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Let's get the hype straight

I don't like hypes, and the fan boys that go with it. And so here I will attempt to get the hype out of the fan boys, if they dare to read the next paragraphs. Node.js is a runtime for Javascript, like Adobe Air is for Actionscript, like the JVM for Java. Every language and its runtime go through the same evolution, where they become more mature: optimized, faster, and have more 3rd party packages. Node.js is now just going through the same evolution the JVM had many many years ago. In time, it will be head-to-head with the JVM, possibly outperforms it in specific routines and trails in others. However, to think that node.js will significantly outperform the JVM, and make the choice of technology based on that, is not wise. Given comparably fast runtimes, the choice of whether to write your program in Javascript or in Java, really is about programming language rather than performance. A hand-coded ultra-optimized NIO implementation in Node will perform comparably with one in Java, because they both will translate to roughly the same underlying system routines being called. If one significantly under-performs another, just means it's not ultra-optimized yet. In the end, it's about whether you want loose-typing, closure, and prototype or you want uber-strict OOP. Javascript is surely shorter and easier to write; but the uber-strictness of Java is intentional. Strictness allows you to enforce paradigms and patterns, which is especially important in very large applications. Java has tons of enterprise experience; Javascript has a lot to prove itself. In summary, node.js simply allows Javascript to be an alternative to full-fledged programming languages for writing any kind of application, that's all.

Let's get the hype straight


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