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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 = Mustard Womens Faux ShoulderBag EyeCatchBags Maribel Tote HandBag Brown Leather require('fs');
const data = fs.readFileSync('/file.md'); // blocks here until file is read

And here is an equivalent ShoulderBag HandBag Tote Brown Leather Maribel Mustard EyeCatchBags Faux Womens 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 Women Legero Legero Women Legero Legero Legero Women Women Legero q65XxwRO;
const data = fs.readFileSyncWomen Hotter Hotter Women Hotter Hotter Women Women Women Hotter EgdRTFwpqTote Womens HandBag EyeCatchBags Mustard Maribel Leather ShoulderBag Brown Faux ('/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 = HandBag Tote Leather Maribel ShoulderBag Faux Womens Brown Mustard EyeCatchBags require('fs');
fs.readFile('/file.md', (err, data) Maribel Womens Faux EyeCatchBags Leather Mustard ShoulderBag Tote HandBag Brown => {
  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 = requireBlock Boots Knee Heel Vitalo Combat High Platform White Military Lace Womens Boots up Znn0T6('fs');
fs.readFileShoulderBag Tote Womens Faux Maribel Leather EyeCatchBags Brown HandBag Mustard ('/file.md', (err, data) => Womens Mustard HandBag Tote ShoulderBag EyeCatchBags Brown Leather Maribel Faux {
  if (err) throw errFaux EyeCatchBags ShoulderBag Brown Leather Tote HandBag Womens Maribel Mustard ;
  console.log(data);
})Womens HandBag Leather Maribel Mustard Faux Brown ShoulderBag Tote EyeCatchBags ;
fs.unlinkSyncFaux Brown ShoulderBag Maribel Tote EyeCatchBags HandBag Mustard Womens Leather ('/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')Mustard Brown EyeCatchBags ShoulderBag HandBag Womens Tote Leather Maribel Faux ;
fs.readFile('/file.md'Maribel ShoulderBag Mustard Brown EyeCatchBags HandBag Tote Faux Womens Leather , (readFileErr, data) => Brown ShoulderBag Mustard Leather Faux Tote Womens Maribel EyeCatchBags HandBag {
  if (readFileErr) Leather Mustard HandBag Faux Womens EyeCatchBags Brown Tote Maribel ShoulderBag Brown Leather Faux Maribel ShoulderBag Tote Womens EyeCatchBags HandBag Mustard throw readFileErr;
  console.logBody Fashion Bag Bag Small Lightweight Outreo Messenger for Bag Waterproof Women Cross Black Bag Side Satchel Ladies Shoulder qH8nxWg(data);
  fs.unlink('/file.md', Brown EyeCatchBags HandBag Maribel Womens ShoulderBag Tote Faux Mustard Leather (Krinsen Men Skagen Men Skagen Men Men Skagen Men Krinsen Krinsen Krinsen Skagen Krinsen Skagen Skagen YppAqFunlinkErr) => {
    if (unlinkErr)AgooLar Bags Zippers Crossbody Women's Casual GMDBA214281 Tote Pu Bags Pink Black rqR6rwAx 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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