Novice JavaScript developers and those just getting started handling the server side can easily fall into the trap of JavaScript fatigue. With the numerous components that make up a full-stack JavaScript application, aggressive fan-bases, and new tools constantly being hailed as the new “must use” thing, it can be difficult for someone starting out to weed through the hype and figure out exactly what they should learn and use for their first applications. When they come across frameworks and boilerplates that are supposed to make things easier, new developers often find that they need to conquer a mountain of new information before they can even attempt them.

Enter Clementine.js: a relatively recent addition, developed by Blake Johnston in 2015. This boilerplate takes simplicity to the extreme, and is easily one of the lightest of its kind.

For example, while it has three versions to choose from, the default is built with Node.js, MongoDB, and Express. There are no preferred front-end frameworks to commit to, and no extraneous technologies to bulk up the project and get in your way, although you can select an Angular version if you favor the MEAN stack.

Students learning full-stack JavaScript through the free (as in speech and beer) program Free Code Camp, who are used to being told to learn by doing, will be delighted to see that there is a version hand-crafted for them. In it, the standard version is paired with Passport for secure authentication through GitHub and Mongoose for modeling data in MongoDB. Clementine.js and Free Code Camp are great for each other.

Each version lays out clear installation instructions and strong documentaion. There are tutorials for incorporating Angular, authentication, deploying successfully to Heroku, and for the absolute beginner to walk themselves through putting together what Clementine.js installs for them. Watch that space in the future, as tutorials on testing in Mocha and incorporating React.js for MERN stack projects are soon to come.

Will this be the framework you use for every project you ever make? Absolutely not; there are good reasons why many of these other boilerplates and projects become so bloated, and not every tool works well for every project. But if you’re a beginner and you’re not utilizing Clementine.js, you are making more work for yourself.

Like what Blake has done with Clementine.js? Consider contributing to the project. As with other open-source projects, it can only survive with the help of meaningful contributions.

What are you building today? Continue the conversation in the comments!

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