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What is Node.js?

Node.js (or just Node) is a lean, fast, cross-platform JavaScript runtime environment that is useful for both servers and desktop applications. Node is an asynchronous event driven JavaScript runtime built upon Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine. It’s designed to build scalable network applications.

That being the raw definition, let me clarify. Node.js enables you to write server side JavaScript. You may now be wondering, how? As you know, JavaScript is a language which runs in a browser. The browser’s engine takes JavaScript code and compiles it into commands. The creator of Node.js took Chrome’s engine and built a runtime for it to work on a server. Don’t get confused with the word runtime. It’s an environment where the language can get interpreted. So what do we have now? A way to write JavaScript on the back end.

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Reading and Writing files with Node.js

In this post I’m going to show you how we can read and write files on our local filesystem using Node.js.

Being able to read files from you local filesystem can be very useful and there’s a buntch of stuff you can do with it, for example read local Json files and load Spreadsheets to your program.

To start, just create a js file and name it whatever you want. Then open this file in your editor of choice.

Reading from files is done via the core fs module. The fs module provides an API for interacting with the file system in a manner closely modeled around standard POSIX functions.

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Node.js & Express.js fundamentals

What is Node.js

Node.js is a JavaScript runtime built on Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine. Node.js uses an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model that makes it lightweight and efficient.

As an asynchronous event driven JavaScript runtime, Node is designed to build scalable network applications. 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.

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