Node.js is an open source, cross-platform runtime environment for server-side applications. It provides an event-driven architecture and a non-blocking I/O esssential for application scalability. Runtimes are available for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows and Linux.

At its core Node.js uses the Google V8 JavaScript engine to execute code. It is based on single-threaded execution, although Node.js uses multiple threads for file and network events. By leveraging non-blocking I/O calls, it supports thousands of concurrent connections by enforcing callback functions to all I/O activities.

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JavaScript hass come a long way since its first iteration (called LiveScript by Netscape) back in 1995. It was primarily a client-side (browser) scripting language., used to program dynamic behavior, animation, in browsers. Netscape changed the name to JavaScript when it released version 2 of the Netscape browser.

In November of 1996 Netscape submitted JavaScript Specification to ECMA (European Computer Manufacturers Association) to make it an official international standard. ECMA adopted it and renamed the language ECMAScript. The current edition is v5.1 which was released in June 2011. ECMA is in the midst finalizing v6 of ECMAScript, expected to be GA in mid 2015.

The emergence of JavaScript as a complete application programming language in recent years is primarily due its innovation on the server-side, platforms such as Node.js have enabled developers to write client-side and server-side applications in 100% JavaScript.
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