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Moving to Node.js

2 min read February 6, 2017 at 10:03am on Rebuilding Postleaf

The first version of Postleaf was written in PHP and lives on as Leafpub. It's a beautiful piece of software that I'm very proud of, but I decided to move the project to Node.js for a few important reasons. This is by no means a knock on PHP, which will always have a special place in my heart, but more of a changing with the times realization.

If you've ever worked with Node.js before, you'll know that it's fast. Very fast. While PHP did get a nice performance boost in version 7, it still remains bloated with a huge number of core functions and extensions that seem to weight it down.

The beauty of Node is that it's minimal by design. It can do anything you want it to do with the right packages, and this concept aligns very closely with my vision for Postleaf. 

You've probably been hearing JavaScript is the Future a lot lately. I think there's a lot of truth to that statement, especially as platforms such as Electron and PhoneGap gain popularity and bring JavaScript to places it's never been before.

In general, I don't think it makes a lot of sense to write the same app three different times in three different languages for three different platforms (think iOS, Android, and Windows Phone apps, for example). We've been doing it for years, but I foresee JavaScript playing a vital role in closing that gap.

By moving Postleaf to Node.js, its foundation is becoming much more nimble, making it easier to pivot and adapt to an ever-changing technology ecosystem. That, unfortunately, is something I don't think PHP will be able to do.