Zac Anger's Blog

Node Notes


Tags: node, notes

I really enjoy node. This is all pretty disorganized. It's also all one giant code block, since I took the 'notes' bit in comments. The repos mentioned are here and here. Yay.

// killing a process
var psTree = require('ps-tree')
var kill   = function(pid, signal, callback){
  signal   = signal   || 'SIGKILL'
  callback = callback || function(){}
  var killTree = true
    psTree(pid, function(err, children){
          return p.PID
        try{process.kill(tpid, signal)}
  } else {
    try{process.kill(pid, signal)}
// with `kill(` somewhere else in code
// OR
var dead = process.argv[2]
exec('pkill ' + dead, function(err, stdout, stderr){
  if(stdout){console.log('stdout: ' + stdout)}
  if(stderr){console.log('stderr: ' + stderr)}
  if(err){throe err}
// one could also just use the standard resume and pause...
process.stdin.resume() // to start
process.stdin.pause()  // to stop
// and here's a cleanup example
// catches ctrl+c, cleans up, then does its thing
process.stdin.resume() // so program doesn't close instantly
// and then...
process.on('exit', exitHandler.bind(null,{cleanup:true})) // do something while closing
process.on('SIGINT', exitHandler.bind(null,{exit:true}))  // catch ctrl+c
process.on('uncaughtException', exitHandler.bind(null,{exit:true}))
// and another way of doing this
// we should put this in its own script, i suppose
function noOp(){}
exports.Cleanup = function Cleanup(callback){
  callback = callback || noOp // attach user cb to emitter
  process.on('cleanup', callback) // if no cb, will still ctrl+C

  process.on('exit',  function(){
    process.emit('cleanup') // app-specific cleaning before exit
  process.on('SIGINT', function(){
    console.log('ctrl+c') // catch ctrl+c, exit normally
  process.on('uncaughtException', function(e){
    console.log('uncaught exception')
// note that node does _not_ allow a listener on SIGKILL. we use the above script like so:
var cleanup = require('./cleanup').Cleanup(myCleanup) // loads, registers
// var cleanup = require('./cleanup').cleanup() // noOp
function myCleanup(){
  console.log('cleanup up')
} // all code following this is just for demo purposes
function error(){
  var x = require('')
} // these are each different ways to test this:
//  setTimeout(error, 4444)
//  setTimeout(function(){process.exit(3)}, 4444)
//  try ctrl+c

// Timers in Node//

setTimeout(functionToCall, msToWait)
// works in node and browsers
// invoke the fn N milliseconds later
// clearTimeout() can be called to cancel it
// 4ms 'clamping', meaning 0 actually equals 4ms
// browsers and node
setInterval(function, intervalMs)
// browsers and node
// calls function repeatedly
// use setTimeout if function could take too long to complete
// and would overlap next interval
// same idea as clearTimeout
// node only
// up to 1000 of them (can config with process.maxTickDepth) will
// all happen in a row before any I/O
// misusing nextTick can _kill_ performance
// node
// definitely the better practice!
// if you need to use node v0.8, process.nextTick will be an
// okay substitution, though.
// no window, so it can be called directly
// schedules function to be invoked after rest of js in the
// current tick runs, but before doing any I/O
// so setImmediate runs, then lets I/O run, then goes to the next
// queued setImmidate
// node
// same as clearInterval and clearTimeout


// npm-run (`npm run foo`) can actually be used directly to run any binary
// in node_modules/bin, by name.
// npm's scripts section (in the package.json) passes to sh, so we can use
// ||, &&, &, |, etc.
// NPM can also just straight up execute your shell scripts, so you can do
// something like `scripts:{"foo":"./scripts/"}`, and that's totally
// valid.
// Preinstall and postinstall scripts are super useful. And you can even use
// scripts from the interwebs this way, by just putting your command in there:
// "webscript":"curl | node"
// as it happens, most scripts fields in the package.json support a 'pre' and
// 'post' field. publish, install, uninstall, version, test, start, stop, and
// restart all support pre and post hooks by default. it's easy enough to
// define a new script, and then define new pre-and post-scripts for that.
// just doing `npm run` on its own will actually list out all the available
// scripts.

var exec = require('child-process').exec
exec('node -v', function(error, stdout, stderr){
  console.log('stdout: ' + stdout)
  console.log('stderr: ' + stderr)
  if(error){console.log('exec error ' + error)
  } // so,  this is good for a short process
}) // but since it doesn't return until exit, not good for streams
// this one logs immediately:
var exec  = require('child-process').exec
  , child = exec('node ./foo.js')
child.stdout.on('data', function(data){
  console.log('stdout: ' + data)
child.stderr.on('data' function(data){
  console.log('stdout: ' + data)
child.on('close', function(code){
  console.log('code: ' + code)
// spawn is a little different. it launches a new process and should be used
// for longer-running communication with what we're running. the methods are
// fairly similar.
child_process.exec(command, [options], callback)
child_process.spawn(command, [args], [options])
// killing processes on meecro$haft is a little different than in the real world
// they have a `taskkill`, though, so we can do something like the following:
var isWindows = /^win/.test(process.platform)
} else {
  var cp = require('child_process')
  cp.exec('taskkill /PID' + + ' /T /F', function(error, stdout, stderr){
    // etc. the /T is to terminate all subprocesses; the /F is to forcefully terminate.
// there's also child_process.fork, which creates new _node_ processes

// NODE-FS //
// var fs = require('fs')
// fs.writeFile(filename, data, [encoding], [cb])
var fs = require('fs')
fs.writeFile('', 'asdfLOTS OF TEXT HERE!', function(err){
  if(err) return console.log(err)
// every query requires a callback.
// we use to read files, and fs.write to write to them
// before reading or writing, first we need to open a file.'/path/to/file', 'a', function(error, fd){
    throw error
  var readBuf = new Buffer(1024)
    , bufOffs = 0
    , bufLeng = readBuf.length
    , filePos = 0
    , writBuf = new Buffer(512)
    , wbufLen = writBuf.length
    , filPos2 = null
    , bufPos = 0, readBuf, bufOffs, bufLeng, filePos, function(error, readBytes){
        throw error
      console.log('read', readBytes)
      console.log(readBuf.slice(0, readBytes))
    fs.write(fd, writBuf, bufPos, wbufLen, filPos2, function(error, written){
        throw error
      console.log('wrote', written)
// see my examples repository for a lot more involving node-fs

// buffers are instances of the Buffer class, which handles raw binary data
// (because JS is great with regular old unicode strings, but binary strings?
// that's a mess.)
// Buffers correspond to raw allocated memory. They're kind of like arrays of
// integers, but not resizable, and with binary-specific methods. Every 'integer'
// represents a byte, so is limited to 0-255 (inclusive).
var buf = new Buffer(8) // uninitialized, with 8 bytes
var buf = new Buffer([2, 9, 4, 8]) // initialized to contents of array
// (each being integers representing bytes)
var buf = new Buffer('Stringy string, what up?', 'utf-8') // initialized,
// to binary encoding of first string _as specified by second argument_ (utf-8, here)
// node buffers support ascii, utf-8, binary (don't do this!), base64, and
// ucs2 (2-byte, little endian)
var buf = new Buffer(16)
buf.write('howdy', 'utf-8') // will return '5,' for 5 bytes written
// a third argument can be passed, for the index where we should _start_ writing
buf.write(', what up?', 5, 'utf-8')
buf.toString('utf-8') // also returns unwritten bytes
buf.toString('utf-8', 0, 10) // returns only the ten we've writen so far!
buf[12] = buf[10] // setting individual bytes
buf[14] = '1'.charCodeAt()
buf.isBuffer(object) // checks to see if object is a buffer
buf.byteLength(string, encoding) // checks number of bytes required to encode string
buf.length // returns length of buf, total (_not_ written)
buf.copy(target, targetStart=0, sourceStart=0, sourceEnd=buf.length) // we copy
// what's in one buffer to another. target buffer is first arg, rest are just to
// copy only a specific section of the source, into a specific section of the target
// an example of this:
var foo = new Buffer(30)
  , bar = new Buffer('quux', 'utf-8')
foo.write('baz', 'utf-8')
bar.copy(foo, 10)
foo.toString('utf-8', 0, 20) // 'baz/\u0000\u0000�Uquux\u0000\u0000�U�\u0001'
// slicing is similar to arrays, except it's _not_ a new buffer, just references a
// specific section of the memory space.
var asdf = foo.slice(2, 6)
asdf.toString() // 'z�\u001'
foo.toString('utf-8', 1, 18) // 'aghjk\u0000\u0000�Uquux\u0000\u0000�U'

// streams let you process data as its generated/received
// they can be readable, writeable, or both
// they handle data events, instead of dealing with data from a callback
// readables emit the event `data` for every incoming data chunk and the
// `end` when there's no more data. writeables can be written to with `write()`
// and closed with `end()`. all types emit `error` on error. see the examples
// repo (cp.js) for a good (very basic) example of streams.
// fs.createReadStream() opens a new readable. see read-stream-server.js in
// the examples repo for a decent demonstration.
// fs.createWriteStream() opens a new writeable. see write-stream-server.js
// in the examples repo for a demo.
// stream.pipe is used to take a readable stream and hook it up to a writeable
// one. it basically works like 'pipe' in unix/any other context.
// check the examples repo, node-stream-pipe.js for a very basic example.
// don't forget to listen for `exit` when you're spawning a child process!
// otherwise your stuff just hangs there.
// stream.pipe is also good for working with file stream. check the repo,
// node-file-streams-pipe.js (it'll look super familiar, i bet). this one
// will take anything you put in (to stdin), and on exit (`ctrl-c`), you should
// check out `` in that same directory!
// stream.pipe is pretty important for HTTP req/res objects, too. check
// node-streams-proxy.js in the examples repo to see how this works.
// the module `oppressor` is really swell for our basic compression needs.
var http  = require('http')
  , fs    = require('fs')
  , opres = require('oppressor')
  , port  = 8000
var server = http.createServer(function(req, res){
  var stream = fs.createReadStream(__dirname + '/index.html')
// and now we have shiz compressed for browsers that support gzip and deflate!
// (that's, like, all of them, unless you're still using IE, and if you are,
// please go away, please.)
var offset = 0
process.stdin.on('readable', function(){
  var buf =
    if(buf[offset] === 0x0a){
      console.dir(buf.slice(0, offset).toString())
      buf = buf.slice(offset + 1)
      offset = 0
// here we've made a tiny lil parser that splits @ `\n`
// note that this 100% already exists as a module, but
// this is just an example, ya ken?
// 'classic' streams are node pre-merger streams.
// when there's a `data` listener, it switches to 'classic' mode
// and works the way it did in that old API (check node 0.12 docs, maybe?).