Node Roundup: Multiple Node Instances, to-locals, pipes-and-filters

2014-02-12 00:00:00 +0000 by Alex R. Young

Running Multiple Instances in a Single Process

StrongLoop has a useful blog with lots of posts about Node. Yesterday Ben Noordhuis posted Running Multiple Instances in a Single Process:

Imagine a node-webkit application where each window runs its own Node instance that is isolated from all other windows. Or Node embedded in a phone or network switch where it is performing routing logic for multiple connections, but in a single process.

It's a pretty tall order because Node started out as – and still is – a single-threaded application, built around the concept of a single event loop, with hundreds of global variables that store various bits of state.

The post goes on to show how add-on authors can use contexts, with NODE_MODULE_CONTEXT_AWARE.


eyy sent in to-locals (GitHub: eyy / to-locals, License: MIT, npm: to-locals), a module that transforms callback functions into Connect middleware that automatically sets res.local for use in views. This example shows how easy it is to expose Mongoose models:

var users = toLocals(mongoose.model('users'), 'find', 'users');
app.get('users', users, function(req, res, next) {
  // res.locals now has the loaded users

It's a small project, but even so Mocha tests have been included, and the documentation highlights the main features.

Pipes and Filters

Pipes and Filters (GitHub: slashdotdash / node-pipes-and-filters, License: MIT, npm: pipes-and-filters) by Ben Smith is a module for composing sets of asynchronous operations:

Pipeline.create('order processing')
  .breakIf(function(input) { return input.exists; })
  .execute(message, function completed(err, result) {
    // error or success handler

Ben wrote a blog post that introduces the module with detailed examples: Pipes and Filters to cure Node.js async woes.

How can we perform complex processing on an input data structure, while maintaining independence and flexibility?

The Pipes and Filters pattern provides one possible solution. Described in the Enterprise Integration Patterns book as a method to "divide a larger processing task into a sequence of smaller, independent processing steps (Filters) that are connected by channels (Pipes)."