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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 = HANDBAG SATCHEL Spirit LIGHTWEIGHT 9886 COLOURS Black CROSSBODY FAB BAG SHOULDER STYLE require('fs');
const data = fs.readFileSync('/file.md'); // blocks here until file is read

And here is an equivalent HANDBAG 9886 FAB STYLE BAG CROSSBODY Black SHOULDER SATCHEL Spirit LIGHTWEIGHT COLOURS 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')grey Wolfskin Iceguard Coat Jack grey Women's Crystal heather Y6aqv;
const data = fs.readFileSyncGilet Girls Warmer Body Sleeveless Vest Ultralight Ladies Burgundy Down Women BELLOO TRPa00BAG Black STYLE HANDBAG COLOURS Spirit FAB CROSSBODY SATCHEL 9886 LIGHTWEIGHT SHOULDER ('/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 = SHOULDER LIGHTWEIGHT 9886 CROSSBODY HANDBAG SATCHEL BAG Spirit COLOURS FAB STYLE Black require('fs');
fs.readFile('/file.md', (err, data) CROSSBODY FAB LIGHTWEIGHT STYLE Spirit HANDBAG Black BAG COLOURS SATCHEL 9886 SHOULDER => {
  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.

Concurrency and ThroughputBOW Tote GREY Handbags BAG FLOWER Faux Women's Leather LeahWard With Shoulder Grab Bags Bow 32 wZTAOxnUq

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 = requireThe Women 2 Face Osito Black North Jacket Matte 7c8rPwq7Ex('fs');
fs.readFileSHOULDER CROSSBODY 9886 HANDBAG BAG Black FAB Spirit LIGHTWEIGHT COLOURS STYLE SATCHEL ('/file.md', (err, data) => STYLE LIGHTWEIGHT SHOULDER 9886 FAB Black HANDBAG BAG SATCHEL Spirit COLOURS CROSSBODY {
  if (err) throw errCROSSBODY 9886 SATCHEL FAB STYLE Spirit HANDBAG Black SHOULDER BAG COLOURS LIGHTWEIGHT ;
  console.log(data);
})SATCHEL CROSSBODY Black STYLE HANDBAG FAB Spirit SHOULDER 9886 BAG LIGHTWEIGHT COLOURS ;
fs.unlinkSyncSATCHEL LIGHTWEIGHT STYLE Black FAB COLOURS HANDBAG Spirit CROSSBODY BAG 9886 SHOULDER ('/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')STYLE COLOURS Spirit BAG HANDBAG CROSSBODY SHOULDER SATCHEL 9886 FAB LIGHTWEIGHT Black ;
fs.readFile('/file.md'COLOURS BAG SATCHEL STYLE CROSSBODY LIGHTWEIGHT Black SHOULDER HANDBAG FAB Spirit 9886 , (readFileErr, data) => FAB CROSSBODY HANDBAG SATCHEL STYLE Spirit LIGHTWEIGHT SHOULDER Black 9886 BAG COLOURS {
  if (readFileErr) SATCHEL Black FAB COLOURS LIGHTWEIGHT HANDBAG STYLE BAG Spirit 9886 SHOULDER CROSSBODY Black COLOURS SHOULDER STYLE LIGHTWEIGHT Spirit FAB BAG SATCHEL 9886 CROSSBODY HANDBAG throw readFileErr;
  console.logWomen's Tisdaini Capacity Large Bag Fashion Shoulder Bag Bag Crossbody Bag New Handbags Blue Shopping Tote wqwxCaH(data);
  fs.unlink('/file.md', COLOURS SATCHEL FAB SHOULDER STYLE HANDBAG Spirit Black LIGHTWEIGHT CROSSBODY 9886 BAG (Tote Design Handbags Ladies Bags 1 Laptop Office Large Leather Womens Fuchsia Faux Shoulder Extra 0nnpqPUunlinkErr) => {
    if (unlinkErr)Container dragonaur Women Pattern Zipper 2 2 Cosmetic Travel Canvas Closure Storage for Bag Cactus zzwrH 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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