Why One Developer Gets Rage Face About Node.js


Node.js gives this developer rage face.

In a blog post today, Toby DiPasquale wrote why he made some disparaging remarks about Node.js on an unnamed conference mailing list.

His remarks distill issues that he sees with V8, call backs, scalability (which makes him want to punch faces) and JavaScript. It’s a good antidote to the distorted views we are seeing about this popular framework.

It’s a fine rant. Let me summarize:


DiPasquale definitely prefers Scala to Chrome/V8. DiPasquale works for Trust Metrics, which leverages Chrome/v8 for aspects of its Web crawler. He says V8 dominates the bug count and is “balls-ass slower than some straight un-optimized Scala. We’re looking to get rid of it completely ASAFP.”

Callback Spaghetti

DiPasquale says he has worked on all kinds of server frameworks. And Node.js is the worst. It provides no aid and comfort to the developer and is about impossible to work on the code six months after deployment. He also says the callback structure gives him a f***ing aneurism. I told you it’s a good rant.


Just because you are fast does not mean you are scalable. True. We heard this at Node Summit to some extent.

I will let DiPasquale say it himself:

You know what’s fast? MySQL. You know what’s not scalable by itself? MySQL. The hype around Node.js on this issue makes me want to punch faces. Furthermore, Node.js isn’t even that fast. You can do much better with Scala and its a much nicer language, to boot.


DiPasquale cites the lessons learned over the years by Ruby and Python developers. In his view, the communities have learned that “stuff like dependency injection and proper modularization are actually good things that help you maintain code over time.” JavaScript has little support for these types of things and also does not have namespaces. A big minus in his book.

The Unwashed Masses

DiPasquale saves some of his best salvos for last. It’s the JavaScript masses who get so passionate about Node.js. People who only knew JavaScript to begin with. He says he may be wrong and that this may be a case of the worse is better philosophy. But it’s videos like the one done at Node Summit that show the misunderstanding and makes him go all rage face.

Love it. What do you think? Does DiPasquale make some valid points or does what he have to say make you all rage face?

About Alex Williams

Alex Williams is an editor for SiliconAngle and lives a charmed life in Portland, Or.