The Synchronous and Asynchronous sides of Javascript

JavaScript is a programming language developed by Netscape Inc., and often mistaken as java based. It is mainly used for creating highly responsive interfaces that improve user experience(UX) and provides dynamic functionality, without having to wait for the server to react and show a new page. To simply put this, we can say JavaScript is a single-threaded asynchronous execution model that can speed up the entire process and requires comparatively minimum memory when compared to the other languages.

The finest thing about JavaScript is its ability to handle a large number of users. However, there are two different modes the synchronous code and the asynchronous code. Here, we’ll discuss what sets them apart from each other.

Blocking (Synchronous) code of Node.js for reading files

In blocking code, the processor will execute the instructions sequentially which means the next instruction has to wait until the current instruction is executed. So progressively, the waiting time is high in the buffer pool, at the same time the computers are working efficiently.

For example

const fs = require(‘fs’);

console.log(‘start’);

const data = fs.readFileSync(‘./file.txt’, ‘utf-8’); // blocks here until file is read

console.log(‘data: ‘, data.trim());

console.log(‘end’);

The function “readFileSync” is used to read the file in Synchronous mode or blocking I/O which means that when executing the function “readFileSync”, it will read the file synchronously and in the meantime, the program will wait until the file is completely read. Due to this, the program execution time is relatively high.

start

data: Hello World!

end

Non-Blocking (Asynchronous) code of Node.js for reading files

In non-blocking code, the processor will execute the code in parallel, which means the execution is carried continuously. It works independently from the outside of the program workflow.

For example

const fs = require(‘fs’);

console.log(‘start’);

fs.readFile(‘./file.txt’, ‘utf-8’, (err, data) => {

if (err) throw err;

console.log(‘data: ‘, data.trim());

});

console.log(‘end’);

In the asynchronous mode of execution, initially, it prints ‘start’ and then when reading the file using ‘readFile()’ function the next statement is executed without waiting for the completion of the ‘readFile()’ function. Once the file has been read it will execute its callback function to finalize the statement.

start

end

data: Hello World!

What you should consider when making a decision?

  1. The asynchronous mode of execution is faster than the synchronous model because it won’t wait for the completion of instruction execution.
  2. Compared to the synchronous, there is a chance to occur error in the asynchronous.
  3. Working with the asynchronous model is trickier than the synchronous model.
  4. Asynchronous allows the user to manage the CPU efficiently than the synchronous model.

Conclusion

To run this shortly, asynchronous has its fair share of benefits and synchronous has its fair share. We hope this helps you understand better what is what and which can you benefit the most from.