The philosophy behind Grind is simple: provide a fast, easy to use framework while avoiding reinventing the wheel wherever possible.

You can find a lot of well tested and highly used packages on NPM, but tracking them down and integrating them into your app in a cohesive manner without things feeling fragmented gets to be tiresome and difficult.

Grind is built on Express, and while Express is all about being “unopinionated”, Grind very much as an opinion. It provides you with an clear, defined structure for building your app, integrating with different packages, loading routes, config, etc…

Outside of Express, Grind leverages popular NPM packages from Objection.js for ORM, to Nunjucks for templating; allowing you to get the benefits of a framework without worrying about whether or not Grind’s DBA library is up to par — you already know that Knex is.

Grind has no interest in forcing vendor lock in with it’s own packages. While we think we chose well, if you decide you’d rather use sequelize over Objection.js, go for it! Grind won’t tie you to anything, it’s highly extensible and swapping out components via it’s Provider system is a breeze.

While Grind wants to provide you with a structured framework, it absolutely does not want you to incur overhead for it. Grind shifts as much as possible to boot time configuration to avoid costs at runtime every time a request is processed.

A good example of this is Grind’s interaction with Express. Grind extends Express’s routing in a number of ways, but it does so all during boot time so while you as a developer have powerful routing, once Grind is booted and requests are being served, the performance is about the same as if you wrote it all out by hand in vanilla Express.

Grind makes heavy use of the Babel transpiler to build for the future, rather than being tied down by what Node/V8 can do right now. As Node continue to grow, we’ll periodically update our Babel settings to reduce the number of transpilers necessary. For now, we’re committed to supporting Node v6 as our base target until v8 officially hits LTS.