Category Archives: Node.js

Node Interactive Europe 2016 Recap

Node Interactive Europe 2016 Recap

I went to Node Interactive Europe which happened in September in Amsterdam, the official Node conference—the real deal. Organizers invited me to present on React, so I taught a workshop on Universal Web, and also participated on a panel discussion about containers and Node with folks from nearFrom, IBM, Zeit and Netflix. You should watch the panel recording on YouTube. It was a good one.

Continue reading

Learn HTTP/2 Server Push by Building Express Middleware

Learn HTTP/2 Server Push by Building Express Middleware

In the previous post, we learned how to perform HTTP/2 server push in a Node server. We also covered the benefits of server push there so to avoid duplication we won’t list them here. We used spdy for server push and H2. But most of the times Node developers don’t work with core HTTP server, they use a framework like Express. So let’s see how we can implement server push in Express.

Continue reading

Easy HTTP/2 Server with Node.js and Express.js

Easy HTTP/2 Server with Node.js

The modern Internet with its TCP/IP protocol started around 1975 which is astonishing 41 years ago. For the most part of its existence, we used HTTP and it’s successor HTTP/1.1 (version 1.1) to communicate between clients and servers. It served the web well but the way developers build websites has dramatically changed. There are myriads of external resources, images, CSS files, JavaScript assets. The number of resources is only increasing.

HTTP2 is the first major upgrade to the good old HTTP protocol in over 15 years (first HTTP is circa 1991)! It is optimized for modern websites. The performance is better without complicated hacks like domain sharding (having multiple domains) or file concatenation (having one large file instead of many small ones).

Continue reading

JSON is Not Cool Anymore: Implementing Protocol Buffers in Node.js

JSON is Not Cool Anymore: Implementing Protocol Buffers in Node.js

There’s a better alternative to the ubiquitous JSON as the communication protocol of the web. It’s Protocol Buffers (protobuf). In a nutshell, protobuf offers a more dense format (faster processing) and provides data schemas (enforcement of structure and better compatibility with old code).

Protocol Buffers were introduced by Google. You can read, more about them at the official Protocol Buffers Developer Guide. For something shorter, read 5 Reasons to Use Protocol Buffers Instead of JSON For Your Next Service which will give you a quick overview of the protobuf benefits over JSON.

The purpose of this article is not to highlight why protobufs are better or sell you on the concept. There are many article online that’ll do it for you. The purpose of this article is to show you how you can get started with this format in the Node.js environment.

Continue reading

You Don’t Know Node: Quick Intro to Core Features

You Don't Know Node

This essay was inspired by the Kyle Simpson’s series of books, You Don’t Know JavaScript. They are a good start with JavaScript fundamentals. Node is mostly JavaScript except for a few differences which I’ll highlight in this essay. The code is in the You Don’t Know Node GitHub repository under the code folder.

Why care about Node? Node is JavaScript and JavaScript is almost everywhere! What if the world can be a better place if more developers master Node? Better apps equals better life!

This is a kitchen sink of subjectively the most interesting core features. The key takeaways of this essay are:

  1. Event loop: Brush-up on the core concept which enables non-blocking I/O
  2. Global and process: How to access more info
  3. Event emitters: Crash course in the event-based pattern
  4. Streams and buffers: Effective way to work with data
  5. Clusters: Fork processes like a pro
  6. Handling async errors: AsyncWrap, Domain and uncaughtException
  7. C++ addons: Contributing to the core and writing your own C++ addons

Event Loop

We can start with event loop which is at the core of Node.

Node.js Non-Blocking I/O

Node.js Non-Blocking I/O

It allows processing of other tasks while IO calls are in the process. Think Nginx vs. Apache. It allows Node to be very fast and efficient because blocking I/O is expensive!

Take look at this basic example of a delayed println function in Java:

System.out.println("Step: 1");
System.out.println("Step: 2");
Thread.sleep(1000);
System.out.println("Step: 3");

It’s comparable (but not really) to this Node code:

console.log('Step: 1')
setTimeout(function () {
  console.log('Step: 3')
}, 1000)
console.log('Step: 2')

Continue reading

Node Patterns: From Callbacks to Observer

Node Patterns: From Callbacks to Observer

UPDATE: Now also available as a video (taken at NodePDX 2016) on YouTube.

This essay started as a presentation at the ConFoo Canada conference. Enjoy the slides ? at https://github.com/azat-co/node-patterns:

git clone https://github.com/azat-co/node-patterns
Node Patterns: From Callbacks to Observer

Node Patterns: From Callbacks to Observer

Before we can get started with Node patterns, let’s touch on some of the main advantages and features of using Node. They’ll help us later to understand why we need to deal with certain problems.

Node Advantages and Features

Here are some of the main reasons people use Node:

  • JavaScript: Node runs on JavaScript so you can re-use your browser code, libraries and files.
  • Asynchronous + Event Driven: Node executes tasks concurrently with the use of asynchronous code and patterns, thanks to event loop.
  • Non-Blocking I/O: Node is extremely fast due to its non-blocking input/output architecture and Google Chrome V8 engine.

That’s all neat but async code is hard. Human brains just didn’t evolve to process things in an asynchronous manner where event loop schedules different pieces of logic in the future. Their order often is not the same order in which they were implemented.

Continue reading

Full Stack JavaScript

My new book Full Stack JavaScript (my 4th traditionally-published book) comes with a series of screencast videos for better immersion in a wonderful and mesmerizing world of Node.js, Backbone and MongoDB. It’s a one thing to read through the text and another to follow up with dynamic videos which walk you through the book’s projects.

Full Stack JavaScript

Full Stack JavaScript

The videos and the source code are open source, meaning they are publicly available. Therefore, you don’t have to buy a book—you can just watch the 14 videos on YouTube (playlist) and go through the code on GitHub (repository).

Continue reading

Node Interactive 2015

Node Interactive 2015

Last week, I presented my talk at the inaugural Node Interactive ’15, in Portland, Oregon. It’s probably the largest Node.js conference in the world! My talk was on Node.js at Capital One. You might wonder: bank and Node.js? What they have in common? The best kept secret, which is not a secret at all is that Capital One, is moving into being a technology company with a focus on finance… not just a bank. It’s worth watching my talk if you’re are interested in hear about challenges of bringing innovation to a large company in a heavily regulated field.

Continue reading

ExpressWorks Walkthrough: Node.js Web Framework [VIDEOS]

ExpressWorks Walkthrough: Node.js Web Framework [VIDEOS]

Have you ever wanted to learn basics of Node.js and the most popular Node.js web framework Express.js? If you are experienced web developer or software engineer who wants to learn Node.js and build some servers along the way, then this self-study workshop is for you.

What is ExpressWorks? It’s an automated tool which allows to learn Express.js from the author of one of the best books on Express.js—Pro Express.js— with this workshop that will teach you basics of Express.js and building Node.js web apps (a.k.a. servers).

You will walk through adventures via command-line interface. Each adventure has a problem, hints, and the solutions.

Some of the resources before you get started:

The entire playlist: on YouTube or just watch individual solutions below. Try solving problems without looking at the solutions!

Setup:

Continue reading

HTML5 Dev Conf 2015 Recap with Notes and Slides

Last week, I attended the HTML5Dev conference in San Francisco which was just across from Capital One SF office at 201 3rd St. The conference was split across a few building which made it hard to navigate and find talks.

The whole conference was along the lines of React is amazing, ES6 is the future and Node.js is everywhere. There were a few talks on the Internet of Things, design, UX and HTTP/2 as well. Here’s the recap of the talks to which I went to.

Continue reading