First steps with Node.js

Published by at 28th July 2013 7:20 pm

The idea of building an entire web app using nothing but JavaScript has always appealed to me. Despite its undoubted flaws, JavaScript is a powerful language, and chopping and changing between several different programming languages is never great. So I've always wanted to check out Node.js.

Lately I've been tinkering with Backbone.js a lot. As a web and mobile app developer, I've seen the benefit of server-side MVC frameworks firsthand, and I've also seen how bad a PhoneGap app can get without this kind of structure, so I've been very eager for a while to get my head around a JavaScript framework. The first one I was able to really grok was Knockout.js, thanks to its wonderful tutorial, but Backbone.js seemed to have better mindshare, and support for routing, so I knuckled down and used it for a large personal project that is still under wraps, but I hope to make available once complete. Using Backbone has made my client-side code far more organised, and I plan to use it a lot in future.

I've also wanted to get my head around a couple of the NoSQL databases. While the relational model is very often applicable, there are plenty of use cases where it isn't the best choice, especially for simple data, and MongoDB seemed to be an interesting alternative. So, I decided to have a tinker around with Node.js and Backbone today, and wound up building a real-time guestbook application. Let me know what you think, but please be gentle - this is my first ever Node.js or MongoDB application.