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Learning Node, 2nd Edition by Shelley Powers

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Chapter 6. Node and the Local System

Node’s File System module is used throughout the book. There are few resources more essential to applications than those from the filesystem. The only other resources more widely used are the network resources, which are covered in Chapters 5 and 7.

What’s terrific about Node is that the File System works, for the most part, the same way across different operating systems. Node also works hard to ensure other functionality built on the technology is operating-system-agnostic. Sometimes it succeeds, and sometimes we need a little help from third-party modules.

This chapter provides a more formal introduction to the File System. In addition, it looks more closely at OS-specific functionality and differences. Lastly, we look at two modules, ReadLine and ZLib, which provide interactive command-line communication, as well as compression capabilities, respectively.

Exploring the Operating System

Some technologies manage to hide every last bit of operating system differences, while others require significant work to manage OS-specific quirks. Node falls somewhere in between. For the most part, you can create an application and it runs everywhere. But there are certain functionalities where OS differences intrude. As I mentioned at the beginning of the chapter, sometimes Node handles them well and sometimes you need a helpful third-party module.

Accessing information directly about the operating system comes to us via the OS core module. It’s one ...

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