- Paperback: 312 pages
- Publisher: Manning Publications; 1 edition (May 15, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1617292842
- ISBN-13: 978-1617292842
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #273,358 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Cross-Platform Desktop Applications: Using Node, Electron, and NW.js 1st Edition
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From the Publisher
About this Book
NW.js and Electron are desktop application frameworks powered by Node.js. They allow developers to create cross-platform desktop apps using HTML, CSS, and Java-Script. They offer web designers and developers a way to take their existing skills for crafting web apps and interfaces, and apply that to building desktop apps. The frameworks also support shipping apps for Mac OS, Windows, and Linux from the same codebase, meaning that developers can save time and energy when creating desktop apps that all OSs can use.
NW.js and Electron come from a shared history, and have some similar approaches to app features. This book covers both frameworks topic by topic, helping you to see what they have in common, and where they differ in their approaches. This will help you to decide which framework is best for your needs. We’ll cover a broad range of apps and features together, to spark your passion and interest, as well as provide ideas for things you might want to build but don’t know how.
I hope you enjoy the book, and that you get to make something great with it.
Who Should Read This Book
About the Author
Paul Jensen is the founder of Anephenix, a Node.js consultancy. He is also the Lead Developer of the SocketStream web framework, and the creator of Dashku, a realtime dashboard solution.
Top customer reviews
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In my opinion author was too careless when writing, because there is a lot of repetitions. If I counted correctly, the history of frameworks are repeated 4 times within first 40 pages. The code is also repeated instead of saying that it was not changed. Same story with images -- half-page picture with remark the image is identical to the previous one. If it is identical why not skipping the duplicate? And the same concern goes to chapter intro and outro (this is probably Manning fault) -- as the effect you can spot the same text with one paragraph apart.
I think it is not fair to potential customer/reader -- sure, page count looks better (more professional), but the real content is pretty thin.
And there is an issue with images quality -- reproducing black screen with brown text in B&W is not the smartest idea, but somehow nobody seemed to care about it. Some pictures are zoomed out so they are ridiculously large, other are small, blurry and hard to read.
So -- almost 4 stars, I recommend this book, it is light, fun (as dev-fun), fast read for any JS programmer. Just keep in mind you are getting something closer to pocket-tutorial (despite its size). And some images will test your super powers.
My thanks to Manning for providing an advance reading copy of this book for review.
There are some things you need to be aware of when using this book.
The author goes into pretty good detail regarding the use of Electron and NW.js, but leaves out many details regarding the use of 3rd party libraries used in the examples. For example, Chapter 3 introduces the library 'lunr'. I was unfamiliar with that package and its use was counter-intuitive to me at first. I had to look it up and read about how it is used before I could really understand what the author intended to convey in his examples. Fortunately, the package documentation was available and easy to follow. Just be prepared to use Google from time to time.
Also, some of the examples lacked enough overview to allow me to understand each listing as it was presented. It wasn't until the whole example was finally worked out that I was able to go back and see how some of the new functions I had written fit into the big picture. When you write a function (or read it) you should have some idea of how it is going to be called and what the parameters are and how they are generated. This isn't always the case in the author's presentation. However, it does become clear in the end.
Along the same lines, I ran into a problem with the lunr package. When the author wrote the example it was written using email@example.com. At the time I went through the book lunr had been upgraded to 2.1.0. Unfortunately, this broke the example. Fortunately, I could roll back to a previous version of lunr using npm. This isn't the author's fault, of course. Just be aware when things don't work as expected that this is a typical JS problem.
With all this being said, I learned enough from this book to be able to quickly put together an application I had been thinking about for a while. I was able to integrate several 3rd party libraries (jQuery, jqTree, etc.) to generate a reasonably complex UI. There was enough information in the book to help me debug the issues I ran into along the way as well as to provide a path to further enhancements in the future. With a solid presentation of the foundations of these platforms you should have enough information to get you started on your projects.
If you are looking for a good introduction to Electron and/or NW.js I highly recommend this book.