Framework software provides infrastructure support that allows us to create websites and applications more quickly. It provides a skeleton on which to build, handling many of the mundane and ubiquitous aspects of development so we can focus on creating the functionality unique to our application or site. It also provides cohesiveness to our code, which can make the code easier to manage and maintain.
The terms frameworks and libraries have been used interchangeably, because both provide reusable functionality that can be utilized by developers in a variety of applications. They both offer discrete capabilities as well, but they differ in that frameworks usually also provide an infrastructure that can impact the overall design of your application.
There are some very sound frameworks in Node.js, including Connect (covered in Chapter 6), though I see Connect more as middleware than a framework. Two Node frameworks that stand out—because of support, capability, and popularity—are Express and Geddy. If you ask people about the differences between the two, they’ll say Express is more Sinatra-like, while Geddy is more like Rails. What this means in non-Ruby terms is that Geddy is MVC (Model-View-Controller)–based, while Express is, well, more RESTful (more on what that means later in the chapter).
There’s also a new kid in town, Flatiron, which previously existed as independent components but is now pulled together into a comprehensive product. Another framework ...