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Anyone done much with NodeJS and open APIs (github, google docs, etc)?

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    Anyone done much with NodeJS and open APIs (github, google docs, etc)?

    I want to knock up some little tools and I found a service to host NodeJS scripts for me (datafire.io) which suits me better than setting up a server specially.
    I've done some web-dev back in the day but hated it... however JS as a language was OK. I normally develop in C++, C#. Is there anything particularly complicated or to be scared about here or is it just a case of reading the API docs and maybe buying a book on NodeJS? It seems like a useful string to add to my bow as a predominantly server-based developer anyway so might be worth investing a bit of time?
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    #2
    I'm a massive fan of NodeJS because its very easy to get up and running with, and it has an incredibly rich open-source ecosystem compared to C# and C++ (which I also develop with). It is also doesn't care whether you are using Mac/Windows/Linux.

    My advice would be to dive right in and start publishing your own little packages to npm. VSCode is the best editor to use as it has integration which provides intellisense for the built in Node APIs and other npm packages.

    You have a choice of using plain JavaScript or TypeScript. TypeScript is awesome but you may find it easier to start with plain JavaScript and then move to TypeScript as your projects get bigger and you get more comfortable with the tools. JavaScript has probably improved a fair bit since you last used it, so maybe read up on some of the new features/syntax.

    If you want to integrate with a range of APIs I have heard really good things about OneGraph https://www.onegraph.com/. Even if you don't use it, imitating the same approach of creating a GraphQL API which provides a single access point to different services should be an interesting project. I also expect there soon to be increased demand for server developers who have created GraphQL APIs.

    HTH

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      #3
      Originally posted by d000hg View Post
      I want to knock up some little tools and I found a service to host NodeJS scripts for me (datafire.io) which suits me better than setting up a server specially.
      I've done some web-dev back in the day but hated it... however JS as a language was OK. I normally develop in C++, C#. Is there anything particularly complicated or to be scared about here or is it just a case of reading the API docs and maybe buying a book on NodeJS? It seems like a useful string to add to my bow as a predominantly server-based developer anyway so might be worth investing a bit of time?
      Yes, NodeJS has gained quite a bit of server side development ground during last few years.
      Its runtime engine v8 has reached quite good performance, and its improvements are supported / maintained by Google.

      For me personally JavaScript as a language took a bit of time to adopt to, specially coming from OO app development world. But, with recent ES6 spec things are improving.

      It was just not build with OO concepts like inheritance or polymorphism in mind. Like mentioned above, you can always use TypeScript with transpiler.

      Another important bit is not to use NodeJS where it doesn't belong - computation heavy server side applications.

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        #4
        Originally posted by hungrybear View Post
        Yes, NodeJS has gained quite a bit of server side development ground during last few years.
        Its runtime engine v8 has reached quite good performance, and its improvements are supported / maintained by Google.

        For me personally JavaScript as a language took a bit of time to adopt to, specially coming from OO app development world. But, with recent ES6 spec things are improving.

        It was just not build with OO concepts like inheritance or polymorphism in mind. Like mentioned above, you can always use TypeScript with transpiler.

        Another important bit is not to use NodeJS where it doesn't belong - computation heavy server side applications.
        Something I've never understood about NodeJS is if you build something that is great and you want to sell as a product, how do you protect it from being blatantly copied?
        I seem to remember I had the same thoughts about ASP many years ago.
        Does this limit the usefulness or is there some sort of obfuscation that can be applied?

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          #5
          Originally posted by darrylmg View Post
          Something I've never understood about NodeJS is if you build something that is great and you want to sell as a product, how do you protect it from being blatantly copied?
          I guess this is similar for all interpreted, not compiled languages like PHP, Python, JavaScript etc.
          There are plenty of commercial applications and packages built with these.

          You can use the obfuscation libraries for JavaScript, there are few.

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            #6
            Originally posted by darrylmg View Post
            Something I've never understood about NodeJS is if you build something that is great and you want to sell as a product, how do you protect it from being blatantly copied?
            I seem to remember I had the same thoughts about ASP many years ago.
            Does this limit the usefulness or is there some sort of obfuscation that can be applied?
            Assuming you're referring to the server-side code (the code which renders the web page) and not the client-side code (the HTML/CSS/Javascript that gets downloaded and executed in the user's web browser), then the end-user will not have access to it.

            As long as you're hosting your server-side code in a safe place, e.g. a password-protected hosting account or cloud hosting service, then no one should be able to access your server-side code but you.

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              #7
              Originally posted by jconway View Post
              Assuming you're referring to the server-side code (the code which renders the web page) and not the client-side code (the HTML/CSS/Javascript that gets downloaded and executed in the user's web browser), then the end-user will not have access to it.

              As long as you're hosting your server-side code in a safe place, e.g. a password-protected hosting account or cloud hosting service, then no one should be able to access your server-side code but you.
              Thanks. Yes, all the server side stuff.
              What you're saying is the only products you can safely write and sell are SaaS?

              Because anything which would require deployment of the server side stuff on a client's infrastructure, would be easily stolen.

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                #8
                Originally posted by darrylmg View Post
                Thanks. Yes, all the server side stuff.
                What you're saying is the only products you can safely write and sell are SaaS?
                I mean, if you wanted to just charge a one-off fee and grant them unlimited usage of your server-side app, through a secure API, then you could do that. Your app code would remain server-side and controlled by you. You would simply guarantee that following the purchase they would have unlimited access to that version of the app running server-side. However I imagine most customers would prefer a SaaS business model, if they can't download and install the software on their local machines.

                Originally posted by darrylmg View Post
                Because anything which would require deployment of the server side stuff on a client's infrastructure, would be easily stolen.
                Correct. Whoever has access to the server-side hosting/infrastructure will have access to your code.

                (Though I'm pretty sure there are ways of coding a back-end so that the source code can't readily be accessed even if the user does host the back-end themselves. Maybe certain configurations of .NET would allow you to distribute your code as a DLL that would run through IIS. But if we're talking NodeJS, it would definitely need the source code to operate, so you wouldn't be able to avoid your client having access.)

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by hungrybear View Post
                  I guess this is similar for all interpreted, not compiled languages like Python
                  I have a feeling Python typically compiles to bytecode. When you run a Python source program, it checks whether a matching bytecode image already exists. If there is one, it runs that rather than the source. Also I believe it will run the bytecode in the absence of a matching source file. This allows Python 'compiled' applications to be distributed.
                  "Don't part with your illusions; when they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live" Mark Twain

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by Cirrus View Post
                    I have a feeling Python typically compiles to bytecode. When you run a Python source program, it checks whether a matching bytecode image already exists. If there is one, it runs that rather than the source. Also I believe it will run the bytecode in the absence of a matching source file. This allows Python 'compiled' applications to be distributed.
                    Are you certain Python gets compiled?
                    I know you can make a Python script portable by wrapping it with the interpreter, but I honestly didn't imagine any bytecode was ever produced. If it was possible to produce bytecode then wouldn't people distribute some of their stuff as bytecode for performance reasons? I've not noticed any (could be me not being very observant though).

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