What is Node.js?

Node.js is a framework built upon the JavaScript Engine “V8“, which is currently the most used JavaScript Engine and built into Google Chrome.

Node.js was developed by the need of a resource efficient, performant, “nonblocking I/O” Framework to deliver fast and quick websites.

Here is an example of a very basic web-server written in Node.js

const http = require('http');

const hostname = '';
const port = 3000;

const server = http.createServer((req, res) => {
  res.statusCode = 200;
  res.setHeader('Content-Type', 'text/plain');
  res.end('Hello World\n');

server.listen(port, hostname, () => {
  console.log(`Server running at http://${hostname}:${port}/`);

Main requirement to run this code is the fact, that you need a Node.js version installed on your system (see https://nodejs.org)
The current LTS version is fine.

Now we can start the webserver with

node index.js

and can see the following output in the terminal

Server running at

If we open up a browser with the given URL we see

Advantages of Node.js

  • Based on JavaScript there is very little to no new syntax to lean if you know the basics of JavaScript.
  • Node.js is event based (see HERE for more detials) and because of that very performant
  • Modularity with the Node-Package-Manager (NPM)

Disadvantages of Node.js

  • Backwards compatibility is somewhat a problem with upcoming Node.js version updates because the current development of the framework is so rapid.
  • The fact that Node.js works on an event loop implies only 1 thread has to carry all the work which can be overwhelmed by lots of requests and/or server logic.
  • Asynchron code notation can be tricky to understand and learn

Source: https://nodejs.org/de/about/

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