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JavaScript runtime built on Chrome's V8 JavaScript engine

Developed by Node.js Foundation

Maintained by Feram GmbH Claim Stewardship

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As an asynchronous event driven JavaScript runtime, Node is designed to build scalable network applications. In the following “hello world” example, many connections can be handled concurrently. Upon each connection the callback is fired, but if there is no work to be done, Node will sleep.

This is in contrast to today’s more common concurrency model where OS threads are employed. Thread-based networking is relatively inefficient and very difficult to use. Furthermore, users of Node are free from worries of dead-locking the process, since there are no locks. Almost no function in Node directly performs I/O, so the process never blocks. Because nothing blocks, scalable systems are very reasonable to develop in Node.

If some of this language is unfamiliar, there is a full article on Blocking vs Non-Blocking.

Node is similar in design to, and influenced by, systems like Ruby’s Event Machine or Python’s Twisted. Node takes the event model a bit further. It presents an event loop as a runtime construct instead of as a library. In other systems there is always a blocking call to start the event-loop. Typically behavior is defined through callbacks at the beginning of a script and at the end starts a server through a blocking call like EventMachine::run(). In Node there is no such start-the-event-loop call. Node simply enters the event loop after executing the input script. Node exits the event loop when there are no more callbacks to perform. This behavior is like browser JavaScript — the event loop is hidden from the user.

HTTP is a first class citizen in Node, designed with streaming and low latency in mind. This makes Node well suited for the foundation of a web library or framework.

Just because Node is designed without threads, doesn’t mean you cannot take advantage of multiple cores in your environment. Child processes can be spawned by using our child_process.fork() API, and are designed to be easy to communicate with. Built upon that same interface is the cluster module, which allows you to share sockets between processes to enable load balancing over your cores.


Tags javascript server runtime
Version 10.12.0
Price Free
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License MIT+Misc


For more details, check out the external changelog.

  1. Node 10.12.0

    Released on 2018-10-10

    • assert - The diff output is now a tiny bit improved by sorting object properties when inspecting the values that are compared with each other.
    • cli - The options parser now normalizes _ to - in all multi-word command-line flags, e.g. --no_warnings has the same effect as --no-warnings. Added bash completion for the node binary. To generate a bash completion script, run node --completion-bash. The output can be saved to a file which can be sourced to enable completion.
    • crypto - Added support for PEM-level encryption. Added an API asymmetric key pair generation. The new methods crypto.generateKeyPair and crypto.generateKeyPairSync can be used to generate public and private key pairs. The API supports RSA, DSA and EC and a variety of key encodings (both PEM and DER).
    • fs - Added a recursive option to fs.mkdir and fs.mkdirSync. If this option is set to true, non-existing parent folders will be automatically created.
    • http2 - Added a 'ping' event to Http2Session that is emitted whenever a non-ack PING is received. Added support for the ORIGIN frame. Updated nghttp2 to 1.34.0. This adds RFC 8441 extended connect protocol support to allow use of WebSockets over HTTP/2.
    • module - Added module.createRequireFromPath(filename). This new method can be used to create a custom require function that will resolve modules relative to the filename path.
    • process - Added a 'multipleResolves' process event that is emitted whenever a Promise is attempted to be resolved multiple times, e.g. if the resolve and reject functions are both called in a Promise executor.
    • url - Added url.fileURLToPath(url) and url.pathToFileURL(path). These methods can be used to correctly convert between file - URLs and absolute paths.
    • util - Added the sorted option to util.inspect(). If set to true, all properties of an object and Set and Map entries will be sorted in the returned string. If set to a function, it is used as a compare function. The util.instpect.custom symbol is now defined in the global symbol registry as Symbol.for('nodejs.util.inspect.custom'). Added support for BigInt numbers in util.format().
    • V8 API - A number of V8 C++ APIs have been marked as deprecated since they have been removed in the upstream repository. Replacement APIs are added where necessary.
    • Windows - The Windows msi installer now provides an option to automatically install the tools required to build native modules.
    • Workers - Debugging support for Workers using the DevTools protocol has been implemented. The public inspector module is now enabled in Workers.
  2. Node 10.11.0

    Released on 2018-09-20

    • fs - Fixed fsPromises.readdir withFileTypes.
    • http2 - Added http2stream.endAfterHeaders property.
    • util - Added util.types.isBoxedPrimitive(value).
  3. Node 10.10.0

    Released on 2018-09-06

    • child_process: TypedArray and DataView values are now accepted as input by execFileSync and spawnSync.
    • coverage: Native V8 code coverage information can now be output to disk by setting the environment variable NODE_V8_COVERAGE to a directory.
    • deps: The bundled npm was upgraded to version 6.4.1.
    • fs: The methods, fs.readSync, fs.write, fs.writeSync, fs.writeFile and fs.writeFileSync now all accept TypedArray and DataView objects. A new boolean option, withFileTypes, can be passed to fs.readdir and fs.readdirSync. If set to true, the methods return an array of directory entries. These are objects that can be used to determine the type of each entry and filter them based on that without calling fs.stat.
    • http2: The http2 module is no longer experimental.
    • os: Added two new methods: os.getPriority and os.setPriority, allowing to manipulate the scheduling priority of processes.
    • process: Added process.allowedNodeEnvironmentFlags. This object can be used to programmatically validate and list flags that are allowed in the NODE_OPTIONS environment variable.
    • src: Deprecated option variables in public C++ API. Refactored options parsing.
    • vm: Added vm.compileFunction, a method to create new JavaScript functions from a source body, with options similar to those of the other vm methods.

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