Enjoying my time with Node.js


Alternatively, I found a project to properly learn it

A bit of background -- I've been using primarily PHP for any backend that I've needed to do, which while works most certainly doesn't seem quite right. I have nothing against PHP, however it feels a bit dirty, almost like I'm cheating when using it. I didn't know any other way, though, so I stuck with it.

Well I recently found a project I could use to learn Node.js -- a Minecraft server control panel -- and I've actually been enjoying it, much more than I have PHP. Here's a demo of my project:


It's all served (very quickly) by a Node.js backend, that wraps around the Minecraft server and uses multiple POST and GET routes for various functions, such as saving files. The best part about it is how fast it is (obviously), but the second greatest thing is the efficiency. For example, in PHP, for me to implement some new thing, I'd most likely need to create a new file, fill in my variables and methods, and point my JavaScript (or AJAX) towards it. And I have no real good way of debugging it. However with Node.js, it's three lines of code (no seriously) to implement a new route with Express that will perform a function. Not only that, but it's so easy to debug. Because of how it's run, instead of just producing a 500 error page, it can actually log the error before shutting off the program, which is so much more useful then then old 'cat /var/log/apache2/error.log'.

My advice to anyone looking to get into web development is learn Node.js. Not only is it a new web technology that is only increasing in size, but it's powerful, open with about a billion extensions, and can help you learn more JavaScript, a big part of dynamic content on HTML5 websites.