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Thread: Node.js

  1. #1


    It seemed to me that every web coder in San Fransico is using Node.js and I thought that I should find out what it is in case I am missing the boat on something.

    Well it seems to be an engine that leverages the Chrome Browser Javascript Engine to allow Javascript files to be run from the command line. So after installing Node.js to your computer or server, you can run Javascript from the command line like this: node myfile.js

    And to output text to the console use the console.log("text"); function.

    It comes with various modules such as for file handling or http requests which you load as required.

    The main purpose of node.js seems to be to provide a way to have a web server that uses Javascript as it's server-side language rather than say PHP. Since most front-end developers are most comfortable with Javascript (which is primarily a Client-side scripting language).

    A benefit of Node.js as a server is that it encourages the use of Asynchronous data transfers so that the server can be bombarded with requests for data without "blocking" i.e. it doesn't have to wait for each data request to be served in sequence which could create a bottle-neck if some data servers are slow to respond. This contributes to the goal of having responsive single-page apps.

    A downside that I see is that most cheap web hosts prefer to run a LAMP or Windows server, so a Node.js server would probably need to be on a dedicated box or VPS. And of course, all the server side code may need to be written in Javascript.
    If you are familiar with Javascript, it only takes a short time to get familiar with Node.js by installing it and working through the learnyoucode tutorial. Check out: node.js

    In conclusion: for most webmasters, I think it is a curiosity and only of serious interest to developers of bespoke Intranet Solutions for corporate clients. But I could be wrong

  2. #2
    Hmm, a web app development team could save money by only needing Javascript coders.

    Hmm, a front-end JS single-page framework should use asynchronous data requests normally, so why does the server have to do asynchronous database requests? Only if it is operating in a distributed server environment maybe (where the servers take various significant times to respond)?

  3. #3
    Boo hoo, Node body liked my post!

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