The two most popular back-end technologies for developing web-apps – Node.JS and Python – have advantages and disadvantages. App developers who want to choose the best out of these two backend technologies are likely to find the selection really cumbersome. Based on their actual needs they have to consider the pros and cons of both and arrive at a conclusion. The ultimate success of an app-development project mainly depends upon the programming language and the environment. Perfect selection of the entire stack of technologies is vital to produce the desired results. Both Node.js and Python are favorite server-side technologies of app developers and among them there are a lot of technical similarities.
These two back-end technologies were developed and introduced for different objectives While Python was introduced in the year 1991, Node.js was introduced after 18 years – in 2009. Python is basically a programming language on the server-side meant for web apps whereas Node.js is a Java Script runtime environment on the server-side. The amazing features and the various advantages offered by both these technologies are sure to make your selection tricky and confusing. It is indeed very important for an app developer to focus on the end use of the app that he plans to develop as also the features that he wants to offer through his product.
Web-developers find Node.js the better option since it is faster compared to Python. Node.js is quite suitable for both types of development – back-end and front-end whereas Python is suitable only for back-end development.
Basics of Node.js and Python
Python is an open-source app development program that offers very highly productive libraries. Python ensures an easier but more efficient development service. Python was developed with the objective of providing a programming language that will ensure maximum readability, scalability and speed. The object-oriented programming language of Python makes it the ideal option for creation of dynamic web apps. Python is very convenient to use and it supports various programming standards. Those who prefer an object-oriented, general purpose programming language may opt for Python. The vast libraries and multiple packages offered by Python make the tasks of developing dynamic web, mobile and desktop apps easier.
Node.js is identified as the sixth most popular development language and not less than 80% of businessmen go for Node.js for developing web applications. While Node.js helps to increase the performance of apps by 50% it helps reduce development costs by 58%.
Python is the third most preferred programming language for app development and is used for developing apps related to AI and others.
Node.js VS Python
1. Speed and Performance
When speed and performance of Node.js and Python are compared, we come to know that Node.js is faster and offers better performance. Node.js has massive storage and processing is very fast. Node.js is capable of processing multiple requests quickly and simultaneously and can speed up code execution. With Node.js one can code outside the web browser with the help of TCP sockets.
In comparison, Python is slower since it uses single flow of code. Python fails to provide instant recall of data from server.
In the case of Python, multithreading is impossible. Though the imported libraries of Python help to increase scalability, it is not a match for Node.js.
Python also can be used for both front-end and back-end development. Python enables cross-platform usage also. Linux and Mac are pre-configured with Python and in the case of Windows, the Python Interpreter is to be installed. While Python is not good for mobile app development, it is ideal for IoT and Natural Language Processing.
Node.js is the best option for web games and chatbots since it is event-driven. It makes the development process faster. The amazing speed and ability to process multi-requests simultaneously make it one among the most favorite backend development technology.
Python is not event-driven. It can be made event-driven by using modules such as CPython. Being synchronous, Python is slow and hence not ideal for chatbots.
Both Node.js and Python have no dearth of libraries and as a result the users are assured of plenty of alternatives. It is practically impossible to say which one is superior to the other in this aspect.
Node.js supports an NPM package manager which is one among the biggest package repositories with more than 3,50,000 repositories. Python supports a PIP package manager.
The Python community came into existence in the year 1991 and Node.js was introduced only after 18 years. So, when compared to the Python community, Node.js community is very small. Hence it is easier for the Python users to get quick assistance online in case of technical problems during the project.
When compared to Python, Node.js is more efficient in data streaming. Hence it is the best option for data-intensive projects and also for those who need transmission of real-time information. Node.js is widely used in chatbots, content management systems, E-Commerce stores, Games and 3D Graphics since in all such projects a lot of client-side functionalities are required.
The concise code and functionalities made Python a popular development language. Though Python is slow when compared to Node.js, its abilities for troubleshooting and massive documentation made it a popular language. Engineering students and science graduates prefer Python for their projects since Python has a very large community of developers. Python is widely used in science and engineering, DevOps and Testing Automation, Big Data and technical projects of Governments.
8. Big companies using Node.js/Python
Netflix, PayPal, Amazon and LinkedIn are using Node.js.
Google, Pixar, Facebook, Spotify, Nasa and Reddit are using Python.
9. Error Handling
Both Node.js and Python are equally good in error handling. Node.js is known for its multithreading support whereas Python offers a variety of options for debugging and troubleshooting.
Node.js and Python are at par with regard to extensibility. Both these platforms offer a number of options for services and frameworks. Node.js works with the latest frameworks like Log.io, Jasmine and Babel. Python offers innovative frameworks such as Flask, Jango and Sublime Text.
11. Supported Platforms
Cross-platform compatibility of Node.js is indeed amazing and also it supports numerous platforms. Node.js runs smoothly on different platforms such as Android, Windows, Mac and Linux. Node.js facilitates development of different applications including IoT solutions, hybrid applications and cloud-based applications.
Python is not as flexible as Node.js and is mainly used for developing web and desktop applications.
12. Learning Curve and Syntax
Obvious differences between Node.js and Python
Less readable Highly readable
Ideal for memory-intensive projects Ideal for large project development
High performance Limited performance
Best for real-time app development Best for complex software development related to AI and scientific computation
Can be used for frontend and backend development Used for developing app in less code
Pros and Cons of Node.js at a glance
Package manager of Node.js enables app developers to work simultaneously on multiple modules by providing free components.
Users get best front-end and back-end support for scalable development.
Node.js is fast and cost-efficient since it allows front-end and back-end development with no compromise on quality.
Node.js framework performs amazingly.
Node.js is highly suitable for memory-intensive projects.
Node.js is the best option for real-time app development.
The main disadvantage of Node.js is back-end incompatibility due to repeated API switch. It affects the changes in codes.
The asynchronous Node.js leads to the problem of “Callback Hell”. It affects code quality and will be hard to solve and maintain.
Node.js is not capable of executing CPU-bound tasks. The system will slow down leading to inordinate delay.
Pros and Cons of Python at a glance
Python saves development time substantially and thereby facilitates fast developing of apps.
Great readability and very fast code interpretation by Python enable the user to easily fast-forward the development process.
Python is highly flexible and compatible. App developers can easily integrate other languages, tools and platforms whenever they need.
Python offers huge library support for developing different types of apps including games, web and machine-learning.
Python libraries are easy-to-use.
Python is not suitable for developing mobile apps.
Python language is not preferred for native app development.
Both iOS and Android do not support mobile app development on Python.
Python is slower when compared to Node.js and other programming languages.
High memory exhaustion by Python badly affects speed and performance.
The app developers must consider the advantages and disadvantages of both Node.js and Python before making their choice. Both the platforms are suitable for back-end development. Node.js will be the better option for developing online chat apps, single-page apps, IoT-based apps, web apps, video streaming websites and other I/O – intensive web applications. Python is a dynamic, multi-purpose programming language for scripting and is object-oriented. Python is the best pick for developing robust business apps.
The usability of both Node.js and Python exclusively depends on the type of your project. Just as Python is amazing for web and desktop applications, Node.js is highly suitable for front-end and back-end applications and more. The great usability of Node.js makes it a top back-end technology. Both Node.js and Python are excellent platforms for their specified uses.
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