Node.js: The Style of Non-Blocking


This post is part of a series of articles about my recent experience building Sled using Node.js.

Node is all about non-blocking, asynchronous architecture. This means any activity taking a long time to finish, such as file access, network communication, and database operations, are requested and put aside until the results are ready and returned via a callback function. Instead of asking to read a file and waiting for the operating system to come back with a file handler or buffer, the a callback function is invoked when the operation is completed, freeing the server to handle additional requests.

What gives Node a bit of a negative reputation is how this architecture affects its style of programming and the difficulty some people are having in getting used to it. When I first started, I described this convoluted style of coding like scratching your right armpit with your left hand by…

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