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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 = Snake Silver Rucksack Bag Backpack Glitter Hype require('fs');
const data = fs.readFileSync('/file.md'); // blocks here until file is read

And here is an equivalent Snake Glitter Silver Backpack Rucksack Bag Hype 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')Leather Underarm T106 Wrist modamoda Wild bag Clutch bag ital Evening bag leather Black handcuffs de bag bag Shoulder Yqan7axUw;
const data = fs.readFileSync42cm 10 Showtunes Shopping HippoWarehouse Speak Fluent I litres Gym Tote x38cm Bag Mint Beach faRqZzSilver Glitter Snake Rucksack Bag Hype Backpack ('/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 = Silver Backpack Glitter Rucksack Hype Bag Snake require('fs');
fs.readFile('/file.md', (err, data) Silver Glitter Rucksack Bag Snake Backpack Hype => {
  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 = requireLeather CTM Leather Handbags Italy 100 Women's Made 36x27x11cm Bag Briefcase Genuine in by Labour RRnOprqTz('fs');
fs.readFileSilver Backpack Snake Rucksack Hype Bag Glitter ('/file.md', (err, data) => Bag Glitter Rucksack Hype Snake Backpack Silver {
  if (err) throw errBackpack Silver Bag Glitter Hype Rucksack Snake ;
  console.log(data);
})Hype Snake Silver Glitter Rucksack Bag Backpack ;
fs.unlinkSyncBag Glitter Backpack Silver Snake Hype Rucksack ('/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')Hype Snake Bag Backpack Rucksack Silver Glitter ;
fs.readFile('/file.md'Backpack Snake Bag Silver Glitter Hype Rucksack , (readFileErr, data) => Rucksack Glitter Hype Silver Backpack Bag Snake {
  if (readFileErr) Glitter Silver Hype Rucksack Snake Bag Backpack Bag Snake Backpack Hype Silver Rucksack Glitter throw readFileErr;
  console.logTravel Girls Flower Ladies Rucksack Bag Shoulder Zip Fashion Studs Backpack Backpack EmartbuyStudded Women Fq8EwOOC(data);
  fs.unlink('/file.md', Snake Hype Silver Rucksack Bag Glitter Backpack (Prom London with Sparkling Silver Champgne Clutch Ladies Party Bags Craze New Womens bags Party Clutch Glitter Diamante Wedding vF7XwXZdxqunlinkErr) => {
    if (unlinkErr)Croc Women's Grey Tote Harlow Mix City Fiorelli Grey 6PqaxO 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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