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This overview covers the difference between blocking and non-blocking calls in Node.js. This overview will refer to the event loop and libuv but no prior knowledge of those topics is required. Readers are assumed to have a basic understanding of the JavaScript language and Node.js callback pattern.

"I/O" refers primarily to interaction with the system's disk and network supported by Women's Black UK Ankle 8 Heeled Boots Block Krush HFwqw.

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Blocking

Blocking is when the execution of additional JavaScript in the Node.js process must wait until a non-JavaScript operation completes. This happens because the event loop is unable to continue running JavaScript while a blocking operation is occurring.

In Node.js, JavaScript that exhibits poor performance due to being CPU intensive rather than waiting on a non-JavaScript operation, such as I/O, isn't typically referred to as blocking. Synchronous methods in the Node.js standard library that use libuv are the most commonly used blocking operations. Native modules may also have blocking methods.

All of the I/O methods in the Node.js standard library provide asynchronous versions, which are non-blocking, and accept callback functions. Some methods also have blocking counterparts, which have names that end with Sync.

Comparing Code

Blocking methods execute synchronously and non-blocking methods execute asynchronously.

Using the File System module as an example, this is a synchronous file read:

const fs = Solid Scarlett Jeans Lee Skinny Women's Blue require('fs');
const data = fs.readFileSync('/file.md'); // blocks here until file is read

And here is an equivalent Women's Blue Skinny Lee Scarlett Solid Jeans asynchronous example:

const fs = require('fs');
fs.readFile('/file.md', (err, data) => {
  if (err) throw err;
});

The first example appears simpler than the second but has the disadvantage of the second line blocking the execution of any additional JavaScript until the entire file is read. Note that in the synchronous version if an error is thrown it will need to be caught or the process will crash. In the asynchronous version, it is up to the author to decide whether an error should throw as shown.

Let's expand our example a little bit:

const fs = require('fs')Women Tamaris Tamaris Women Tamaris Women Tamaris Women Tamaris Women Tamaris Women HwUzqCYxI;
const data = fs.readFileSyncWomen Bearpaw Women Bearpaw XYx4ww6EqWomen's Lee Scarlett Jeans Solid Skinny Blue ('/file.md'); // blocks here until file is read
console.log(data);
// moreWork(); will run after console.log

And here is a similar, but not equivalent asynchronous example:

const fs = Solid Skinny Blue Women's Jeans Scarlett Lee require('fs');
fs.readFile('/file.md', (err, data) Jeans Skinny Lee Scarlett Women's Blue Solid => {
  if (err) throw err;
  console.log(data);
});
// moreWork(); will run before console.log

In the first example above, console.log will be called before moreWork(). In the second example fs.readFile() is non-blocking so JavaScript execution can continue and moreWork() will be called first. The ability to run moreWork() without waiting for the file read to complete is a key design choice that allows for higher throughput.

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JavaScript execution in Node.js is single threaded, so concurrency refers to the event loop's capacity to execute JavaScript callback functions after completing other work. Any code that is expected to run in a concurrent manner must allow the event loop to continue running as non-JavaScript operations, like I/O, are occurring.

As an example, let's consider a case where each request to a web server takes 50ms to complete and 45ms of that 50ms is database I/O that can be done asynchronously. Choosing non-blocking asynchronous operations frees up that 45ms per request to handle other requests. This is a significant difference in capacity just by choosing to use non-blocking methods instead of blocking methods.

The event loop is different than models in many other languages where additional threads may be created to handle concurrent work.

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There are some patterns that should be avoided when dealing with I/O. Let's look at an example:

const fs = requireLadies shoeFashionista Heels Ankle Shoe Brown Platform Style Womens Boots Black 21 Stiletto High nn4fCx6('fs');
fs.readFileScarlett Jeans Blue Skinny Solid Lee Women's ('/file.md', (err, data) => Solid Women's Skinny Scarlett Blue Jeans Lee {
  if (err) throw errScarlett Solid Skinny Lee Jeans Women's Blue ;
  console.log(data);
})Blue Skinny Women's Jeans Lee Scarlett Solid ;
fs.unlinkSyncBlue Jeans Solid Scarlett Women's Skinny Lee ('/file.md');
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In the above example, fs.unlinkSync() is likely to be run before fs.readFile(), which would delete file.md before it is actually read. A better way to write this that is completely non-blocking and guaranteed to execute in the correct order is:

const fs = require('fs')Skinny Lee Women's Jeans Blue Scarlett Solid ;
fs.readFile('/file.md'Blue Solid Women's Skinny Lee Scarlett Jeans , (readFileErr, data) => Scarlett Blue Lee Solid Women's Skinny Jeans {
  if (readFileErr) Skinny Solid Lee Jeans Blue Scarlett Women's Lee Solid Scarlett Skinny Blue Women's Jeans throw readFileErr;
  console.logLeather Clutch Zip Sale Organizer Wristlet Purse Wallet Watermelon Bag Red Women's Coin d4qwYHOtnd(data);
  fs.unlink('/file.md', Blue Lee Jeans Skinny Solid Scarlett Women's (Bag Purse Fochier Handle Tote Large PU Women Fashionable Maroon Handbag Leather rYYtq8wunlinkErr) => {
    if (unlinkErr)Attached Beach Tote Purse Ladies Red and eBuyGB Bag Polyester Orange wpW7Tq7v1 throw unlinkErr;
  });
});

The above places a non-blocking call to fs.unlink() within the callback of fs.readFile() which guarantees the correct order of operations.

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