Node.js has become wildly popular, with coders everywhere using it to create APIs and build a new matrix of interoperability across the Internet. Joyent has been the chief sponsor of Node.js from the beginning. In this week's New Tech Forum, Ben Wen, vice president of product marketing at Joyent, outlines six things you should know about the phenomenon shaking up backend development. -- Paul Venezia
At it's core, Node.js is a stripped-down, highly customizable server engine -- a proto-server, if you will -- because out of the box it doesn't do anything until you set it up. This proto-server processes in a loop, ready to accept and respond to requests. Any of those requests themselves may initiate other requests to some other part of the system, such as to read a file off of disk or to send a signal to spin a motor on a robot arm. That loop, known as the event loop, is the "runtime" part.
In short, Node.js is a runtime system that makes it easy to build a network or other event-driven application servers. Here are the six things you need to know about it:
1. JSON has won