Three Ways to Retrieve JSON from the Web using Node.js

Isa Levine on August 16, 2019

Cover image credit: Hunter x Hunter manga by Yoshihiro Togashi, meme-ified by yours truly. <3 In a recent technical challenge, I was asked to b... [Read Full]
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Hey Isa - nice article! I think you picked the three ways I'd recommend for using an http client in Node.

A thought about the benchmarking of the the Node built in http lib: have you tried building a different data structure than a string - some sort of byte buffer - and then turning it into a string at the end. I'm not sure but I think it might be (I'm away from my computer so I can't try it myself).


Hi David, thank you for the feedback! I'm looking into byte buffers (am I seeing this is originally a Java data structure?) for JavaScript, and I'm falling down a rabbit-hole about ArrayBuffers, Uint8Arrays, etc. I found my way over to the npm package bytebuffer (npmjs.com/package/bytebuffer), which looks like it provides a friendly API for using those structures.

I'm running up against a challenge of understanding how best to theoretically write to a byte buffer with incoming http request data--from this list of byte-buffer-writing options (github.com/protobufjs/bytebuffer.j...), do you have any advice on where I should be looking? I'm not sure which option will be more efficient than simply coercing the incoming data into a string.


Hi Isa, this is very helpful! I have a really dumb question...feel free to ignore me, I'm new to node and promises and kinda new to Javascript.

In the node-fetch example, what if what I wanted to do with the json was return it?

const getStuffFromWhatever = (item) => {
let url = whatever?thing=item

let settings = { method: "Get" };

fetch(url, settings)
.then(res => res.json())
.then((json) => {
    return json


console.log(getStuffFromWhatever('puppy dogs')

I have tried a few things that seem reasonable to me, but they don't work. I could move the fetch into the function I actually need it in, but I will need it again elsewhere and that's not very DRY.


Every time I put myself out there and ask a question I am embarrassed to ask, I always find the answer 5 minutes later, and this time is no different. The answer is async / await! Of course it is.

Thanks for letting me talk it out.

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