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Node Web Development Paperback – August 10, 2011
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About the Author
David Herron has worked as a software engineer and software quality engineer in Silicon Valley for over 20 years. His current role at Yahoo is an Architect of the Quality Engineering team for their new Node.js based web app platform.
While a Staff Engineer at Sun Microsystems, David worked as Architect of the Java SE Quality Engineering team where he focused on test automation tools, including the AWT Robot class that's now widely used in GUI test automation software. He was involved with launching the OpenJDK project, the JDK-Distros project, and ran the worldwide Mustang Regressions Contest asking the Java developer community to find bugs in the Java 1.6 release.
Before Sun he worked for VXtreme on the video streaming stack which eventually became Windows Media Player when Microsoft bought that company. At The Wollongong Group he worked on both e-mail client and server software and was part of several IETF working groups improving e-mail-related protocols.
David is interested in electric vehicles, world energy supplies, climate change and environmental issues, and is a co-founder of Transition Silicon Valley. As an online journalist on examiner.com he writes under the title Green Transportation Examiner, he blogs about sustainability issues on 7gen.com, runs a large electric vehicle discussion website on visforvoltage.org, and blogs about other topics including Node.js, Drupal and Doctor Who on davidherron.com.
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Top customer reviews
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This book's entire first chapter is dedicated to selling Node.js. That being said, every other Node book also sells Node for the entire first chapter. This book explains how to install Node and npm. It then declares that it's going teach you how to implement a simple HTTP server *using Node*. FIVE STARS, I thought to myself. Exactly thirteen pages later it moves directly into using the frameworks available for Node such as Express. Very, very little of the book actually gives attention to developing websites with Node itself instead of simply using available frameworks (You: "I joined this swimming club to learn how to swim!" This book: "Here! Use this boat!"). That being said, the development industry is neck-deep in this hipster brogrammer behavior at the moment. This book would have received 5 whole-hearted stars from me if it had been titled: "Web Development with Node.js Tools" or equivalent (though admittedly I would not have purchased it). Instead, it is called "Node Web Development" and only gets one star (and I had the misfortune of buying it). Well, remember that I gave it two stars, but the great-looking, wonder-bra reviews brought it down a notch in the same way that, well... I think you get the reference.
The real hands-on material starts at page 60 (out of total 150). Unfortunately, the second part of the book also turns out to be quite disappointing. It consists of just three chapters, each of which is basically an explanation how to use particular module libraries. There is nothing wrong with that, but I personally found the examples to be quite primitive and far-fetched (not to mention code typos here and there and generally untidy code: for instance, it contains fluff like unnecessary module requires, making it confusing and, frankly, quite irritating), or altogether redundant (like a chapter - 1 out of 3 hands-on chapters, mind you! - explaining how to use database modules. Who wants to read that in a Node.js book?)
Returning to the topic the book DOES try to cover - creation of webapp back-ends - I would suggest instead checking out the excellent set of examples contained in the source code of the Express module - I found it to be a much better investment of my time. Also, it's completely free.
The book is quite thin (just 172 pages). It manages to pack in enough detail for one to get started, though. I might have appreciated one extra chapter about possible starting points (where to go to next?). Given Node and its packages are still in quite flux, coming up with one could have been challenging.
* EDIT: Changed rating to reflect current status. Node world moves fast and as a result some of the parts have become obsolete or not entirely correct.
Most recent customer reviews
The technology is new and is changing every day, so already there are some small bits...Read more
Very disappointed. the author goes back and forth on module and express without no explanation on express?? badly organized...