node.js logoProbably not, but it might help you write a kickass scalable web application that will have your fellow hackers asking for your autograph.

Node.js has been getting a lot of buzz recently, but you're probably in the minority if you have a good idea of how it works and what it's good for. Node is a server-side JavaScript engine. It takes advantage of the event-driven programming model of JavaScript for use on the server-side. You're probably familiar with binding JavaScript handlers to client-side events like button clicks, mouseovers, etc. Node allows you to bind functionality to server-side events like a new connection being made or data being received. Node is non-blocking, so it can handle a large number of concurrent connections on the same machine.

Here are a few practical applications of Node.js:

A Successful Web Front-End Refactor

Klout is a company that measures people's influence based on their activity in social media. We make use of their API at Table XI. Klout was powering a web interface to give users access to their scores with a LAMP (Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP) stack. They found this was not scaling well as more users accessed the application. They rebuilt this interface using Node.js., and it's now handling tens of thousands of concurrent users on two servers.

Read more: "The Tech Behind"


The social media site Yammer is using Node.js to handle API requests from developers, allowing them to tackle a large capacity of concurrent requests. The API requests are made via JavaScript AJAX calls so both the client and server side are written in the same language.

Read more: "Who Is Using Node.js and Why? Yammer, Boucoup, Proxlet and Yahoo"

Application Metrics

Etsy is using Node.js to push application data to Graphite to produce near real-time graphs of metrics such as login failures. They are using a daemon called StatsD to listen for messages, parse out the metrics, and periodically send the data to Graphite. Node.js' event-driven programing model lent itself well to this problem.

Read more: "Measure Anything, Measure Everything"

A Fun Example

NodeMap is a real-time app that displays messages from around the world on a map written by Vijay Rawat. It's a neat way to see Node.js in action.

Read more: Vijay Rawat on Github

Is Node.js for Table XI?

We're not currently Node.js, but we may find it useful for upcoming projects including an API integration with mobile apps.

Read More:

"Just What Is Node.js?"

"How to Install Node.js"

"Managing Callback 'Spaghetti' in Node.js"

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