Orion on Node.js

EclipseCon Boston - March, 2013

kenwalker (github) / @kwalker / @orionhub
Orion Lead and Orion Dev Lead at IBM Canada

Clone this talk into OrionHub.org from GitHub

npm install orion

npm start orion

25 minutes for questions...

What is Node.js?

Node.js is a platform built on Chrome's JavaScript runtime for easily building fast, scalable network applications. Node.js uses an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model that makes it lightweight and efficient, perfect for data-intensive real-time applications that run across distributed devices.

What is Node.js?

... a platform, V8, fast, scalable, event-driven, lightweight...


node-v0.10.1-darwin-x64.tar.gz - ~4 MB
Java 7 Mac OS X x64 - ~143 MB

APIs in Node.js

Buffers, Child Processes, Clustering, Crypto, Events, FileSystem, HTTP, HTTPS, Net, OS, Processes, Streams, Timers, SSL, UDP, ZLib, others

What is NPM?

  • Node Package Manager
  • Manages dependencies for an application
  • Can install, remove and libraries
  • Can invoke and run Applications

A simple Express.js Server

/*global require window console */
var express = require("express");
var app = express();

app.get('/', function(req, res) {
    res.send('Hello from Node');


Lets tie Node.js to Orion

Open Source Platform for Cloud Based Development

  • Orion's client is JavaScript, CSS and HTML
  • Simply served up to the browser...statically
  • Consists of pages and plugins within pages
  • Plugins then rely on RESTful APIs to the server

Here are some of our Java Server REST APIs


Matched to Orion Plug-ins calling these APIs

Our Node implementation is missing some capabilities

  • The Orion Node server currently has no Git support, or an indexing search system, nor preferences
  • However, we've added some functionality to support Node development such as node, npm and debugging

The Node.js REST APIs


Matched to Orion Plug-ins

So, we need some dependencies

  • Connect - extensible HTTP server framework
  • sax - An evented streaming XML parser
  • socket.io - Cross-browser easy WebSocket-like API
  • deferred-fs - Provides a promise-based API for Node's filesystem APIs (written by Orion team)
  • node-inspector - Web Inspector based nodeJS debugger
  • npm - node package manager (built-in to Node)

Handle requests using Connect.js

// API handlers
	root: '/file',
	workspaceDir: workspaceDir
	root: '/workspace',
	fileRoot: '/file',
	workspaceDir: workspaceDir
	appContext: appContext,
	root: '/node'

So you get a Navigator on our workspace


Editor on a Node application

NPM support to install packages

Node support to run applications

Does searching files work?

The default file service implementation supports a crawling search engine

That does mean searches are slower however

Do plugins work?

Plugins are all client side, in the browser so they do work

Since we have no preference store, they are not remembered for you however


How to install Orion on Node.js?

npm install orion

edit orion.conf to set a workspace directory


then start the Orion package using npm

npm start orion

You can extend it

Your application can use orion as a connect module

// Make sure that we can .use() the orion server as a connect module.
it('exports #createServer', function(done) {
		workspaceDir: WORKSPACE
	.expect(200, 'hello world', done);

This is our test to verify it works

You can work on and contribute to it

Write shell extensions for Orion on Node is a good starting point (Ruby? Php? Lua?)

Find out more

Read our blog at Planet Orion

Check out the Orion BUZZ

Lots of information in the Orion Wiki

Follow @OrionHub on Twitter

Create an account and try it at OrionHub

kenwalker (github) / @kwalker / @orionhub
Orion Lead and Orion Dev Lead at IBM Canada
Clone this talk into OrionHub.org from GitHub