Node.js is an open-source, cross-platform JavaScript run-time environment for executing JavaScript code server-side. Historically, JavaScript was used primarily for client-side scripting, in which scripts written in JavaScript are embedded in a webpage's HTML, to be run client-side by a JavaScript engine in the user's web browser. Node.js enables JavaScript to be used for server-side scripting, and runs scripts server-side to produce dynamic web page content before the page is sent to the user's web browser. Consequently, Node.js has become one of the foundational elements of the "JavaScript everywhere" paradigm, allowing web application development to unify around a single programming language, rather than rely on a different language for writing server side scripts.

Though .js is the conventional filename extension for JavaScript code, the name "Node.js" does not refer to a particular file in this context and is merely the name of the product. Node.js has an event-driven architecture capable of asynchronous I/O. These design choices aim to optimize throughput and scalability in Web applications with many input/output operations, as well as for real-time Web applications (e.g., real-time communication programs and browser games).

 The Node.js distributed development project, governed by the Node.js Foundation, is facilitated by the Linux Foundation's Collaborative Projects program.

 Corporate users of Node.js software include GoDaddy, Groupon, IBM, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Netflix, PayPal, Rakuten, SAP, Tuenti,Voxer, Walmart, Yahoo!, and Cisco Systems.

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