App Stores: Showing users the value of Farmers Markets compared to Wal-mart Onerous terms
Aug 31

Node is our turtle shell; Node.js now powers services on webOS

JavaScript, Mobile, Open Source, Palm, Tech, webOS with tags: Add comments


At our last Palm Developer Day, Ben and I discussed future APIs for webOS including “JavaScript services” as a way to write code that runs on the other side of the device service bus using JavaScript.

If you think about it, node delivers a services platform for the cloud, so is there a way that we could work together? We got together with Ryan Dahl of Node to try this out, and it turns out that node works fantastically well on a mobile device! Major kudos should go to the V8 team for creating a great VM and to Ryan for writing efficient code that scaled down from the cloud to the device.

Today we announce that node is part of webOS 2.0:

The popular Node.js runtime environment is built into webOS 2.0, which means that you can now develop not just webOS apps but also services in JavaScript. The active Node ecosystem is on hand to provide community support and a rapidly growing library of modules that you can use in your webOS services.

Besides powering the new Synergy APIs, JavaScript services strengthen webOS’s support for background processing and add new capabilities—like low-level networking, file system access, and binary data processing—to the web technology stack.

I am really excited about this move for us. The node community is top class. I get to see this time and time again, most recently over the weekend and this week as I judge the node knockout. There is magic in the air with Node. It feels like the Rails days. I remember being so happy to jump to Rails and get away from the heavy world of Enterprise Java. It was a breath of fresh air to not have to argue with folks about every piece of the stack. “What about JSF with HiveMind and Commons-Logging and ….” Argh! Too. Much. Choice. And, a logging abstraction above Log4J was hilarious :)

Node is low level, yet simple. It is more like Sinatra than Rails. The event-based opinions keep you in good stead, and with cloud solutions such as Heroku and you have great deployment stories, unlike Rails back in the day.

If you check out the modules that are growing daily, and the fun real-time hacks from the knockout you will get a good feel for node.

It feels great to have webOS as the first mobile device that embeds node. With db8 we offer a JSON store than can sync to the cloud (e.g. sync with CouchDB). This stack is starting to look pretty great.

3 Responses to “Node is our turtle shell; Node.js now powers services on webOS”

  1. Sveinung Says:

    Awesome, I will order myself a Pre because of this.

  2. Jonathan Stark Says:

    This is insane. In a good way :)

    I’m not sure I have my head around this completely, but to draw an analogy for us old guys, I think having node.js in webOS is sorta like having PHP on the phone. Do I have that right?

    Great stuff!

  3. Raju Bitter Says:

    That’s an excellent idea, and even better that you managed to get node.js into webOS. Now I only need access to the pre-release version of the webOS 2.0 SDK…

Leave a Reply

Spam is a pain, I am sorry to have to do this to you, but can you answer the question below?

Q: Type in the word 'ajax'