Key aspects of Node.js you should know about

Categories Web Design

Node.js has become a buzzword in the tech world. At present, it is used by some top-notch technology companies like Microsoft, Yahoo, Ebay and many more.

You may have a faint idea of how Node.js works or might not be aware of it. But, you might not have good understanding of when and why it should be used. This post is meant to share insightful information of Node.js to make sure you catch the core of it to be used further to build fantastic things. But before that, let’s first understand what exactly is Node.js.

An Insightful Look At Node.js

A lot of people today are using the JavaScript programming language extensively, in order to create website interfaces. Because of the rising popularity of JavaScript, a lot of changes have occurred, which has transformed how we approach web development. Put it simply, the things we can do online nowadays using the server-side JavaScript, and with the browser, were something we might not have even imagined about. But with the development of the Node.js platform, you can make the JavaScript programming language to be applied in several frameworks.

Node.js is a server-side JavaScript that helps generate highly scalable and real-time apps. It helps thwarts the challenge that you might come across while creating applications using any web programming languages, and still offer impressive performance.

Wondering about the challenges it overcome?

Most of the web programming languages follow the traditional threaded approach to run asynchronous code, which is cumbersome and exceeds memory usage. According to this approach, server applications are divided into threads having access to same pool of shared memory. And so, when a client generates a thread, the memory usage multiplies. Node.js helps avoid this inefficiency (created because of threaded applications), by maintaining an event loop.

Event loop administers all your asynchronous operations. Whenever any Node.js application is required to carry out any blocking operation (like I/O operations and others), an asynchronous task is being sent to the event loop by that application with a callback function. And then, the application carries on executing the rest of its program. When the asynchronous operation gets completed, the event loop returns the results to the application, allowing you to handle a wide range of operations. This is what lets the event loop, efficiently manage the threaded applications and optimize execution of the task.

In a nutshell, Node.js is a run-time environment that helps to create server-side and networking applications – that are written in JavaScript and runs on Mac OSX, Windows, and Linux platforms. Node.js use the Google V8 engine to execute JavaScript applications outside web browser. And, the best part! The V8 engine helps to complies and execute the JavaScript code at lightning fast speed, as it compiles the code in native machine code.

Things About Node.js You Should Be Aware Of

There are several important things that you should know about Node.js, however, here we will discuss about the three most important things.

JavaScript is in all places: JavaScript has become a preferred choice among webmasters for developing applications in the browser. And with the help of Node.js, JavaScript has migrated to the server as well.

Encourage Sharing: The Node.js community works with the philosophy to “share gleefully”. With Node.js you can easily share library code in the form of packages. It comes with a Node Package Manager (also referred to as npm) that contains a huge repository of over 50,000 packages. This probably increase the chances that some other developer has already built a solution to your problem – that you can access without any hassle.

Instrumentation: Node.js is well-adapted to be used for production. It contains all the tools needed to bring an application to full production. And since the Node.js technology is getting more and more advanced, a lot of helpful resources in the form of documentation and tools, could be find online.

It’s Extremely fast: As we had discussed above, Node.js utilize V8 engine for running JavaScript applications.

Things You Can Develop With Node.js

Node.js not only helps to build websites, but can also be used to build applications or tools offering dynamic and real-time experiences. Below is a list of the things that can be developed with the help of Node.js:

1. Creates Online Gif Chat Room Application

Today, building chat applications is no longer a challenging task for the developers. In fact, Node.js helps to create chat applications such as the Gif Chat Room. Web browsers such as Chrome and Firefox contains an API that helps them to access a system’s camera. Now the images from the camera get processed only when the chat message is submitted and a gif is sent to the room.

2. Helps Control a Computer

You constantly don’t need to build things in Node.js for the recreation purpose, you can even build them for utility. Node.js also provides you with control of another user’s system over the Internet.

3. Collaborative Drawing Tool

You can also extend the functionality of your application with Node.js, in order to enable multiple people to draw on the same canvas, time and again.

4. Create Your Own Custom Hangouts

Since modern APIs are supported by an increasing number of browsers, Google apps such as Hangout are going to become a lot more common. But, what if you want to create a unique Hangout application tailored to suit your needs? Thanks to Node.js, you can even create custom hangouts.

5. Helps to Build a Desktop RSS Reader

Using the node-webkit framework, you can create cross-platform apps such as Sputnik – an RSS reader for desktop. This framework calls all the Node.js modules from the Document Object Model (DOM), and empowers developers to figure out a new way of writing applications using any web technology.

Let’s Wrap Up!

Do you intend to build fast and scalable network applications? Well, then Node.js is the most viable platform for you. It helps to build lightweight and highly-efficient applications that runs across distributed device and offers real-time experience. Hopefully, reading this post will help you explore some of the most important key aspects of Node.js.

Author Bio: Addison Cohen is an iOS app developer working with Appsted Ltd which offers mobile application development services. He loves sharing tech information and ideas on application programming.

Catalin is the founder of Mostash - a social marketing boutique - and he's always happy to share his passion for graphic design & social media.