||This article may require copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone, or spelling. (June 2014)|
|Original author(s)||Ryan Dahl|
|Developer(s)||Node.js Developers, Joyent, Github Contributors|
|Initial release||May 27, 2009|
|Stable release||0.10.29 / June 16, 2014|
|Preview release||0.11.13 / May 1, 2014|
|Operating system||Mac OS X, Linux, Solaris, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Windows (older versions require Cygwin), webOS|
Node.js applications are designed to maximize throughput and efficiency, using non-blocking I/O and asynchronous events. Node.js applications run single-threaded, although Node.js uses multiple threads for file and network events. Node.js is commonly used for real time applications due to its asynchronous nature, allowing applications to display information faster for users without the need for refreshing.
Node.js was created by Ryan Dahl starting in 2009. Its development and maintenance is sponsored by Joyent. Dahl was inspired to create Node.js after seeing a file upload progress bar on Flickr. The browser did not know how much of the file had been uploaded and had to query the web server. Dahl wanted an easier way. Ruby's Mongrel web server was another source of inspiration for Dahl.
npm, a package manager for Node.js libraries, was introduced in 2011.
On January 30, 2012 Dahl stepped aside, promoting coworker and npm creator Isaac Schlueter to the gatekeeper position.
On January 15, 2014 Schlueter announced he was making npm his main focus and Timothy J Fontaine would be Node.js' new project lead. The next day, January 16, 2014, Timothy J Fontaine made a followup post outlining the road ahead where he mentioned bug fixing, performance tuning, staying up to date with the V8 engine and tooling as priorities.
Node.js registers itself with the operating system, so that it is notified when a connection is made. When a connection is made, the operating system will issue a callback. Within the Node.js runtime, each connection is a small heap allocation. Traditionally, relatively heavyweight OS processes or threads handled each connection. Node.js, however, uses an event loop, instead of processes or threads, to scale to millions of connections happening at the same time. In contrast to other event-driven servers, Node.js' event loop does not need to be called explicitly. Instead callbacks are defined, and the server automatically enters the event loop at the end of the callback definition. Node.js exits the event loop when there are no further callbacks to be performed.
Node.js can be compiled locally or downloaded as a pre-compiled binary. Applications are executed from the command line with the command: "node <application name>.js"
Traditional web-serving techniques require each connection (request) to create a new thread, taking up system RAM and eventually maxing-out at the amount of RAM available. Node.js is different. It operates on a single-thread, using non-blocking I/O calls, allowing it to support tens of thousands of concurrent connections, without worrying about RAM limitations and the cost of context-switching between threads. The design of sharing a single-thread between all the requests means it can be used to build highly concurrent applications. The design goal of a Node.js application is that any function performing an I/O must use a callback. Node.js brings a new element to the mix in the form of an event-driven focus on the server-side. Client-side operational methods simply aren't efficient enough for the current and forthcoming generations of web systems. Node.js pushes data to clients if and only when appropriate.
Npm is the package manager that comes preinstalled with the Node.js server platform. It is used to install Node.js programs from the npm registry. By organizing the installation and management of third-party Node.js programs, it helps developers build faster. npm is not to be confused with the commonJS require() statement. It is not used to load code: instead, it manages to install code and manage code dependencies from the command line. The packages found in the npm registry can range from simple helper libraries like underscore.js to task runners like grunt.js that are not intended for use on one single application.
Some of the real time applications of Node.js are:
- It can be used as a Web socket server: A typical example of this is a chat server.
- Fast file upload client: when there is a big file to be uploaded, to make sure that they don't block so that you can upload more than one file at a time.
Node.js has a developer community primarily centered on two mailing lists and the IRC channel #node.js on freenode. The community gathers at NodeConf, an annual developer conference focused on Node.js.
Tools and IDEs
- Desktop IDEs
- Atom (free open-source)
- Nodeclipse Enide Studio (free open-source, Eclipse-based)
- JetBrains WebStorm (commercial)
- JetBrains IntelliJ IDEA (commercial)
- Microsoft Visual Studio with Node.js Tools for Visual Studio
- Microsoft Visual Studio with TypeScript
- NoFlo – flow-based programming environment integrated with GNOME APIs
- Online code editors
- Runtimes and debuggers
- Microsoft WebMatrix (free) or Visual Studio (commercial product) with Node.js Tools for Visual Studio (free)
Advantages and drawbacks
||This article contains a pro and con list, which is sometimes inappropriate. (June 2014)|
Node.js is a lightweight platform, a step away from the heavier frameworks and infrastructures, which might give Node.js an advantage when deployed in the cloud or other environments where scaling is achieved by creating more workers.
Of course as with any relatively new technology, Node.js has some drawbacks:
- Node.js libraries are developed actively, with a high rate of change from month-to-month. This can cause version issues, instabilities and certain development issues.
- Npm shrink wrap and package.json were introduced a while back to set up standards, but the issue of standards is still a work in process and some issues still exist.
- The whole callback, event-driven, functional programming aspects of Node.js can add a learning curve burden to server-side programmers of other object-oriented languages.
- Asynchronous and event-driven code inherently adds more complexity to the code versus a synchronous code.
- Erlang (programming language)
- Twisted (software)
- Scala (programming language)
- Dart (programming language)
- Go (programming language)
- "Download node.js". Retrieved 2014-06-20.
- Harris, Amber (April 1, 2012). "The Birth of Node: Where Did it Come From? Creator Ryan Dahl Shares the History". Devops Angle. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
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- "Ryan Dahl at JSConf EU 2009 Video".
- [Porting Node to Windows http://blog.nodejs.org/2011/06/23/porting-node-to-windows-with-microsoft%25e2%2580%2599s-help/], Node.js Blog
- Dahl, Ryan. "New gatekeeper". Retrieved 26 October 2013.
- Schlueter, Isaac (January 15, 2014). "The Next Phase of Node.js". Retrieved 21 January 2014.
- Fontaine, Timothy (January 16, 2014). "Node.js and the Road Ahead". Retrieved 21 January 2014.
- Hughes-Croucher, Tom; Wilson, Mike (2012). Up and Running with Node.js. Up and Running (1st ed.). Sebastopol: O'Reilly. p. vii. ISBN 978-1-4493-9858-3. "I was concerned about the ability to program advanced push features into the website like I had seen in Gmail"
See the book's Foreword at OReilly.com
- Implementations/node.js - CommonJS Spec Wiki
- NodeConf Schedule Announced, By Klint Finley, April 7, 2011, ReadWriteHack
- Geitgey, Adam (30 October 2013). "I-Tier: Dismantling the Monoliths". Groupon. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
- "SAP AppBuilder". SAP. March 10, 2014. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
- "You'll never believe how LinkedIn built its new iPad app". VentureBeat. May 2, 2012. Retrieved May 10, 2012.
- , LinkedIn's developer blog discusses their Node.js stack optimizations
- "Here's why you should be happy that Microsoft is embracing Node.js". The Guardian. November 9, 2011. Retrieved May 10, 2012.
- , WebMatrix - Front End Web Developers take note (ASP.NET, PHP, node.js and more)
- , Yahoo! Developer Network announces Cocktails project using Node.js
- "Why Walmart is using Node.js". VentureBeat. January 24, 2012. Retrieved May 10, 2012.
- "Clash of the Titans: Releasing the Kraken, NodeJS @paypal". fluentconf.com. May 28, 2013. Retrieved September 11, 2013.
- All such companies and their products in which Node.js is used
- Node.js Tools for Visual Studio, Codeplex
- "Bergius: Flowhub and the GNOME Developer Experience". LWN.net. 2014-05-02. Retrieved 2014-05-24.
- Hughes-Croucher, Tom; Wilson, Mike (April 2012), Up and Running with Node.js (First ed.), O'Reilly Media, p. 204, ISBN 978-1-4493-9858-3
- Ornbo, George (September 2012), Sams Teach Yourself Node.js in 24 Hours (First ed.), SAMS Publishing, p. 440, ISBN 978-0-672-33595-2
- Teixeira, Pedro (October 2012), Professional Node.js (First ed.), John Wiley & Sons, p. 408, ISBN 978-1-1182-2754-1
- Randal L. Schwartz and Aaron Newcomb (9 January 2013). "Episode 237: Node.js". http://twit.tv/show/floss-weekly (Podcast). TWiT.tv. Event occurs at 1:08:13. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
- Ribeiro Pereira, Caio (July 2013), Aplicações web real-time com Node.js (First ed.), Casa do Código, p. 143, ISBN 978-85-66250-14-5
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