How to start with Node.js

Web technologies are constantly evolving. So, the emergence of HTML5 turned a lot of things literally upside down. HTML5 browsers are very changeable, with each update making its own adjustments. And all this requires modern tools to develop interactive solutions.

One of the most famous "must-have" tools for developers of software solutions in JavaScript is the Node.js platform. It is very simple and intuitive, even for novice coders. At the same time, Node.js allows you to work with server technologies, to implement interactive work using the computer power of users. Among other things, this platform allows you to run code from the command line of any of the common operating systems.

Today, Node is widely regarded as one of the leading web development platforms, and most web tools, server-side and client-side, work with this tool. But let's take a closer look. And let's start with the history of Node.js.

You may have heard that JavaScript was created by Mozilla in the 90s. But few people know that it was planned as one of the simple scripting languages ​​that will be embedded in HTML code. Initially, JavaScript was invented in order to "collect" various parts of web pages into a single whole - images, Java applets, HTML markup and plugins. This tool was intended for web designers and layout designers. He just had to make their job easier and faster.

But it so happened that developers saw very different uses for JavaScript, and began to use it to provide interactivity. Thus, the most misunderstood programming language has become one of the most popular in the world.

With the development of web technologies, new tools were required to ensure user interaction. As a result, JavaScript has acquired a huge number of standard and external libraries, ready-made modules and frameworks. All this required specialized solutions and compilers. So, among others, the Node.js platform appeared, which quickly gained popularity among developers.

To implement Node.js, the V8 engine was used, which translates JavaScript commands into binary code. Simply put, Node is a C ++ application designed to execute JavaScript code and perform fast I / O, including on the user's computer. As a result of such improvements, JavaScript becomes a full-fledged and almost universal PL. Those. With this solution in JavaScript, you can write, including, various applications for the computer.

In addition, the advantages of the platform include:

- Simple and well-known JavaScript. Of course, the platform assumes its own tools and features, for example, there are no browser APIs, coockie or DOM, but there are own libraries and other interesting solutions. But basically the capabilities and syntax of all familiar JavaScript are used.

- Rich standard library. The platform initially had a wide range of features, and in new versions the library is being replenished and improved.

- Huge external libraries and ready-made modules. Using the NPM package manager allows you to continually evolve the Node. Today the number of open source packages in it has exceeded 500 thousand and is constantly growing.

- V8 engine. JavaScript was created as an interpreted scripting language. But the process of its interpretation is not as fast and simple as we would like it to be. At the same time, the language is developing, it has become full-fledged long ago, you can write large programs in JavaScript. Therefore, the presence of a compiler has become not just a plus, but a necessity.

Thousands of interested programmers from different countries are working on the constant improvement of the platform. The project is distributed as open source, and therefore develops at a tremendous pace. The Node.js Foundation coordinates the work.

A huge number of libraries are used to expand the developer's capabilities. Below are some of the most popular ones:

- Meteor is a powerful framework for working with code both on the server and on the client.

- Next.js is a library for server-side rendering of React code.

- Express is one of the most powerful general purpose server frameworks out there.

- Micro is a lightweight and compact yet feature-rich library for HTTP microservers.

- Koa is a revised version of the Express library. The framework turned out to be just as powerful, but at the same time more compact.

- Socket.io is one of the most popular application libraries that interact with clients in real time.

05.03.2021Stanislav Naborshchikov

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