Introduction to Node and Express Web Development

Learn how to set up a Node and Express development environment and build a simple web server in a few lines of code.

JavaScript and the growth of the web

JavaScript has traditionally been used within web browsers in order to enhance or improve the usability or style of web pages. With the growth of the web, each browser competed to provide the best and fastest JavaScript engine they could. One of these JavaScript engines was the V8 engine, which was initially built for Google Chrome and was released as open source in 2008. Using this engine, Ryan Dahl wrote a JavaScript engine that could be used as a web server and run on the command line, named Node.js, or simply Node. A year after Node was released, the first versions of the Express framework for Node were released, which provided a set of features to simplify building server-side applications using JavaScript.

Node, using the single-threaded execution of JavaScript code, is able to handle thousands of concurrent web server requests from servers that are relatively small and cheap. Using the callback mechanisms of JavaScript also means that programmers do not need to think about threading or the many side effects of multithreaded applications. There are many large-scale corporations that use Node to run their mission-critical websites.

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