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How to Make Up Your Mind Between Node.js and Python

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How to Make Up Your Mind Between Node.js and Python

Deciding how to build out the backend of your web application? Read on for a comparison of Node.js and Python for this purpose.

· Web Dev Zone ·
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There is no such thing as the best programming language. There are languages that are used for more specific things than others. If you need a mobile application, web app, or a more specialized system, there may be a specific language. But let's assume for the moment that what you need is a relatively simple website, where you can show your client’s products and maybe sell them online efficiently.

In this article, we have chosen to evaluate Node.js and Python to help you decide on the ideal programming solution.

Node.js 

Node.js is a server-side JavaScript environment, based on events. Node.js runs JavaScript using the V8 engine, developed by Google for use in its Chrome browser. Leveraging the V8 engine allows Node.js to provide a server-side execution environment that compiles and runs JavaScript at incredible speeds. The speed increase is important because V8 compiles JavaScript into native machine code, instead of interpreting it or executing it as a bytecode. Node.js is open source and runs on Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux.

Advantages of Node.js

  • Lightning fast execution of web applications: With Node.js, you can create web applications that execute very fast. 
  • Scalability: Node.js can be used to write scalable applications that can handle a very large number of connections/requests at the same time (keyword: non-blocking I/O).
  • All in one technology: With the MEAN stack, you can now cover strong applications across all areas (front-end, backend, database) with JS technologies. A so-called full stack developer could take on this task. In traditional web projects it would need different experts (front-end developer = HTML, CSS, JavaScript; backend = PHP , for example; database developer = MySQL, for example).

Disadvantages of Node.js

  • Not designed for compute-intensive tasks: When it comes to CPU-heavy tasks that use a lot of computing power, Node.js is definitely not the way to go.
  • Often missing backward compatibility: When new versions of Node.js are released, it may be necessary to adjust the existing code so that everything will continue to function normally. This lack of backward compatibility can be seen in many JS technologies, such as Angular. There you had to partially or completely rewrite the code to switch from Angular 1 to Angular 2.
  • No ready-made technology: Technologies like PHP or ASP.NET have been around for many years. PHP, for example, has been around for more than 20 years. Node was only developed in 2009 and some believe it to still be an immature technology. So if you use Node.js in your projects, then you should assume that some extra programming may be required, simply because Node is still in flux.

Python

Python is a high-level general purpose programming language, created by Guido van Rossum, that was first released in 1991. It is an interpreted language, oriented to readability and offering the ability to do a lot with very few lines of code.

Python is ideal for working with large volumes of data because it favors data extraction and processing, and is thus chosen by a lot of big data companies. At the scientific level, it has a wide library of resources with special emphasis on mathematics for aspiring programmers in specialized areas. It is also useful for creating video games thanks to its dynamism and simplicity, although in the case of an interpreted programming language it is slower than Node.js.

Python also has a community of very active users who constantly share their knowledge and resources.

Advantages of Python

  • Portable: It is a highly portable programming language (except with some specific libraries). For example, a program can be written on a Linux platform and run on any other platform such as Mac, Windows, Raspberry Pi, etc.
  • Well documented: The official documentation is very complete and the "other" is found far and wide on the internet.
  • Syntax: It’s simple and easy to remember.
  • Calculative: It has arithmetic types of arbitrary precision, that is, when doing arithmetic operations we should not worry about type overflow.
  • Knowledgebase: Also has countless standard libraries (that come with any distribution) and others more developed by the community.

Disadvantages of Python:

  • Non-compiled: Despite being relatively fast, it hardly competes in this department with Node.js; this is mainly due to the fact of being interpreted (there is no compilation process and therefore there are no optimizations at this level).

  • As compared to Python, Node.js solves the problem of changing the way a connection is made to the server. Instead of generating a new OS thread for each connection (and assigning the accompanying memory), each connection triggers an event execution within the Node.js engine process. Node.js also claims that it will never stay in neutral, because blocking is not allowed and because it is not blocked directly for I/O calls.

Conclusion

Both Node.js and Python, today, are in high demand in the market, increasing their popularity within a considerable number of startups. When developing any project, we can choose between both, considering their potential based on several sets of criteria, such as the type of application, the speed of development, and scalability.

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Topics:
web dev ,node.js ,python ,web application development

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