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Web Frameworks & Available Libraries: Is it a brave move to opt for Node.js instead of Python?

Web Frameworks & Available Libraries: Is it a brave move to opt for Node.js instead of Python?

Problem

I have quite sometime now (a month or two) before I can actually start learning a web programming Language; so I am still worrying about what language to learn.

Whatever programming language I choose, I'd also have to learn JavaScript alongside that language as it's the go to for client-side scripting.

I am looking at: (1) Python, Ruby, JavaScript (Node.js -- server-side & jQuery -- client-side); (2) DBMS - PostgreSQL (3) I am going to learn C/C++ anyway (but after I learn a high-level programming language among those mentioned above).

So, the question is, is it a brave move to choose Node.js/JavaScript for server-side programming? (brave in the sense, learning Python would be a lot easier and good, and you're only trying to be brave/foolish by choosing Node.js)

Points to consider:

  • I am sure Python, Ruby and all will have a great future. Will Node.js enjoy the same too? Do you think? (long-term plans)

  • Availability web frameworks: Is there a framework for Node.js that is as mature and complete as Django (or Pylons)?

  • Availability of support from SO community and the web: that is, can I be sure that I would get a few good replies from the SO community if something goes wrong and I need help? I mean, I am sure that i would, if it is Python, C/C++ etc.

  • is Node.js too slow to code than Python?

Why I am even thinking about Node.js?

  • I've read comments/answers on SO saying that Node.js is much much faster than other high-level languages like Python, Ruby or PHP. Sorry, but like I said, it's not my opinion [READ].
  • If I choose Node.js, I would only have to learn one programming language basically - - JavaScript. (I am not looking for a job, I want to develop a (large?) web application like a social network or photo-sharing service)

[I believe anyone can have these questions, so it's not entirely subjective]

Problem courtesy of: user860672

Solution

1) I personally love (!) Ruby, I think it's the most beautiful language one can possibly code in, but I also love the speed of Node.js and JavaScript. Fortunately I can combine what I love about the two, the answer is CoffeeScript (it has a Ruby / Python style of programming, but it compiles to plain JavaScript). Note: you should learn JavaScript properly and only then pass to CoffeeScript.

2) I wouldn't use PostgreSQL, because I would like use something more "speedy" like MongoDB (JavaScript on the DB also - it's easier to learn MongoDB than CouchDB if you only know SQL) or CouchDB (which is a pretty amazing db, also in JavaScript - it supports synchronization by default). However if you want to use PostgreSQL there are drivers for it.

3) It's great that you are planning on learning C/C++, since every language is built on top of that. You could write C/C++ modules for Ruby, Node or Python.

Answering your (extra) 3 points:

1) There is a really good web framework called Express, which is highly inspired by Sinatra (Ruby). There are also other frameworks, but I believe Express is the best there is (you can even build your own framework on top of it etc, it's "flexible").

2) I am actually subscribed to the "node.js" tag on SO and I can say that if you post a valid question you'll get an answer from 1 minute to 24h. More than that, just join the IRC channels for Node ( #node.js #express #socket.io #nodejitsu ) and checkout the activity over there. I can assure you while I was learning, I didn't have any unanswered question (for real, the guys are extremely helpful).

3) No, that's not the case once you get used to it. The only thing you need to get used to when coding in Node.js (not only, Erlang, Twisted or EventMachine also) is the asynchronous way of programming. Also there are a ton of modules and helpers for almost everything (so that can speed up your coding too, you don't have to reinvent the wheel for everything - you can also use some JS code for the frontend).

I can tell you from my own experience that once you get used to the async style of programming (with callbacks etc) there's nothing that can slow you down anymore.

Extra

While Node.js is kind of young (2009), Github, Linkedin, Yahoo, 37signals, Learnboost, Trello are using it, so you won't be that brave :P

Solution courtesy of: alessioalex

Discussion

View additional discussion.



This post first appeared on Node.js Recipes, please read the originial post: here

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Web Frameworks & Available Libraries: Is it a brave move to opt for Node.js instead of Python?

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