Node based Coding

Node based Coding

Also known as flow based programming. I’m going to start by showing examples where this form of coding is primarily used and where I first used it.

Also known as flow based programming. I’m going to start by showing examples where this form of coding is primarily used and where I first used it.

UE4 Blueprints

A node-based interface to mostly create gameplay elements. As with many common scripting languages, it is used to define object-oriented (OO) classes or objects in the engine. Under the hood these are just C++ functions. Most developers will use this ‘library’ of sort and add their own custom built functions to push it to the next level. Theres lots of games that are made without a single line of code using this.

Epic Games kind of brought this to the market. Encouraging other game studios to adopt the same workflow for their games. But it’s not just limited to the games industry. This used to be a fad about 20yrs ago, but now it’s becoming a part of applications which can aid non-programmers.

Sadly it’s not as powerful for web developers but there’s a few brave people out there. Who have created something similar, will get to that later.

The above is a big ```if else``` statement. If the colour is white do this, if its red do something else, etc.

Another industry that uses visual code is the CGI industry.

The above program (SideFx Houdini) is responsible for more than 80% of ‘special effects’ in films now. Due to its powerful node based scripting. It can create realistic clouds, destruction, oceans, mountains…you name it. Games are now adopting this powerful program too, using Python to bridge their game engines and other applications to utilise the unlimited power this program provides.

Now to web development

Node-Red, is one of the few languages I found which is built on top of Node.js. It gives Node.js a visual debug system. Where you are able to see the ‘flow’ of your code…and ultimately see where it goes wrong. There’s not many of these due to the fact its just unnecessary for web developers.


Final Thoughts

I don’t see node based programming coming to web development soon. Because expressing non-trivial logic in a visual language is very hard and a little harder to untangle and debug than textual languages as soon as your code becomes big.

Google has been using this as a medium to teach and make it easier for new programmers to learn coding. Link here

Nevertheless I hope you can see the power of node based programming and see where it shines.


Originally published by Umar Khan at Medium

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Top 7 Most Popular Node.js Frameworks You Should Know

Top 7 Most Popular Node.js Frameworks You Should Know

Node.js is an open-source, cross-platform, runtime environment that allows developers to run JavaScript outside of a browser. In this post, you'll see top 7 of the most popular Node frameworks at this point in time (ranked from high to low by GitHub stars).

Node.js is an open-source, cross-platform, runtime environment that allows developers to run JavaScript outside of a browser.

One of the main advantages of Node is that it enables developers to use JavaScript on both the front-end and the back-end of an application. This not only makes the source code of any app cleaner and more consistent, but it significantly speeds up app development too, as developers only need to use one language.

Node is fast, scalable, and easy to get started with. Its default package manager is npm, which means it also sports the largest ecosystem of open-source libraries. Node is used by companies such as NASA, Uber, Netflix, and Walmart.

But Node doesn't come alone. It comes with a plethora of frameworks. A Node framework can be pictured as the external scaffolding that you can build your app in. These frameworks are built on top of Node and extend the technology's functionality, mostly by making apps easier to prototype and develop, while also making them faster and more scalable.

Below are 7of the most popular Node frameworks at this point in time (ranked from high to low by GitHub stars).

Express

With over 43,000 GitHub stars, Express is the most popular Node framework. It brands itself as a fast, unopinionated, and minimalist framework. Express acts as middleware: it helps set up and configure routes to send and receive requests between the front-end and the database of an app.

Express provides lightweight, powerful tools for HTTP servers. It's a great framework for single-page apps, websites, hybrids, or public HTTP APIs. It supports over fourteen different template engines, so developers aren't forced into any specific ORM.

Meteor

Meteor is a full-stack JavaScript platform. It allows developers to build real-time web apps, i.e. apps where code changes are pushed to all browsers and devices in real-time. Additionally, servers send data over the wire, instead of HTML. The client renders the data.

The project has over 41,000 GitHub stars and is built to power large projects. Meteor is used by companies such as Mazda, Honeywell, Qualcomm, and IKEA. It has excellent documentation and a strong community behind it.

Koa

Koa is built by the same team that built Express. It uses ES6 methods that allow developers to work without callbacks. Developers also have more control over error-handling. Koa has no middleware within its core, which means that developers have more control over configuration, but which means that traditional Node middleware (e.g. req, res, next) won't work with Koa.

Koa already has over 26,000 GitHub stars. The Express developers built Koa because they wanted a lighter framework that was more expressive and more robust than Express. You can find out more about the differences between Koa and Express here.

Sails

Sails is a real-time, MVC framework for Node that's built on Express. It supports auto-generated REST APIs and comes with an easy WebSocket integration.

The project has over 20,000 stars on GitHub and is compatible with almost all databases (MySQL, MongoDB, PostgreSQL, Redis). It's also compatible with most front-end technologies (Angular, iOS, Android, React, and even Windows Phone).

Nest

Nest has over 15,000 GitHub stars. It uses progressive JavaScript and is built with TypeScript, which means it comes with strong typing. It combines elements of object-oriented programming, functional programming, and functional reactive programming.

Nest is packaged in such a way it serves as a complete development kit for writing enterprise-level apps. The framework uses Express, but is compatible with a wide range of other libraries.

LoopBack

LoopBack is a framework that allows developers to quickly create REST APIs. It has an easy-to-use CLI wizard and allows developers to create models either on their schema or dynamically. It also has a built-in API explorer.

LoopBack has over 12,000 GitHub stars and is used by companies such as GoDaddy, Symantec, and the Bank of America. It's compatible with many REST services and a wide variety of databases (MongoDB, Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL).

Hapi

Similar to Express, hapi serves data by intermediating between server-side and client-side. As such, it's can serve as a substitute for Express. Hapi allows developers to focus on writing reusable app logic in a modular and prescriptive fashion.

The project has over 11,000 GitHub stars. It has built-in support for input validation, caching, authentication, and more. Hapi was originally developed to handle all of Walmart's mobile traffic during Black Friday.

Difference between AngularJS, React, Ember, Backbone, and Node.js.

The most common thing between all of them is that they are Single Page Apps. The SPA is a single page where much of the information remains the same and only some piece of data gets modified when you click on other categories/option.

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