Comet, server-side javascript, and the js.io project (Tue, Nov 10, 2009)

Thanks to everyone who came to the fifth installment of the 2009-2010 HCS seminar series. Here are the details of the talk:

Every developer doing anything with the web needs to know JavaScript these days, but back-end servers are seldom written in that language, mostly for lack of libraries, and because JavaScript has until recently only routinely run inside the browser. But JavaScript is a great language for writing asynchronous network applications such as multiplayer game servers, or chat applications, because of its support for closures and first-class anonymous functions. The js.io project borrows design ideas from Python's Twisted library, and builds on Node.js (itself built on Google's V8 engine), to let network developers write high-performance network servers, in JavaScript. Now we can write both client and server code in the same language, re-use components between the two, and best of all, test complete working network applications wholly within the browser, and then deploy identical code to a server running Node.

I'll talk about the fundamentals of network programming, how "Comet" works for sending messages bi-directionally between browser and server, and how js.io will make building awesome performant network apps fun and straight-forward.

Speaker: Jacob Rus

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The HCS seminar series provides an open forum for members of the Harvard community to speak about topics in computers, technology, and the universe in general. See http://www.hcs.harvard.edu/events for an up-to-the-minute schedule of talks. Interested in giving a seminar? Submit a brief description of your talk at http://www.hcs.harvard.edu/events/speak, or email us at seminars@hcs.harvard.edu.