2023-02-24
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Standard Liv
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Feb 24, 2023 ⋅ 8 min read

Forget Express.js — opt for these alternatives instead

Standard Liv I'm a software engineer living in the Bay Area. she/her

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10 Replies to "Forget Express.js — opt for these alternatives instead"

  1. Fastify is on to something. Having request/response validation built in is such a nice thing to have standardized.

    However Express middleware can be an async function out of the box. No idea why an asyncHandler method even exists.

  2. I recommend NestJS for an Enterprise level node framework. It is the most fun I’ve had developing a node backend. Moreover it supports either express or fastify as middleware out of the box.

  3. Sails is waaaay better. Almost as good as rails in terms of code brevity, but much faster performance of node.

  4. Just a quick note, express does work well with async/await out of the box! The wrapper you are using (express-async-handler) is just a workaround to abstract away error handling. Otherwise, you can just use try/catch just as you other examples, without any need for this extra dependency.

  5. You don’t have to use express-async-handler to use async function as the middleware. Try it for yourself by removing it. As far as I see, it does not provide much value.

  6. @fred yang

    I recommend the middleware-async package instead.

    https://www.npmjs.com/package/middleware-async

    If you are going to use async function as a middleware. I highly recommend you wrap it by a helper function, such as middleware-async. (It is well tested and I use it in many production projects). There are also handy helper functions combineMiddlewares, middlewareToPromise, combineToAsync, which are very useful in testing.

    Code 1: no async, error caught.
    Code 2: async, error not caught. The connection hangs until the client stops it.
    Code 3: async, wrapped with middleware-async. Error caught
    Code 3: no async, wrapped with middleware-async. Error caught

    Code 1:

    const app = require(‘express’)()

    app.get(‘/’, (req, res, next) => {
    throw new Error(‘xx’)
    res.send(‘hi’)
    })
    app.use((err, req, res, next) => {
    console.error(err)
    res.send(‘error’)
    })
    app.listen(3000)

    Code 2:

    const app = require(‘express’)()

    app.get(‘/’, async (req, res, next) => {
    throw new Error(‘xx’)
    res.send(‘hi’)
    })
    app.use((err, req, res, next) => {
    console.error(err)
    res.send(‘error’)
    })
    app.listen(3000)

    Code 3:

    const app = require(‘express’)()
    const {asyncMiddleware} = require(‘middleware-async’)

    app.get(‘/’, asyncMiddleware(async (req, res, next) => {
    throw new Error(‘xx’)
    res.send(‘hi’)
    }))
    app.use((err, req, res, next) => {
    console.error(err)
    res.send(‘error’)
    })
    app.listen(3000)

    Code 4:

    const app = require(‘express’)()
    const {asyncMiddleware} = require(‘middleware-async’)

    app.get(‘/’, asyncMiddleware((req, res, next) => {
    throw new Error(‘xx’)
    res.send(‘hi’)
    }))
    app.use((err, req, res, next) => {
    console.error(err)
    res.send(‘error’)
    })
    app.listen(3000)

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