programming (like the environment configuration on the server side using node).
For me, this is one of the most important reasons to use this generator. Anybody knows starting with a new technology is always hard, but it is nothing when you start with four new technologies
4. Server side API prepared to use authentication
Following best practices the code is prepared so you can easily add security to you API via a node middleware so each request requires authentication of the client side.
5. Support HTML or jade templating on client side
You can use any template engine for client side but by default the generator works with HTML and Jade. I don’t really like Jade too much so I always try to use EJS or similar (Warning this last sentence is the author’s opinion).
6. Support for different CSS preprocessors
For different opinions there are different alternatives. This way angular-fullstack has support for plain CSS, Stylus, Sass or LESS pre-processors. Choose your preferred.
7. Commands to scaffold anything
With theangular-fullstack you can create new end points for the server side or client side components (like routes, controllers, services, filters, directives, …) with a sentences. So, next command:
yo angular-fullstack:endpoint message
[?] What will the url of your endpoint to be? /api/messages
In my opnion, angular-fullstack is a really powerful tool that simplifies our day to day work.
As always it is not the panacea, it is simply a generic tool to automatize many common tasks. Because of this we can found situations it lacks some feature.