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Hello, Node.js!

04.03.2015  |  Language Support

We're happy to announce that as of the release, Hypertable now includes a Node.js binding!  Node.js is a platform that allows you to write server-side programs in Javascript, the programming language of the Web.  Javascript is growing in popularity and is officially part of HTML5.  The decision to add a Node.js binding was, in part, motivated by our decision to embark on a rewrite of the Hypertable monitoring system.  We've chosen to use Node.js for the new monitoring system based on how well it satisfies the following requirements:

1. Single Language

Since Javascript is the client-side programming language for HTML, any complex web application will require at least some of it to be written in Javascript.  This means that web applications written in Python or Ruby require programmers to mentally jump back-and-forth between languages.  It's like visiting a country where to get by, you have to speak both French and German!  Node.js eliminates this problem by allowing entire web applications to be written in a single programming language, Javascript.

2. No External Dependencies

Node.js allows add-on packages to be installed locally inside the project, thereby eliminating external package dependencies and avoiding system-wide package version conflicts.  What's more, Hypertable includes the Node.js interpreter in the Hypertable package itself, so there are absolutely no dependencies on the Node.js platform.  By simply installing Hypertable, you have everything you need to start building Node.js applications that interact with Hypertable!

3. Optimum Performance

Node.js is inherently event-driven and facilitates the development of efficient, non-blocking programs.  Node.js is implemented with Google's V8 Javascript engine, which is the same engine that runs in the Chrome browser.  V8 compiles Javascript to machine code and dynamically optimizes it based on heuristics of the code's execution profile.  In a nutshell, it is extremely fast.

For information about how to develop Node.js programs that interact with Hypertable, including comprehensive code examples, see Hypertable Node.js Developer's Guide.  As with all of Hypertable's language bindings, the Developer Guide is auto-generated from the release test code, so it won't ever become out-of-date.  For a detailed description of the Hypertable Javascript classes, see the JSDoc generated Hypertable Javascript Class API.

Posted By:  Doug Judd

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