Mobile
News
1/23/2012
06:04 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Why LinkedIn's Mobile Developers Dumped Ruby For Node.js

Node.js, a server-side programming platform for JavaScript, available as open source, is part of the story behind a performance boost for LinkedIn's most recent iPhone app.

"All user experience, mobile or on the Web, in general is evented by nature – it's driven by the user touching something or taking some action," Prasad said. JavaScript and AJAX programming tend to be built around events for that nature, but many of the server-side languages for Web development such as PHP follow a more procedural model of doing things one at a time in a predefined order, he said, whereas Node.js makes server-side programming more like coding for the browser or a mobile client.

The Web and mobile development environments are converging around HTML5, he noted, adding that the LinkedIn iPhone app is actually "about 80% Web-based, and it's designed so you can't tell which parts are Web and which are native."

Another reason Node.js is making great performance gains is that it runs on the same V8 JavaScript Engine used in Google Chrome and therefore benefits from work that Google and other big companies are pouring into improving JavaScript performance on the browser.

The LinkedIn engineering group has taken to enthusiastically blogging about Node.js and how to maximize Node.js performance.

One of the biggest benefits is that JavaScript developers who previously were not comfortable with server-side programming now can work in both realms, Prasad said. "We don't really have client developers and server developers anymore --we just have developers." One reason LinkedIn is talking up the technology is it wants developers to know "if you're interested in this stuff, or you have experience with this stuff, you should come work here," he said.

Follow David F. Carr on Twitter @davidfcarr. The BrainYard is @thebyard

Meet top cloud computing technology companies in Cloud Connect's ever-growing Expo Hall, and learn about the latest cloud services, applications and platforms. It happens in Santa Clara, Calif., Feb. 13-16. Sign up now with Priority Code CPMWCC18 for a free Expo Pass or $100 off our conference passes.

Previous
2 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
InformationWeek Elite 100
InformationWeek Elite 100
Our data shows these innovators using digital technology in two key areas: providing better products and cutting costs. Almost half of them expect to introduce a new IT-led product this year, and 46% are using technology to make business processes more efficient.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join InformationWeek’s Lorna Garey and Mike Healey, president of Yeoman Technology Group, an engineering and research firm focused on maximizing technology investments, to discuss the right way to go digital.
Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.