Node.js was created by Ryan Dahl when he was searching for a way to bring event-driven programming to the Web. The project is currently sponsored by hosting company Joyent.
But the existing libraries and languages didn’t quite do it for Dahl, said Hughes-Croucher. “The predominant reason is that there is a lot of heritage in server-side programming already, so when he wanted to use some other library, or access a database, or do something that involved input/output, the existing heritage of those languages didn’t work very well with an event driven system,” he said.
This is because all the existing libraries were blocking, he said. “The event-driven system requires that it can continue doing other work while it’s waiting for a task to be completed. I don’t have to wait for the database process to be complete in order to do more work. People had built all this infrastructure that didn’t work this way.”