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<div id="toc">
<li><a href="#download">Download</a></li>
<li><a href="changelog.html">ChangeLog</a></li>
<li><a href="#build">Build</a></li>
<li><a href="#about">About</a></li>
<li><a href="#links">Links</a></li>
<li><a href="#contributing">Contributing</a></li>
<li><a href="api.html">Documentation</a></li>
<div id="content">
<!-- <h1><a href="">Node</a></h1> -->
<img id="logo" src="logo.png" alt="node.js"/>
<p id="introduction">
Evented I/O for
<a href="">V8 javascript</a>.
An example of a web server written with Node which responds with
"Hello World" after waiting two seconds:
var sys = require('sys'),
http = require('http');
http.createServer(function (req, res) {
setTimeout(function () {
res.writeHead(200, {'Content-Type': 'text/plain'});
res.write('Hello World');
}, 2000);
sys.puts('Server running at');</pre>
To run the server, put the code into a file
<code>example.js</code> and execute it with the <code>node</code>
<pre class="sh_none">
% node example.js
Server running at</pre>
Here is an example of a simple TCP server which listens on port 7000
and echos whatever you send it:
var tcp = require('tcp');
var server = tcp.createServer(function (socket) {
socket.addListener("connect", function () {
socket.addListener("data", function (data) {
socket.addListener("end", function () {
server.listen(7000, "localhost");</pre>
See the <a href="api.html">API documentation</a> for more
<h2 id="download">Download</h2>
<a href="">git repo</a>
<a href="">node-v0.1.31.tar.gz</a>
<h2 id="build">Build</h2>
Node eventually wants to support all POSIX operating systems
(including Windows with MinGW) but at the moment it is only being
tested on <b>Linux</b>, <b>Macintosh</b>, and <b>FreeBSD</b>. The
build system requires Python 2.4 or better. V8, on which Node is
built, supports only IA-32 and ARM processors. V8 is included in the
Node distribution. To use TLS, GnuTLS and libgpg-error are required.
There are no other dependencies.
<pre class="sh_none">
make install</pre>
Then have a look at the <a href="api.html">API documentation</a>.
<p>To run the tests</p>
<pre class="sh_none">make test</pre>
<h2 id="about">About</h2>
Node's goal is to provide an easy way to build scalable network
programs. In the above example, the two second delay does not
prevent the server from handling new requests. Node tells the
operating system (through <code>epoll</code>, <code>kqueue</code>,
<code class="sh_none">/dev/poll</code>, or <code>select</code>)
that it should be notified when the 2 seconds are up or if a new
connection is made&mdash;then it goes to sleep. If someone new
connects, then it executes the callback, if the timeout expires,
it executes the inner callback. Each connection is only a small
heap allocation.
This is in contrast to today's more common concurrency model where
OS threads are employed. Thread-based networking
<a href="">is</a>
<a href="">relatively</a>
<a href="">inefficient</a>
<!-- TODO needs links -->
and very difficult to use.
Node will show much better memory efficiency under high-loads
<!-- TODO benchmark -->
than systems which allocate 2mb thread stacks for each connection.
Furthermore, users of Node are free from worries of dead-locking
the process&mdash;there are no locks. Almost no function in Node
directly performs I/O, so the process never blocks. Because
nothing blocks, less-than-expert programmers are able to develop
fast systems.
Node is similar in design to and influenced by systems like Ruby's <a
href="">Event Machine</a> or Python's <a
href="">Twisted</a>. Node takes the event
model a bit further&mdash;it presents the event loop as a language
construct instead of as a library. In other systems there is always
a blocking call to start the event-loop. Typically one defines
behavior through callbacks at the beginning of a script and at the
end starts a server through a blocking call like
<code>EventMachine::run()</code>. In Node there is no such
start-the-event-loop call. Node simply enters the event loop after
executing the input script. Node exits the event loop when there are
no more callbacks to perform. This behavior is like browser
javascript&mdash;the event loop is hidden from the user.
HTTP is a first class protocol in Node. Node's HTTP library has
grown out of the author's experiences developing and working with
web servers. For example, streaming data through most web frameworks
is impossible. Node attempts to correct these problems in its HTTP
<a href="">parser</a>
and API. Coupled with Node's purely evented infrastructure, it makes
a good foundation for web libraries or frameworks.
But what about multiple-processor concurrency? Threads are
necessary to scale programs to multi-core computers.
Processes are necessary to scale to multi-core computers, not
memory-sharing threads. The fundamentals of scalable systems are
fast networking and non-blocking design&mdash;the rest is message
passing. In future versions, Node will be able to fork new
processes (using the <a
href=""> Web
Workers API </a>), but this is something that fits well into the
current design.
See also: <a href="">slides</a> from jsconf.
<h2 id="links">Links</h2>
A chat room <b>demo</b> is running at <a
href=""></a>. The
source code for the chat room is at <a
The chat room is not stable and might occasionally be down.
For help and discussion, subscribe to the mailing list at
<a href=""></a>
or send an email to <a href=""></a>.
For real-time discussion, check <code>#node.js</code>.
<a href="">IRC logs</a>
<a href="">Projects/libraries which are using/for Node.js</a>
<a href="">Node.js buildbot</a>
<h2 id="contributing">Contributing</h2>
Patches are welcome. The process is simple:
<pre class="sh_none">
git clone git://
cd node
(make your changes)
./configure --debug
make test-all # Check your patch with both debug and release builds
git commit -m "Good description of what your patch does"
git format-patch HEAD^
The best way for your patch to get noticed is to submit it to the
<a href="">mailing list</a> in form
of a <a href="">gists</a> or file attachement.
You should ask the mailing list if a new feature is wanted before
working on a patch.
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