Node.js: does it have any future?

Within a short period of time since its initial release in late 2009, Node.js has gained the interest of thousands of experienced developers, grown a package manager and a corpus of interesting modules and applications, and even became the reason for a number of startups to appear. You may have heard about node.js, or read articles claiming how great it is; you may have even read some technically focused explanations on why it is so good.

So let’s try to understand what it is about this technology that makes it interesting to developers. And what the commercial pluses of adopting Node.js when developing and deploying web applications.

I’ve carefully look through a number of forums and experts’ opinions in these regards. Below you could find some main reason why it is worth to use Node.js.

* Node.js is a platform for writing high-performance, scalable web applications and network programs in JavaScript. It has an asynchronous, non-blocking, programming model for lightning-fast speeds and enables the use of JavaScript on the server-side so that both client and server run using the same language.

* Node.js was designed to be great at transporting small bits of information around the Internet very quickly, and in real-time. Server-side events, instant messaging apps, real-time games, and collaboration tools are all great example of this.

* Also the reason to use Node.js is based around the idea of not waiting on things. Instead of waiting for a db query to return results, it just triggers a DB query and sets a callback event. Then, while the query is processing, your program can be doing other things (like handling another request). This is what makes Node.js seem so fast.

* Node.js allows designing of scalable applications at a very high speed. The importance of scaling is going to be at a premium for all applications going forward. One of the secrets to Node’s massive scalability is the event-loop. This construct, which is fundamental to the architecture of Node, provides a completely different model for the handling of client connections than those of traditional web server technologies. The event- loop, which your Node.js applications are naturally built upon, transparently treats the connections from your clients extremely lightly. The memory usage per client is negligible, and as such a single Node.js server can handle hundreds of times more clients than a server with other languages.

* Node.js provides non-blocking libraries for database, file and network access. Since I/O is not a fundamental part of JavaScript, nothing had to be taken away to add them. Python’s Twisted and Ruby’s Event Machine have to work around some basic language components in order to get similar evented behavior.

* In addition to the performance wins Node gets “for free” by using the V8 JavaScript engine, the event loop model itself allows Node servers to handle massive concurrencies in network connections very efficiently. It often approaches the benchmarks achieved by high-performance reverse proxies like Nginx (which is also based on an event loop).

* Unlike PHP, Node.js is not “web centric”. Node.js is a general-purpose JavaScript runtime with a host of powerful libraries — one of which happens to provide an HTTP/HTTPS server implementation. With the Node.js it is easy to build command line clients and other TCP/IP servers. This could characterize Node as a quite flexible one, but at the same time, since Node.js isn’t HTTP-centric, you may find yourself having to implement code to do things once provided for you by the framework.

These are only some of the reasons I could provide and answer the question why this library gains popularity and worth to be working with.

Hope this information would be of interest and of use to you. Please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions why we would need to use Node.js. By the way how you think what to expect for it the future?


Natalia Osipchik

Business Development Manager


2 thoughts on “Node.js: does it have any future?”

  1. I think that node.js is a wonderful technology for what it is designed to do best. From my experience, the problem starts when people chose it for the wrong reasons and I encountered several examples…
    My observations:
    1. Node.js is not suitable for server side applications that require computation, unless they serve a very small number of concurrent users. This is because of it’s single threadedness.
    2. I don’t think that the difference between client side development and server side development is the language and therefore I don’t think that it is such a big advantage.


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