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Node.js: Doing Rather Well, Actually


A mere three years into its existence on our good green Earth, the JavaScript-based Node.js software system appears to be gaining enviable traction as an application development platform. Most notably, the software is leading developers to extend their use of JavaScript outside of the browser and into the server space.

Constructed using the Google Chrome V7 JavaScript engine, Node.js has been endorsed by both Microsoft and Yahoo!, who have backed its suitability for building data-intensive real-time apps that need to run across distributed devices. With an event-driven non-blocking I/O model, Node.js was conceived and built by Joyent developer Ryan Dahl, who sees the software supplanting Java's position in the server space.

Backing Node.js as a suitable development language for use on the Azure cloud platform, Microsoft VP Scott Guthrie said that we are going to see all of the features of Azure having integrated Node.js libraries — and that this is going to happen very soon.

In November last year, Yahoo! showed its support for the technology by introducing cocktails — a mix of HTML5, Node.JS, CSS3, and JavaScript. At the time of launch the company stated, "We are announcing two Cocktails: Yahoo! Mojito, an environment-agnostic JavaScript web application framework, and Yahoo! Manhattan, a hosted platform for Mojito-based applications."

Yahoo! says that Mojito is an "evolution of existing web standards" and web technology. It builds upon standards where those exist as well as on proven technologies, and YUI for cocktails provides the necessary environment abstraction, scoping, packaging, etc. that allows Mojito-based applications to run equally well in a web browser, in a hybrid native/web runtime or in a server using Node.JS.


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