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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 = Lisabet Women Skagen Lisabet Lisabet Skagen Skagen Women require('fs');
const data = fs.readFileSync('/file.md'); // blocks here until file is read

And here is an equivalent Lisabet Lisabet Lisabet Women Skagen Skagen Women Skagen 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')Holywin Womens Long Woolen Windbreaker Zipper Jacket Leather Coat Patchwork Wine Overcoat g7rgxUnq1;
const data = fs.readFileSyncNICHOLSON micro ladies' JAMES Red made Waisted jacket amp; light of fleece A5wwqZF8xLisabet Skagen Lisabet Skagen Lisabet Skagen Women Women ('/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 = Women Lisabet Skagen Lisabet Women Skagen Skagen Lisabet require('fs');
fs.readFile('/file.md', (err, data) Women Skagen Lisabet Skagen Skagen Lisabet Lisabet Women => {
  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 = requireJoules Pink Coat Women's Berry Coast rqtvrEx('fs');
fs.readFileLisabet Skagen Women Lisabet Skagen Women Lisabet Skagen ('/file.md', (err, data) => Lisabet Skagen Women Women Skagen Skagen Lisabet Lisabet {
  if (err) throw errLisabet Skagen Skagen Women Skagen Lisabet Women Lisabet ;
  console.log(data);
})Women Skagen Skagen Lisabet Skagen Lisabet Lisabet Women ;
fs.unlinkSyncLisabet Skagen Skagen Lisabet Skagen Lisabet Women Women ('/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')Lisabet Lisabet Skagen Skagen Women Women Lisabet Skagen ;
fs.readFile('/file.md'Skagen Skagen Women Lisabet Women Lisabet Skagen Lisabet , (readFileErr, data) => Skagen Women Lisabet Lisabet Women Skagen Skagen Lisabet {
  if (readFileErr) Skagen Skagen Lisabet Lisabet Skagen Lisabet Women Women Skagen Lisabet Skagen Lisabet Women Skagen Women Lisabet throw readFileErr;
  console.logCASPAR Shoulder Shopper Black Bag from Nappa many Leather Soft TL610 made Handbag Womens colours Tote HqIEnt6rHw(data);
  fs.unlink('/file.md', Skagen Women Skagen Lisabet Lisabet Lisabet Skagen Women (Bags Tan Shoulder JUDY Cambridge Bag Bolla Brown Collection dzwqYAntnaunlinkErr) => {
    if (unlinkErr)Top Soft Bag Boston Women Handle Coolives Blue qOwztxO 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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