What Is Node?
JavaScript Breaks Out of the Browser
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: July 2011
Pages: 10

Node.js. It’s the latest in a long line of “Are you cool enough to use me?” programming languages, APIs, and toolkits. In that sense, it lands squarely in the tradition of Rails, and Ajax, and Hadoop, and even to some degree iPhone programming and HTML5.

Dig a little deeper, and you’ll hear that Node.js (or, as it’s more briefly called by many, simply “Node”) is a server-side solution for JavaScript, and in particular, for receiving and responding to HTTP requests. If that doesn’t completely boggle your mind, by the time the conversation heats up with discussion of ports, sockets, and threads, you’ll tend to glaze over. Is this really JavaScript? In fact, why in the world would anyone want to run JavaScript outside of a browser, let alone the server?

The good news is that you’re hearing (and thinking) about the right things. Node really is concerned with network programming and server-side request/response processing. The bad news is that like Rails, Ajax, and Hadoop before it, there’s precious little clear information available. There will be, in time — as there now is for these other “cool” frameworks that have matured — but why wait for a book or tutorial when you might be able to use Node today, and dramatically improve the maintainability.

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O'Reilly MediaWhat Is Node?
 
3.5

(based on 4 reviews)

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5.0

A very much appreciated introduction

By csig63

from Budapest, Hungary

About Me Designer, Developer, Sys Admin

Verified Reviewer

Pros

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

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate
    • Novice
    • Student

    Comments about O'Reilly Media What Is Node?:

    To me this booklet proved to be a very helpful introduction to Node.js with interesting background infos on the concepts behind the product and a very convincing practical sample of a barebones web server.

    The writing is easy to follow, the sample runs without problems and it really did whet my appetite for learning more about Node.js and its ecosystem.

     
    2.0

    Blog post in epub format

    By OldGeek

    from USA

    About Me Developer

    Verified Reviewer

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      Cons

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          Comments about O'Reilly Media What Is Node?:

          As one of the other reviewers said, it's basically an elevator pitch. It's fine as a freebie, but I really didn't learn much from it.

           
          4.0

          Great crash course on why Node

          By Junior D

          from San Francisco, CA

          Pros

          • Easy to understand
          • Helpful examples

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about O'Reilly Media What Is Node?:

              Interesting read - Brett makes it entertaining, if verbose on some tangential things. Gives you a good idea of what Node is and isn't good for, plus you kick up a sample app really quickly. Nicely done.

               
              3.0

              Elevator Pitch on Node

              By Cousin Vinny

              from Miami, FL

              About Me Educator

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Concise

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Intermediate

                Comments about O'Reilly Media What Is Node?:

                This is a short essay, akin to that of an 'elevator pitch', selling you on the merits of Node as an application/web server.

                It delves unnecessarily into why Node was written in another language (C) than Javascript, but yet uses Javascript. It then briefly explains that Node is a webserver, controlled by Javascript. It doesn't bother to differentiate Node from the market leader, Apache.

                However, it did briefly outline a nice advantage of Node; it understands JSON natively. It also shows how the event-driven approach to webservers could be advantageous.

                For a freebie, this is a worthwhile read.

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