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Better Understanding of Node.js

 
Gregg Bolinger
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Can anyone explain to me any problems that Node.js solves and where its use makes the most sense? The majority of people I talk to about this always default to "because I can write the code in JavaScript". I don't care about that, to be perfectly honest. I care about what problems Node.js solves.
 
Rob Crowther
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The problem it's solving for the people you talk to is having to write the server side of an application in a different language to the client side. If you only want to know what problems it solves that you care about you will have to first tell us which problems you care about.
 
Gregg Bolinger
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Thanks Rob. I just want more than "I can write javascript". Surely the whole non-blocking IO callback event driven nature of Node.JS is meant to solve a specific set of server side pitfalls. I just don't know exactly what those are. I guess a better question is, what is a good use case for node over the typical / standard existing stacks.

Node is good when you have to ________________________ .
 
Bear Bibeault
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Gregg Bolinger wrote:Node is good when you have to ________________________ .


I love the idea of Node.js, and I'm sure at some time I may have a way to fill in that blank, but for now, I haven't found it.

My backends these days are almost exclusively RESTful APIs, and I'm mostly using the Play framework (v.1) to create them.
 
Rob Crowther
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Node is basically a lightweight networking framework, its main appeal over similarly capable frameworks and/or app servers (eg. Twisted in Python or, more debatably, nginx as a server) is that the native scripting language is JavaScript. With careful planning, you only write your model and business logic once and then can use most of it interchangeably on both sides. While there is a large amount of 'next big thing' hype surrounding Node which is, in many ways, unwarranted, what that means from a practical perspective is that there's a vibrant community of people writing plugins and frameworks for it, and it's easy to get help and advice.
 
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