The Four Horsemen of JavaScript

by Luke Wroblewski January 17, 2012

I'm not technical enough to understand the full implications of this but it strikes me as very interesting: JavaScript simultaneously running the client, server, data structure, and third party connections of software. Let me elaborate.

I spent the last four weeks learning to write code for Node.js and MongoDB. For the unfamiliar, Node.js is an application platform built on a JavaScript runtime and MongoDB is a high performance database that stores "documents" using JavaScript Object Notation (JSON). So with Node.js, you can use JavaScript to set up a server and build network apps on it. With MongoDB you can use JavaScript to store and retrieve data.

Of course, JavaScript already runs user interface interactions in every modern Web browser and is getting faster all the time. Rounding out the story, an increasing number of Web applications and sites provide access to their data and operations through application programming interfaces (APIs) that support JSON.

Taken together this means, JavaScript can be used to develop a network application and server, store and retreive data from databases, interface with third party data and services, and build a software user interface. When you consider how many Web developers are already familiar with JavaScript, the story gets even more interesting...