The Node.js website describes it as having “an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model that makes it lightweight and efficient”. Sounds lovely, but what’s it actually for?
Modulus’s excellent blog post – An Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Node.js provides some rather tasty examples. After covering the trivial examples (Hello world! and simple file I/O), it gets to the meat of what we’re about – an HTTP server. The simple example demonstrates a trivial HTTP server in Node.js in 5 lines of code. Not 5 lines of code compiled to an executable or deployed into an existing web server. 5 lines of code that can be run from a simple command. It then goes on to describe the frameworks and libraries that let you do really useful stuff.
This looks just the thing for implementing a new feature in the Spanners demo app: push notifications to all logged-in users when a spanner is changed.