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Node.js in Action [Paperback]

Mike Cantelon , Marc Harter , TJ Holowaychuk , Nathan Rajlich
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 47.99
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Book Description

Nov. 28 2013 1617290572 978-1617290572 1

Summary

Node.js in Action is an example-driven tutorial that starts at square one and guides you through all the features, techniques, and concepts you'll need to build production-quality Node applications. You'll start by learning how to set up your Node development environment, including loading the community-created extensions. Next, you'll run several simple demonstration programs where you'll learn the basics of a few common types of Node applications. Then you'll dive into asynchronous programming, a model Node leverages to lessen application bottlenecks.

About this Book

JavaScript on the server? You bet. Node.js is a JavaScript server capable of supporting scalable, high-performance web applications. Using asynchronous I/O, the server can do more than one thing at a time, a key requirement for real-time apps like chat, games, and live statistics. And since it's JavaScript, you use the same language end to end.

Node.js in Action shows you how to build production-quality applications. Clear introductions of key concepts and example-by-example coverage take you from setup to deployment. You'll dive into asynchronous programming, data storage, and output templating, and interact with the filesystem to create non-HTTP applications like TCP/IP servers and command-line tools. Perfect for a web developer transitioning from Rails, Django, or PHP. Requires basic knowledge of JavaScript. No prior experience with Node.js needed.

Purchase of the print book includes a free eBook in PDF, Kindle, and ePub formats from Manning Publications.

What's Inside

  • Set up Node and extensions
  • Grok asynchronous programming and the event loop
  • Examples including microblogging, IM, games, and more

About the Authors

As skilled practitioners, expert teachers and trainers, and contributors to the core framework, authors Mike Cantelon, Marc Harter, T.J. Holowaychuk, and Nathan Rajlich represent the best of the Node.js development community.

Table of Contents

    PART 1 NODE FUNDAMENTALS
  1. Welcome to Node.js
  2. Building a multiroom chat application
  3. Node programming fundamentals
  4. PART 2 WEB APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT WITH NODE
  5. Building Node web applications
  6. Storing Node application data
  7. Connect
  8. Connect's built-in middleware
  9. Express
  10. Advanced Express
  11. Testing Node applications
  12. Web application templating
  13. PART 3 GOING FURTHER WITH NODE
  14. Deploying Node applications and maintaining uptime
  15. Beyond web servers
  16. The Node ecosystem

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Node.js in Action + Secrets of the JavaScript Ninja + JavaScript: The Good Parts
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Product Description

About the Author

Mike Cantelon is a web programmer with 10 years of experience in bespoke and product-oriented web application development

Marc Harter is a passionate JavaScript developer with deep experience in event-style programming. He works daily on large scale projects including high availability real-time applications, streaming interfaces, and other data intensive systems.

T.J. Holowaychuk is a prolific open-source engineer who has backed Node since its infancy. He has also authored many robust Node.js modules, including the popular Express web framework, Cluster, Stylus, and Jade, among many others.

Nathan Rajlich is an active Node developer who has been working with Node since its early days. He has authored an impressive collection of Node modules including NodObjC and maintains a port of Node that runs on Apple's iOS.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good Oct. 31 2013
Format:Paperback
Really hesitating between giving this book 4 and 5 stars. Ideally, I'd give it 4.5 stars if Amazon allowed me to.

This is the second book I've read about Node.js (technically, I read half of one before) and it is much much better than the first.

I find it lacks some of the intellectual rigor of other books I've read: some key concepts are explained too late in the book (ex: waiting until mid-way through the book to discuss the nuance of the __dirname variable as an aside), the API or functionality is sometimes not completely clarified and overall, the book is probably too ambitious in terms of material covered for it's width (it probably could have used an extra hundred pages or two), for example when talking about the testing libraries or the security libraries for Connect.

Overall though, the book explain things with enough clarity that you should quickly gain a working understanding of Node.js and I love the author's emphasis on the important things. This became apparent when the book discussed the sequencing of asynchronous logic. The previous book I read discussed a handful of patterns in a very messy way. This book stuck to the essentials and explained it well and in a manner that made it more accessible, because let's get real: it isn't rocket science and it shouldn't be taught like it was. The authors are competent teachers.

Also, the scope of topics covered in this book is pretty solid. At the very least, it will give you an intro on anything you need to know to get started on a project or at least, anything I needed to know and then some. I should probably add here that when I write that, I assume of course that you are familiar with web development (both from a client and server perspective).
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not bad, not the best. Aug. 1 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Some examples are not working anymore due to changes in new version of Node.js. The book should ship witth an errata page but it doesn't so you have to look trough the forum or trough the web to find one such as http://pragprog.com/titles/jwnode/errata or http://www.manning-sandbox.com/thread.jspa?threadID=65429&tstart=0.

Still not a bad book but not the best I've read.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  40 reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Server-Side Javascript Platform Clearly Explained Dec 4 2013
By ronstern314 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am a dinosaur from the days of batch processing with Cobol programs on IBM mainframes. I wanted to build a new modern website for the small manufacturing company I now work for. HTML5 and client-side Javascript were fairly easy to pick up, but I had little experience with the server side of things, especially when it comes to interactive versus batch. I was relieved to discover Node.js, which allows server-side programming in Javascript. (I wasn't sure I could handle learning ANOTHER language (like PHP) at this point.) The online documentation for Node.js and its extensions is not (at the time, at least) geared to beginners, so thank goodness for "Node.js in Action." The book is clear and each chapter builds upon the previous one, gradually introducing new abstractions and program sophistication. This book is pretty much a "must have" for programmers new to Node.js, but make sure you have a good grounding in Javascript before you pick it up.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book for novice nodejs developers Dec 9 2013
By Perri Orlando - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I've just started learning nodejs and this is not the first book I read about the topic.

I found out this is the best book I've read so far on the topic.
It starts from the very beginning and guide you through the whole development process.
It doesn't delve deep into low level details but I think this is due to target audience for this book.

It explains you the basics and there are a lot of good examples to get you started.

Nodejs is very extensible and there are a lot of useful packages. The book tries to cover the most useful in the daily usage.

The only bit I didn't like a lot is the development of the first application, it comes to early in the book and doesn't really help in understanding the language.

The rest of the book is well done. I'd advice this book to all nodejs novice who want to get ready to use it quickly.
23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A jumbled intro to Node Feb. 5 2014
By scott - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was really looking forward this book, but was disappointed. While the book has good code examples, there's very little coordination among chapters. It has 4 authors or so, and it shows. I was hoping for a more big picture view of Node (e.g., how best to organize a web app, or best practice as to what goes in /routes, app.js etc.) but the text reads like a compendium of short stories, one unrelated to the next. Buy this book for code snippets, not for the big picture.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The good (very good Node.js intro), The Bad (poor code quality with no tests) and The Ugly (lots of outdated content) of Node.js Aug. 2 2014
By vrto - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
There are so many things happening around Node.js nowadays that it is really hard to tell *where* to start from if you plan to jump on to node train. So I got myself this book and good news - it does exactly that! Nicely, slowly, from the scratch! Welcome to the journey of Node.js!

This book will guide you through the series of various use cases and walk you line-by-line through the code examples and patiently explain how Node works. Most of them get from very simple hello worlds to more complex problems (like full-blown app with photo uploading and pagination functionalities). On the other hand, some examples actually felt terrible - like the problem being solved was too artificial and uninteresting. In general I'd say that my feelings from the examples are a bit mixed.

Node.js has its own and unique ecosystem and you'll get through variety of very node friendly technologies. You'll see how to integrate Node.js with modern persistence solutions like MongoDB and Redis and more traditional SQL databases as well. You'll see how to use Node.js as your primary server-side framework and how to integrate it with popular web frameworks like Express or popular templating technologies like Mustache, Hogan.js, Jade etc. There is also chapter on 'Node ecosystem' and for some unknown reason it's the last chapter in the book. I suggest you read this chapter early to get the idea how does node.js taste out there in the wild.

One of the greatest advantages is that authors didn't forget about things like deployment, troubleshooting and clustering. There is a whole chapter on those things and it's definitely well wroth of reading!

Nothing's perfect though. Mistakes were made in this book as well. I have to say that most of the source code in the book is of rather poor quality. It's something I definitely wouldn't call 'representative'. And certainly not production ready, as most of the examples *COMPLETELY* omit tests. That's something I ain't forgivin'! You might wanna ask yourself why do I miss those tests so much? Well if you want to follow the examples in the book and you want to add function by function, you're probably going to make some typo and so the only reasonable thing to do is either *not to* write examples yourself (run those that are included), or write tests yourself.

Another sad thing (which is not exactly authors' fault) is that Node.js evolves so rapidly, that some chapters have become quite obsolete. For example, most of the things in chapters 6 and 7 are not even runnable with latest node.js distributions.

And yet another thing that I have mixed feelings about is that I think that those 400 pages could've been used a bit better. There is a whole chapter on a horrible thing called EJS that everybody hates. Also you'd probably expect from the super-hipster-modern Node.js book that REST would be first class citizen. Well, there is a chapter on REST, but most of the samples in other chapters are not RESTful in nature.

There are certainly some very good introductory chapters in this book, but I am afraid that poor code quality, lack of tests and plenty of obsolete information make this book less and less relevant with every new day.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great beginners guide to Node.js Nov. 19 2013
By James Wright - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I bought this book as part of my attempt to choose the best framework for replacing my aging and bloated JSF applications front end with.

My Javascript experience is reasonably limited so I found the first few chapters at times hard going to follow and understand as Nodes functional nature is a vastly different approach from the standard java applications I'm used to. However running the examples which were all relevant and easy to get working made it simple for me to eventually get my head round and I soon began to see the real power and flexibility that the Node framework and its functional non blocking structure has to offer.

I found the first section fascinating as I learnt the basics of Node but remember thinking at the time that it wasn't a viable candidate for my initial goal of finding a new UI framework for my existing application as it would involve an almost complete rewrite, and even after reading section 2 covering the Connect and Express modules which do make web applications simpler to implement that opinion still stands. That said though if I was to start writing a new application tomorrow I would definitely consider writing it in Node.

I thought the book itself as a guide to get a Node newbie like me up and running quickly whilst covering all the basics was excellent. It flowed well and kept me hooked until the end, I have tried all of the examples which whilst reasonably simple were all relevant and useful. In particular the shoutbox application created in chapter 9 I thought would give any application developer enough of a starting point to get up and running very quickly. This book has not only left me feeling confident that I could write Node applications straight away it makes me excited at the prospect of doing so.

I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn Node.js from scratch with a view to creating web applications as that seems to me to be the main focus of the book. It is certainly not a low level technical reference guide for Node but it never claims to be so if you are already using Node and are looking for an in depth low level Node manual its probably not for you but it was perfect for what I needed.
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