Node.js w/o the JavaScript & V8? Node Native

Date: Mon Apr 28 2014 C++ »»»» Node.native »»»» Performance
When Ryan Dahl designed Node.js on top of V8 to use the JavaScript language it gave us both advantages and disadvantages. A project by Daniel Kang is looking to make a pure C++ version of Node with no JavaScript and no V8. According to an article on The Register, the project is called Node.js Native, but I don't see how it can be properly named "Node.js" if it doesn't include Javascript.  Shouldn't its name be "Node.c++" ??  Having visited the project page (see link below) we see the proper name of the project is "Node.native" not "Node.js Native".  Hey Register guys, tut tut tut, we expect better of you than this level of inaccuracy.

This isn't the first time Node.js has served as conceptual fodder for a similar platform, written to a different language.  I noted awhile ago a project that was formerly called Node.x but now has a new name that I've forgotten.  That project is implemented in Java and supports developing asynchronous oriented software in any of the languages that run on the JVM.

I haven't looked at the Node.native - so here's a bit of handwaving prognostication.

By using JavaScript/V8 for Node.js we gained the advantage of a high level language, and most importantly do not have to worry so much about memory leaks.  It's still possible to write memory leaks in JavaScript, but much harder.  Contrarily C++ is also a high level language, but one that's more complex than C++, and most importantly C++ programmers have a tough time dealing with memory leaks.

Daniel Kang, the founder of the Node.native project, is doing this for performance reasons.  That's another of the tradeoffs, because V8 imposes a performance overhead.  To some it doesn't matter how blisteringly fast you believe V8 to be, some will always think that any interpreted or dynamically compiled programming platform is slower than a natively compiled platform like C++.  Further, there are applications such as encoding video streams where JavaScript isn't appropriate.  Obviously this is a matter of using the right tool for the job.  The typical web application could well be fast enough when written in JavaScript and Node.js while a video transcoding server should be written in C++. 

That is - the JavaScript language offers many programming advantages but it isn't the be-all-end-all of programming languages.

Another way to crack this nut is to work on facilitating integration of native libraries.  Here's another tradeoff with Node.js, in that there's a slew of native coded libraries available for all kinds of things, but to use those libraries in Node.js requires building a wrapper library to make its commands available as functions in a Node module.  Clearly with Node.native you don't have this consideration, instead you just link the library into the process, unless the library doesn't cooperate very well with asynchronous programming.

#include <iostream>
#include <native native.h="">
using namespace native::http;

int main() {
    http server;
    if(!server.listen("", 8080, [](request&amp; req, response&amp; res) {
        res.set_header("Content-Type", "text/plain");
        res.end("C++ FTW\n");
    })) return 1; // Failed to run server.

    std::cout &lt;&lt; "Server running at" &lt;&lt; std::endl;
    return native::run();