Node Roundup: TermKit, service.js, Writing Node Extensions

18 May 2011 | By Alex Young | Tags node modules extensions mac

TermKit

TermKit (License) by Steven Wittens is a “next gen” command-line interface. It currently runs on Mac OS X, and is written using Node and Objective-C. I feel like it’s closer to something like Quicksilver than a typical terminal client — but it may shape up to be something pretty compelling for general use.

When I first saw TermKit I thought Steven had used some kind of incredible Node/Cocoa library, but it’s actually a clever mix of Node and WebKit. This seems like a good way to build native-feeling Mac apps with Node, in a similar way to how WebKit Inspector is built.

The most interesting thing about this project is it attempts to build on some of the conventions of terminal emulators, but explores embedding GUI concepts into the terminal — code is displayed with syntax highlighting, and images are previewed automatically. Although it’s early stages for this project there are some extremely encouraging ideas on display.

service.js

service.js by Cal Henderson builds on daemon.node (npm: daemon) to provide an easy way of turning Node scripts into init.d daemons:

#!/usr/local/bin/node

require('service').run({
    lockFile: '/var/run/my_app.pid',
    logFile : '/var/log/my_app.log',
});

This preamble sets up the necessary requirements for the script to function as an init script.

Writing Node Extensions

In How to write your own native Node.js extension, Olivier Lalonde explains the steps necessary to use libnotifymm.h from Node.

Writing a native Node extension can be cumbersome and verbose at times but it is well worth the hard earned bragging rights!

It’ll take a bit of C++ and waf knowledge to really appreciate what’s going on, but it does demonstrate that writing extensions for native libraries is within the reaches of mere mortals (rather than wizards).


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