7 Reasons Why Node.js Is So Popular
To put it simple, Node.js outshines other web applications by replacing web-sockets with revolutionary push technology. You may ask, what is so unique about it? Well, we finally have cutting-edge web applications with two-way, real-time connections where both the server and client can build communication, which allows them to exchange valuable data. Now this is in stark contrast to our conventional web response, paradigm, where only the client initiates communication.
Discussed here are the top 7 reasons why Node.js has been growing in popularity:
2. It’s lightning Fast
Thus, reading/writing to file system, to network connections, and to the database is executed very fast in Node. It allows developers to build fast and highly scalable network applications that are capable of handling bulk amounts of simultaneous connections having high throughput.
3. It is Lightweight
Typically, Node.js uses a basic event-driven architecture. This means everything that is executed on it, including every single operation and call, is a series of asynchronous callback. This enables Node to run on a single thread as unlike other web technologies where a new thread is spawned for every client request. This not only makes it light-in-weight, but also forms the foundation of Node’s non-blocking I/O feature.
4. A Single Language for All Layers
5. High Performance
PayPal uses Node.js, and has reported doubling the number of requests per second and reducing the response time by 35%. On the other hand, Walmart, the giant retail company had a superb experience with Node.js in 2013, when they put all their mobile-based traffic via Node.js on Black Friday, the busiest shopping time of the year. Surprisingly, on Black Friday, Walmart servers did not go over a mere 1% CPU utilization and yet they deploy with 200,000,000 users online. LinkedIn, the global networking site, moved from Ruby to Node to handle their mobile traffic, and reduced the number of servers to 30 to 3, i.e. almost 90% reduction. The new system was up to 20 times faster. All these figures clearly indicate performance capability of Node.js.
6. It can be Hosted Anywhere
Node.js can be hosted almost anywhere! Considering exponential growth in Node.js usage in recent years, there are several cloud-based hosting providers and web servers that support web applications built on Node out-of-the-box. This includes Google, Amazon AWS, Heroku, Microsoft IIS, Microsoft Azure, and many others.
7. It is Easy to Modify and Maintain
Traditionally built applications become less adaptive and rigid over time as new requirements appear. Eventually, they start creaking under the stress they were not built for. However, developing new services using Node.js is comparatively easier. With Node, a bunch of small applications is built instead of a single, large application. This allows making changes or adding a new functionality with much ease, without having to make changes deep inside the code-base.
The Progress of Node.js a Year Post Node.js and io.js Merge and Where the Technology is Going
During Node.js Interactive Europe’s keynote presentations yesterday, Core community members shared the community’s incredible, fast growth and what’s next with Node.js v.7 and Node.js v8.
The Node.js Foundation leadership team also looked at how to improve diversity and inclusivity in the Node.js community.
In a year and a half, Node.js has grown from 14 to 87 contributors with commit access. About a year and a half ago, it only had 681 contributors over its entire lifecycle; the contributor list now tops 1084 individuals.
Last year at almost this exact same time, we merged Node.js and io.js into Node.js v4. Around that time, we also established the Node.js platform’s Long Term Support Plan, which consists of two distinctive release lines:
Stability (Always Even Numbers): Focused on stability for the enterprise or those that need production to stay relatively stable with no major upgrades.
Progress (Always Odd Numbers): Focused on experimental testing and future development. Increasingly enterprises use Node.js for everything from desktop applications, mobile websites, API engines or cloud stacks. With such growth, comes the need for a stable platform for running apps in production, whether it is making sure drivers can connect with passengers for Uber or ensuring astronaut safety as they literally explore the universe .
At the same time, Node.js is becoming more prominent in new areas of development like artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics. These branches demand for experimentation. These environments also change how developers create applications. The progress release line also allows for improvements in security, performance and features that can be tested out without breaking Core.
Below is a recap of what to expect from the future releases to come and community efforts in general.
Continued Improvement with Language Support
The Node.js project continues to work on how to respond in the best way possible and adapt to new language features to ensure that the Node.js environment will serve our users’ needs — not an easy task. Key features under discussion include: Promises (making Promises compatible with Node.js debugging and making the Node.js API compatible with Promises), async await and supporting additional ES6 modules.
The Module Ecosystem around Node.js and its Stability
Node.js v7 is going into beta next week. This is the first beta from Node.js with the purpose to attract more people to testing the version. This will also ensure that major changes will not need to be reverted before the v7 release.
On the front of module stability, the Node.js project has identified 68 of the most dependent Node.js modules in the ecosystem and is using a technology called Canary in a Gold Mine (citgm) to ensure that when updates happen with Node.js versioning, modules stays stable and won’t break.
Citgm is a smoke testing utility that automates running unit tests of various modules in the Node.js ecosystem. It has been incredibly successful, finding all sorts of regressions across the ecosystem and in Node Core itself.
Adopting Web Standards
To keep up with the changing needs of the web, the Node.js project will be including WHATWG URL parsing — standardizing parsing to be the same in Node.js as it is on the browser; improved HTTP 1.1 spec compliance for better input validation and enhanced security, and future support for HTTP/2.
Node.js has historically been a good fit for the IoT space as it is great at single processes and has a small memory footprint. There’s incredible growth opportunity for Node.js in this area . The Node.js project members are working closely with members of the IoT and Electron communities to make embedding Node.js easier.
Continued Growth Internally for VM Neutrality and API Development
The ultimate goal of Node.js is to become fully VM agnostic. The first major step in this areas has been Microsoft getting Node.js to run on Chakra. There is working being done to create a VM neutral ABI and a prototype is currently available.
Inclusivity is Needed to Create Diversity
Node.js is working hard to become a more diverse and inclusive community. Diverse ecosystems are better for the community and better for the platform. They allow people to learn and grow from others, and be exposed to perspectives other than their own. So how do we create diversity in the Node.js community?
A key benefit of Node.js is that it is relatively easy to learn. The barriers to entry are not in understanding how the technology works, but rather in creating inclusive environments where people feel valued and can join in and grow their involvement over time. Node Together, an initiative launched this year, demonstrates that in creating an inclusive environment, underrepresented groups can join, learn and flourish within our community.
The Node.js Foundation is teaming up with experts in various fields to better understand how to actively diversify the makeup of the Node.js community. This initiative is very serious to the growth and future of the community.