Node.js tools: Server-side JavaScript comes of age

Node-inspired development environments and cloud platforms are rapidly remaking the Web application stack

By Peter Wayner, InfoWorld |  Software, JavaScript, Node.js

It's a nice idea, but I found it buggy. A decorator function kept clogging the stack of Eclipse, and nothing seemed to communicate as well as it could. While I could pause Node and poke around, I found it easier to debug Node using the output of the command line that started it. The Eclipse interaction was too much trouble.

These glitches are usually cosmetic. It's entirely possible that you won't experience them on your version of Eclipse or your version of Node. (I used Eclipse Indigo EE and 0.6.10.) My problems may also have been caused by all of the other plug-ins littering my Eclipse install.

Node.js tools: FeedHenryIt's not really fair to think of FeedHenry as just another Node hosting service -- it's much more. It's really a tool for building client/server apps that just happens to use Node underneath. You write your server-side code in JavaScript, and it runs on Node, even if that's not immediately apparent. FeedHenry emphasizes the advantage of using Node by including a shared directory for code that runs on both the client and the server.

There are many ways to construct an IDE for Node, and like Cloud9's, FeedHenry's is built for the browser. The development environment and your code sit in the FeedHenry cloud. You work through your browser, which also pops up an emulator.

The IDE is just the center of the universe because FeedHenry can build your app into stand-alone versions for a long list of mobile platforms. In addition to the most popular (iPhone, Android, RIM), FeedHenry supports other mobile platforms that aren't as well known: Opera WGT, Nokia Web Runtime. This cross-platform magic is possible because FeedHenry builds your application in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Node.js tools: Nide"Nide" stands for "nice integrated development environment," and it's one of the simplest development environments I've seen. It's surprising, at first, how little is required to make it possible to create software, but then I keep forgetting what people did in the '70s and '80s with vi. We've become fat and spoiled.

Nide is a Web app that lets you browse through files and edit them in your browser. It is, as they say, a perfect example of the Node team eating its own dog food. When you save a file in the right directory, Node will find it and start serving it up. Then you check it in another tab on your browser. Node handles all the compilation -- if that's what you call what V8 does -- and most of the other packaging that IDEs normally do. That leaves Nide to focus on displaying and editing the files.

Originally published on InfoWorld |  Click here to read the original story.
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