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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Server-Side Javascript Platform Clearly Explained
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...
Published 9 months ago by ronstern314

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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A jumbled intro to Node
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...
Published 7 months ago by scott


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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Server-Side Javascript Platform Clearly Explained, December 4, 2013
By 
ronstern314 (Central Florida) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Node.js in Action (Paperback)
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.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book for novice nodejs developers, December 9, 2013
This review is from: Node.js in Action (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.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A jumbled intro to Node, February 5, 2014
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This review is from: Node.js in Action (Paperback)
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.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great beginners guide to Node.js, November 19, 2013
By 
James Wright (Berkeley, Gloucestershire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Node.js in Action (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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good overview of nodejs, December 8, 2013
This review is from: Node.js in Action (Paperback)
I tried to use nodejs to create a REST API at the beginning of the year. Since I was new to nodejs, I searched about node and pieced different information together, what middleware to use and the pros and cons of using this one rather than that one. What combination of middle ware to use et al to even start coding. However, there was still in the back of the mind, there is some uneasiness Yet, I did not have the luxury of time (like most of the projects we do), I could not spend all my time testing and checking on all related modules, it would be fun to do though.

I find this book very informative. It fills that gap. It has a good overview of many useful modules. It has a good overview of nodejs. The division of the book is also quite good starting from the fundamental of node, which gives good explanation of what node is good for and what it’s not suited for. Next, It has useful discussion of the nodes middleware and the express framework, testing, templating and I personally like the discussion of things what node can do beyond the web.

The section also made it convenient for different level of nodejs readers, people can easily jump over the earlier sections and go to the section they need without a feeling of knowledge gap if they already know the stuff discussed earlier.

I like the in place code explanation of the book, that makes it pleasant to read through the code, in addition, it also made it a smooth reading experience, reader does not have to jump from one section to another.

I am a bit annoyed by the small explanation of other technologies when it tried to introduce a module. For example, when it was trying to introduce a mysql module, it would spend sometime to skim about what mysql is. I thought that was a bit scattered, however, it can be still useful. I guess it really depends on the person’s reading style. Some people may like to have a bit of summary. I personally find it a bit distracting sometimes.

Another thing I would like to see is a sample project from simple to more complexed by interweaving the usage of different modules rather than just some unrelated code snippets. This suggestion might make section jumping a bit not as easy as the current arrangement. So there is gives and takes. Or another suggestion would accommodate both is for each section to have a smallish continuous project.

Overall, I think it's a very useful book, I would recommend to people who are interested in learning nodejs.
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1 of 1 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, August 2, 2014
By 
vrto (Prague, CZ) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Node.js in Action (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.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great introduction to Node.js for intermediate developers, December 17, 2013
This review is from: Node.js in Action (Paperback)
I am primarily an Android developer and was evaluating several web application platforms to start with server side development. Java was too verbose for me and I wanted something that is fluid, light-weight and easy to deploy. This is not my first book on Node.js and this might not be the best "Beginners" book to start with. But, for intermediate developers this is where someone should set their foot on. The author begins with an intermediate level tutorial unlike the "Hello World" apps most books start with. Then he dives into the essential concepts, then to intermediate and advanced as the book progresses.

I was impressed when the author threw light on "callback hell" very early in the book (other books that I've read don't even mention it) and it's one of the best practices. The flow diagrams are very helpful in grabbing the concepts without too much reading. Which is also a plus.

There is an elaborate chapter on events and event emitters which I find very helpful, after all the platform is event driven ;) The book also offers insight on how to write RESTful web services, which is one of the most sought features because being a mobile application developer I find node very compelling to write web services with ease. I also liked the sections on relational database systems. This is a practical way to approach to adopt to Node.js because transitioning takes a while and jumping into the world of NoSQL (Redis, MongoDb) is not practical in all situations.

Personally, I go with the Mongoose, MongoDB combo for new projects, which makes it a breeze to work with Node.js. This is one hell of a combo!! JavaScript and JSON everywhere. This book also has so much insight on connect middlewares. Some chapters seem a little boring but for someone who wants to get comfortable with the Node.js platform, this is a MUST read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic intro to Node, March 16, 2014
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This review is from: Node.js in Action (Paperback)
While this book claims to be intended for those with intermediate JavaScript skills, I don't believe one needs more than a single run through Code Academy's JavaScript track to be able to take on this book.

If you learn by doing - trying exercises on your own, and maybe tweaking them a bit - this is a great book. The book makes you do the work that many frameworks do for you first before showing you them, so one does get exposure (though, perhaps not a deep understanding) to what's actually happening under the hood.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very linear introduction to node., March 14, 2014
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This review is from: Node.js in Action (Paperback)
Node.js starts at the beginning. The book consists of projects that illustrate different parts of the node platform. The first project seems a little out of place in the context of the book in that it just leapt right into code without to much explanation of what was happening. I think it was just meant to give an example of an instance where node really stood out from other development methods (socket.io integration).

After that the book starts with some very basic node applications and then progresses to middleware, connect, express, and beyond. There is no way of covering all of express, node, or npm, but the book ensures that the reader knows what is available and where to find it.

After reading this book I have been able to use node without a problem. I have not found come across any problems that weren't explained in this book or very easy to solve with google.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the rest, March 14, 2014
This review is from: Node.js in Action (Paperback)
I spent some time with two other node books and looked at plenty of tutorials, and this is the only book that treats you like someone who's going to build real things. Real examples for real cases. Good advice on important things like project structure, the right resources, etc.

I picked it up because after learning the basics elsewhere I was having trouble figuring out what to do once I was past project setup -- where I should put my code, the right modules to use, etc. The node ecosystem has gotten big, fast, and there's a lot of clutter you have to sort through. I'm most of the way through this now and I actually understand why I'd want to do certain things a certain way.

The interesting thing about this book is that it doesn't pull any punches -- it starts you right off with a reasonably significant project (a real time chat room with a reasonably full feature set) so you don't develop bad habits building ultra-simple apps and then have to figure out how to grow them (where I was having trouble). I think it's a great approach for people who will use node in a real application rather than just building a simple website with some features.
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Node.js in Action
Node.js in Action by Marc Harter (Paperback - November 28, 2013)
$44.99 $27.33
In stock on September 22, 2014
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