Node.js in Practice (2015)

Foreword

You have in your hands a book that will take you on an in-depth tour of Node.js. In the pages to come, Alex Young and Marc Harter will help you grasp Node’s core in a deep way: from modules to real, networked applications.

Networked applications are, of course, an area where Node.js shines. You, dear reader, are likely well aware of that; I daresay it is your main reason for purchasing this tome! For the few of you who actually read the foreword, let me tell you the story of how it all began.

In the beginning, there was the C10K problem. And the C10K problem raised this question: if you want to handle 10,000 concurrent network connections on contemporary hardware, how do you go about that?

You see, for the longest time operating systems were terrible at dealing with large numbers of network connections. The hardware was terrible in many ways, the software was terrible in other ways, and when it came to the interaction between hardware and software ... linguists had a field day coming up with proper neologisms; plain terrible doesn’t do it justice. Fortunately, technology is a story of progress; hardware gets better, software saner. Operating systems improved at managing large numbers of network connections, as did user software.

We conquered the C10K problem a long time ago, moved the goal posts, and now we’ve set our sights on the C100K, C500K, and C1M problems. Once we’ve comfortably crossed those frontiers, I fully expect that the C10M problem will be next.

Node.js is part of this story of ever-increasing concurrency, and its future is bright: we live in an increasingly connected world and that world needs a power tool to connect everything. I believe Node.js is that power tool, and I hope that, after reading this book, you will feel the same way.

BEN NOORDHUIS COFOUNDER, STRONGLOOP, INC.