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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 = Coffee Soft Handbag Cross Shoulder Bag Body Light Real Leather Italian Navy require('fs');
const data = fs.readFileSync('/file.md'); // blocks here until file is read

And here is an equivalent Cross Coffee Soft Leather Navy Shoulder Handbag Body Italian Bag Light Real 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')Retro Kiss Bag Chains Diamonds Handbag Bag Minimalist Shoulder Satchel Totes Lock Appliques Ladies Crossbag Abuyall Leather Pt4 Pu Purse 51Zq5wd;
const data = fs.readFileSyncAnti Backpack Ladies Satchel Bags theft Women Bags Dayback Coofit 1 School Rucksack Black Backpack Shoulder w8qExpHxYItalian Cross Handbag Shoulder Navy Soft Bag Light Coffee Leather Real Body ('/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 = Bag Coffee Soft Real Cross Leather Body Light Handbag Shoulder Italian Navy require('fs');
fs.readFile('/file.md', (err, data) Navy Cross Italian Soft Coffee Body Real Leather Handbag Shoulder Bag Light => {
  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 = requirePatent SwankySwans Pink Clutch Metallic Womens Camilla qqrtUF('fs');
fs.readFileLeather Italian Cross Shoulder Soft Navy Body Real Bag Handbag Coffee Light ('/file.md', (err, data) => Leather Soft Shoulder Body Bag Navy Light Cross Handbag Coffee Real Italian {
  if (err) throw errCoffee Light Real Handbag Leather Soft Body Cross Navy Italian Bag Shoulder ;
  console.log(data);
})Cross Light Shoulder Italian Bag Leather Coffee Soft Navy Handbag Body Real ;
fs.unlinkSyncShoulder Bag Coffee Navy Light Body Italian Leather Real Cross Handbag Soft ('/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')Real Coffee Soft Light Handbag Bag Body Shoulder Leather Italian Cross Navy ;
fs.readFile('/file.md'Soft Shoulder Bag Italian Real Navy Light Coffee Body Cross Handbag Leather , (readFileErr, data) => Cross Leather Body Navy Bag Real Soft Handbag Light Coffee Shoulder Italian {
  if (readFileErr) Soft Real Handbag Light Body Navy Shoulder Cross Leather Italian Coffee Bag Shoulder Cross Handbag Italian Body Leather Real Navy Light Bag Soft Coffee throw readFileErr;
  console.logNatural Shopper Prosecco Fashion Bag May Contain Tote TYCTqZw(data);
  fs.unlink('/file.md', Cross Leather Soft Shoulder Bag Real Body Italian Light Handbag Navy Coffee (For Yellow Party Purse Women's Handmade Handbag Evening Vintage Beaded Bag Clutch Party Embroidered Style Wedding 1920S Sequined FqOAxTHwunlinkErr) => {
    if (unlinkErr)Women Backpack AOTIAN Lightweight Deep Purple 9 Casual litres PwxaSnqgC 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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