Node: Up and Running
Scalable Server-Side Code with JavaScript
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: April 2012
Pages: 204

This book introduces you to Node, the new web development framework written in JavaScript. You'll learn hands-on how Node makes life easier for experienced JavaScript developers: not only can you work on the front end and back end in the same language, you'll also have more flexibility in choosing how to divide application logic between client and server.

Written by a core contributor to the framework, Node: Up and Running shows you how Node scales up to support large numbers of simultaneous connections across multiple servers, and scales down to let you create quick one-off applications with minimal infrastructure. Built on the V8 JavaScript engine that runs Google Chrome, Node is already winning the hearts and minds of many companies, including Google and Yahoo! This book shows you why.

  • Understand Node's event-loop architecture, non-blocking I/O, and event-driven programming
  • Discover how Node supports a variety of database and data storage tools
  • Learn best practices for writing easy-to-maintain code for Node
  • Get concrete examples of how to use the various Node APIs in practice
  • Take advantage of the book’s complete API reference
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O'Reilly MediaNode: Up and Running
 
3.4

(based on 5 reviews)

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80%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to understand (4)
  • Concise (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate (4)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Developer (5)

    Reviewed by 5 customers

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    (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

     
    2.0

    Unfortunately already dated

    By Functional Javascripter

    from Stockholm, Sweden

    About Me Developer

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Easy to understand

    Cons

    • Broken Examples
    • Dated
    • Too many errors

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate

    Comments about O'Reilly Media Node: Up and Running:

    While the book is ok to good, the code examples are not.

    Firstly, they could use more detail, such as file names and instructions about where to put the files, especially in the express examples.

    This brings me to my second point; the examples are dated. This is most glaringly true in the express examples, which don't even work with a recent release of the framework. Also pure node code gives warnings about deprecated methods.

    So, even though the books not much more than a year old, it needs a new revision. Before that I cannot recommend anyone getting it.

    (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

     
    3.0

    Good book, not for beginners

    By Al

    from St.Cloud, MN

    About Me Developer

    Pros

    • Easy to understand
    • Well-written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Intermediate

      Comments about O'Reilly Media Node: Up and Running:

      Node: Up and Running is a good book for people who know Linux and JavaScript and are going to work with Node.js. Still it is quite a step to go from client-side JavaScript to server-side JavaScript, any help – like this book – is welcome. I received and read this book for the St.Cloud MN .Net User Group.

      In one of the first sentences of the book, the authors write "Node.js allows this popular programming language to be applied in many more contexts, in particular on web servers." The rest of the book only discusses the web server context and that is what it should do. In clear language most of the important principles of Node are explained. By the end of chapter 3, you have the feeling you have a grasp of what Node can do for you and how you can use it for a server. Then from page 55 to page 172 it threatens to be an API reference. It doesn't turn out that way, actually the API discussion is much better than just an API reference. In good narrative the use of various APIs is discussed, in the end again you have a grasp of what the presented APIs can do for you. The title of part II "Deep Dive and API Reference" is thus a misnomer, it is much better than that. For an experienced Node programmer, don't expect a full API reference which may be retrieved from the Internet. Although, while reading the book I tried to find API references and the Node community seems to be quite bad in documentation. Hence this book is excellent in helping to avoid basic mistakes and providing coherent, basic information.

      Node promises scalability safe and simple. This is to be achieved through good use of the event loop. However, it is easy enough to write blocking code, either by doing I/O the wrong way or by performing time consuming calculations. There are two mechanisms prevent to prevent long hanging applications: leave I/O to the system's libraries and time consuming calculations should be put in their own process or thread. Node has those mechanisms too. Actually the mechanisms Node provides are quite easy compared to other environments. To differentiate from 'difficult' C, the 'easy' Node community tries to avoid terms like remote process or thread. Reading this book it turns out that Node still uses the same principles for scalability with slightly different naming. But if scalability is so important to Node, why does this book not discuss programming principles of scalable programming in one chapter? For example the use of child processes and workers is spread around in chapter 3 "Building Robust Node Applications" in the section "Using Multiple Processors" (to me using multiple processors is nice, but should be an automatic result of good programming in Node) and chapter 5 "Helper APIs" in the section "Child Process" (but using an API is not a goal in itself, it is the result of programming for scalability) and some loose remarks throughout the book. The promise of the subtitle ("Scalable Server-Side Code with JavaScript") unfortunately is not consistently addressed in the remainder of the book.

      Node: Up and Running is a good book to prepare for the use of Node.js. The price is a little on the high side, hence three stars. I do not have access to a Linux machine and Node.js is not easily installed on Windows. After trying to install Node.js on my computer for half an hour I gave up. Node must be interesting and fun, but I didn't get Node up and running.

      (0 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      No kidding about Node

      By sandyboy55

      from St Louis, MO

      About Me Designer, Developer

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Accurate
      • Concise
      • Easy to understand
      • Helpful examples
      • Well-written

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Expert
        • Intermediate

        Comments about O'Reilly Media Node: Up and Running:

        If you have heard of Node (which true web developer hasn't!) but haven't had the courage to get your feet wet, Node: Up and Running (O'Reilly) is the book to get. In a true "up and running" style, this book assumes zero knowledge of Node, other than a familiarity with JavaScript. This book is well-written with lots of example code snippets generously thrown inside the book.

        (3 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

         
        3.0

        Node.js Up And Running Review

        By ozgurcakmak

        from Istanbul, Turkey

        About Me Developer, Maker, Sys Admin

        Pros

        • Accurate
        • Concise

        Cons

        • Not comprehensive enough
        • Too basic

        Best Uses

        • Intermediate

        Comments about O'Reilly Media Node: Up and Running:

        Greetings, today I will be reviewing Node.js up and running which is provided by O'Reilly Blogger Review Program to me.

        The book is a mixed bunch. There are good news and bad news. Good news is, it provides a solid starting background. How to install, how to set up a server and how to set a chat server up is provided. I mean the book provides clear explanations on core Node.js services and uses them to set a chat server up. Which is very good, very very brilliantly executed. The rest... well that is the bad news part. After that brilliant introduction, the book goes exhaustively explaining functions of Node.js and provides code snippets of usage but does not provide a gestaltive example to introduce those concepts in a real world application. It would be perfect if, for example, we could see how to implement cryptographic functions in the chat server we built in the first chapters.

        This is quite a disappointment really. I was trying to learn Node.js for a business related problem and was enchanted with the title. I couldn't find a relevant information for my solution and to be frank I would not recommend it to anyone who is starting anew to Node.js. If you are a node.js newbie, who has learned how it works and built some applications with it, it would doubtless provide extra information which will broaden your horizons.

        The book is good, if only it could provide some real world examples...

        (5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Brief Introduction to the Node.js World

        By Eder Andrés Ávila Niño

        from Paipa, Colombia

        About Me Developer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Concise
        • Easy to understand

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Novice
          • Student

          Comments about O'Reilly Media Node: Up and Running:

          Node: Up and Running – Review

          Node: Up and Running is a book for JavaScript programmers who want to get started with the foundations of Node.js as a nonblocking runtime environment and web server, covering essential features, popular third-party APIs and programming suggestions for building web applications and services, this time using JavaScript as the programming language on the server side. Node: Up and Running is for the reader the starting point to understand the main components like servers, events, callbacks and modules from which a Node.js application is made of.

          This is a short, concise book that explains how Node.js gives solution to support thousands of asynchronous requests through its event-loop mechanism and core functionality. In chapters 1 to 5, we can find the structure of a basic, raw HTTP Node.js server, what request callbacks mean, and how to organize these callbacks to obtain clarity and consistence. We can also find basic utility functionality dealing with IP addresses, clusters and child processes, and how to encrypt public and private application keys.

          In chapters 6 and 7, this book explains briefly the most popular third party Node.js modules from which we can actually use for building useful web applications and services. We can briefly learn how to setup database connections, operations and queries, ho to build a basic, managed HTTP server with the Expressjs module for web page rendering; and how to work with WebSockets, the new feature found in recent version of web browsers for persistent connection with the server. Final chapter 8 explains to how to publish our own Node.js modules to share with the community.

          What I liked most of Node: Up and Running is that it offers suggestions to avoid pitfalls when dealing with callback chaining, why a 'try…catch' block doesn't catch an asynchronous exception and how to distribute the work load on several CPUs when possible (chapter 3). Programming good callback chaining and monitoring mechanisms is important to improve readability and maintainability, and to avoid possible hang-out conditions due that certain I/O events may take long time to be processed, like downloading a file and querying a database.

          I think the benefit after reading Node: Up and Running is that the reader gets an initial understanding of how a Node.js HTTP server works and how to combine core with third-party functionality. That is, this book gives the reader an overview of how the Node.js world is structured and its possibilities becoming JavaScript available on both server and client sides. Yahoo! said this fact is a potential transformation in software architecture.

          However, if the reader really wants to build a web server he/she should look for more information about Node.js frameworks like Expressjs, Restify and Mojito since this book only introduces the basics. But, Node: Up and Running opens the doors to understand how a Node.js HTTP server works so the readier will be able to understand the vocabulary, the mechanics and the good practices offered by each module and framework.

          A negative point to this book is the absence of how to structure the different layers of a Node.js application like the business, data access and security layers. The book doesn't show how to break functionality into several JavaScript files. I think a final chapter 'Putting it all together' would have been useful.

          Finally, I want to say that there's a difficulty to imitate some code examples because the directory structure was not specified. You'll notice this when reading the Twitter App on chapter 2. That may change if O'Reilly Media publish the accompanying source code or a book update. Meanwhile, you can read the errata section at the publishers web site.

          Note: This review is in exchange for the O'Reilly Bloggers Review Program (http://oreilly.com/bloggers).

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