Python vs. Node.JS Which One is better?

Python vs. Node.JS Which One is better?

Python vs. Node.JS Which One is better?

The success of every project depends on the technology used behind building it. You need to select the best possible technology and get the maximum benefits out of it. Selecting the most appropriate programming language is very important. You can search it on Google, or ask any developer about the best programming language. You will get different answers. But, none of them will help you decide the one for your project. The programming languages and the frameworks have been designed with some goals. It is not necessary that they will be a good choice for your project even if it is claimed that they are the best. So, going just by the internet’s claim on the popularity of a programming language may not help you achieve the desired performance from your project. Some languages are good for web development – PHP, while some are good for desktop applications – C++, C#. Python and R will be very good for Bid Data applications.

So, the language that you choose for your project should be considered after properly analyzing the options. The selected language must be appropriate to the needs of your project. The type of your project, the type of product you are building, the scalability of the application, the geography of application, and the budget are the factors you need to consider before choosing the language for your project.

In this article, we will look at the comparison between Python and Node.js. The reason for comparing these two is that whenever you are struggling to select a backend development environment for your project, you are very likely to get stuck in choosing one from these two. So, read on to get clear about which is better for your project.

What is Python?

Python is a higher-level object-oriented programming language that can be used for multiple purposes because of its dynamic nature. Python is an interpreted language and its syntax and dynamic types make it ideally suitable for scripting purposes. Python provides support for multiple programming styles – functional programming as well as object-oriented programming.

Features of Python

  • Low-level modules, which can be used to customize existing tools or add new tools, can be included in the Python interpreter.
  • Almost all major database systems can be interfaced with Python.
  • There is support for many types of programming – procedural, structural, as well as object-oriented.
  • There are many dynamic datatypes. Python also supports dynamic type-checking.
  • It can be easily integrated with other programming languages – C, C++, COM, ActiveX, CORBA, Java, etc.

What is Node.js?

Node.js is a runtime environment for JavaScript. It is free, open-source and cross-platform used for server-side scripting to build complex network applications. It is built on JavaScript Engine of Google Chrome. It has a non-blocking I/O, and event-driven model. Real-time applications can be created using Node.js that run across distributed devices.

Features of Node.js

  • js uses a single-threaded model that has event-driven non-blocking I/O.
  • It has the fastest code execution library as it is built on Google Chrome’s V8 engine for JavaScript.
  • js applications output data in pieces, because of which there is no scope of buffering.

Comparison between Python and Node.js

We will compare the two in several aspects and from the comparison, you can find out which one behaves optimally as per your project’s needs.

  1. Performance

Performance is the most important factor that we need to look upon while selecting a programming tool for our project. Performance is nothing but the speed at which your application/project generates a response to the user’s request; this, in turn, depends on the speed at which your code executes.

When we compare the speed of execution of Python and Node.js, Node.js wins significantly. The main reason behind such unparalleled speed in code execution on the Node.js platform is the V8 engine of Chrome; very powerful and fast. This engine makes the speed of Node.js much faster compared to Python and that makes Node.js a suitable choice for real-time applications over Python. Python is observed to under-perform for memory-intensive applications and that makes it a bad choice for the applications that use 3D graphics or something of that sort.

  1. Scalability and Concurrency

Scalability refers to the ability of the application to handle a sudden increase or decrease in the number of simultaneous requests. So, for any application, a scalability check is very important. One should prefer to use such a programming tool that allows high scalability features. The performance of the application should not be affected while handling this sudden change in the pool of requests. This is important for almost all the types of applications; whether desktop or mobile, content-heavy or the ones that serve multiple users, etc.

Node.js has a single-threaded model with a non-blocking I/O mechanism. So, it can accept multiple requests and not block them in a queue. So, the web applications developed using Node.js are highly scalable, however, while some very complex applications that can have many concurrent processes must be engineered very carefully after gaining in-depth knowledge about the framework.

On the other hand, Python has no default support for asynchronous programming. However, it allows the creation of co-routines that can be run asynchronously. There are many tools too with whose support; the desired level of scalability can be achieved in Python applications.

  1. Error Handling

The ease of error handling along with transparency is an issue while choosing the programming tool for your application. Both Python and Node.js deal nicely with throwing and catching exceptions at the runtime; which is a part of general error handling. However, Python does much better than Node.js in handling errors. Debugging in Python can be done faster and so, the errors can also be fixed in lesser time.

  1. Ease of Learning

Node.js is a node of a language. It is a platform for running JavaScript codes. So, if you already know JavaScript, it would not be very difficult for you to learn how to use Node.js.

However, if you are already unfamiliar with Python and JavaScript, Python is easier to learn. It is because of its compact coding and clean syntax that Python is easier and faster to learn. More than anything, Python is more than 25 years old and so there is enough documentation available for you to refer to.

Python, as well as Node.js, have large community support. So, both are equally reliable for peer support. Also, both Python and Node.js hold the top positions in a list that is updated by the developers as per the technologies and tools they would prefer using; the ‘Most Wanted’ category.

General Comparisons:

  • js is more suited for asynchronous programming. While with Python, there is a big NO for asynchronous programming.
  • js is purely JavaScript, so if its basics remain simple and easy to learn. While, with Python’s ease of learning, comes the benefit of writing fewer lines of code.
  • js doesn’t have a clean coding concept. So, it is not recommended for large projects. While Python is a go-to language for large projects.
  • js is an ideal selection for real-time applications and Python is not.
  • js is to be used for small applications that would involve a very little amount of scripting. While Python is good for large, complex applications.
  • js is the best choice for memory-intensive applications. On the other hand, Python is not recommended for such applications.
  • js has an event-driven model. So, it supports callback functionality. While Python has generators that make it very simple.

When should you use Node.js?

As Node.js is built on Google Chrome’s V8 engine, it is suitable for developing highly scalable applications. The non-blocking I/O and event-driven architecture of Node.js make it the best choice for memory-intensive real-time processing applications. It is suitable for developing small messaging and chatting applications that do not require heavy scripting. It is also a good choice for heavy-load eCommerce applications that need to be highly scalable for fast processing.

SPA (Single Page Applications), Data-Intensive Real-Time (DIRT) applications, I/O-Bound Applications, Data Streaming Applications, JSON API based Applications, etc. are the types of applications for which Node.js is to be used.

When to use Python?

Python has a huge support of libraries. There is a library for almost everything you can wish to do using Python. If there isn’t one for your application, you can even contribute to the open-source community of Python. Python is the best choice as a language for the new programmers. Python is highly preferred for building scientific applications, government projects, and big data applications.

Business applications, Web development applications, Scientific and numeric applications, Desktop GUI applications, Education applications, etc. are the types of applications for which Python is to be used.

Conclusion:

Both Python and Node.js have their advantages over the other and their drawbacks too. It is not like one is completely better than others in all aspects. So, you need to choose the one that suits bets your project requirements. You need to look at the developers’ experience, application type, performance requirements, etc. Both are going to promise you consistent and reliable solutions. So, decide smartly to create an amazingly powerful backend for your application.

 

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Rahul
rahul@tecocraft.com
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