Node for Front-End Developers
Writing Server-Side JavaScript Applications
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: January 2012
Pages: 60

If you know how to use JavaScript in the browser, you already have the skills you need to put JavaScript to work on back-end servers with Node. This hands-on book shows you how to use this popular JavaScript platform to create simple server applications, communicate with the client, build dynamic pages, work with data, and tackle other tasks.

Although Node has a complete library of developer-contributed modules to automate server-side development, this book will show you how to program with Node on your own, so you truly understand the platform. Discover firsthand how well Node works as a web server, and how easy it is to learn and use.

  • Set up Node and learn how to build scaffolding for a web application
  • Work with Node natively to see how it functions as a web server
  • Understand how Node receives client data from GET and POST requests
  • Use the Socket.IO module to facilitate realtime client-server communication
  • Choose from among several Node templates to create dynamic pages
  • Learn how to connect to a database, and store data in files
  • Implement the Model-View-Controller pattern, and share Node modules with server and client
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oreillyNode for Front-End Developers
 
4.5

(based on 2 reviews)

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Review of Node for Front-End Developers

By Brian R. Bondy

from Belle River, Ontario

About Me Developer

Verified Reviewer

Pros

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

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate
    • Novice

    Comments about oreilly Node for Front-End Developers:

    The book Node for Front-End Developers by Garann Means presents a great introduction to Node and its surrounding modules.

    Not only is using the same language for both client-side and server-side awesome, but Node itself is fast, stable and production ready. Node was first created by Ryan Dahl and is built using Google's V8 JavaScript Engine.

    The book is nicely organized and lightly touches everything you'd want to have when starting with a new web framework. If you haven't done a ton of web development, you'll get lots of introductory bits on things to learn such as the key-value store Redis.

    The following topics (and more) are covered:

    - Setting up Node and Node Package Manager (NPM)
    - Testing with command line
    - Serving static content
    - Serving dynamic content
    - URL routing
    - Handling HTTP POST data
    - Handling AJAX requests w/ JSON and JSONP
    - Using node.js with HTML5 websockets (very cool!)
    - Server side templates, passing server side data to templates
    - Partial templates
    - Working with persistent storage
    - Working with files
    - MVC pattern

    You won't go deep into any one topic; however, the book gives you just enough information to know where to go from there. I'd recommend this book to anyone with some JavaScript experience that wants to know what Node is all about.

    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Or... Prototyping with Node.js

    By Jim Schubert

    from Richmond, VA

    About Me Software Engineer

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

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

    Cons

    • Too short

    Best Uses

    • Novice
    • Student

    Comments about oreilly Node for Front-End Developers:

    I've reviewed "Node for Front-End Developers" for the O'Reilly blogger program. Because I've been contributing to an open-source Node.js ebook, I was very excited to read this book. I must warn you-- this book is less about Node.js than it is about prototyping web applications using modules available in Node.js. If you begin reading this from that perspective and you have little knowledge of Node.js in general, you will gain a lot from reading this. If, however, you have experience with Node.js and have used frameworks such as Express and Connect, there is not much more covered in these 58 pages.

    Garann Means has written this book in a great way. She doesn't start off explaining the Express framework like most introductions to Node.js would have done. Instead, she shows how to create a minimal http server, add templating and middleware, and then discusses Express and separating concerns into an MVC or MVC-like pattern.

    There are a few times where I think the terminology could be misleading. For example, at the beginning she talks about 'scaffolding'. Scaffolding in general implies code generation and the only bit of true scaffolding discussed in the book occurs on one line in one of the last few chapters when the Express framework generates an empty application. I would have liked to see some true 'scaffolding' examples, either with code specific to the book or with third-party modules. Aside from one or two other terminology issues (which is probably just me being picky), the content is spot-on.

    Garann does talk about asynchronous operations a little, but this is a huge area of concern for front-end and back-end developers when migrating to Node.js because the asynchronous and event-driven nature of common tasks (files, database) can often increase the complexity of a simple task. Had she expanded on the asynchronous nature of Node.js more, I would have given this book five stars. She does offer a caveat in the Postscript that this book doesn't cover all there is to know about Node.js, and she's right. Before or after reading this, you should read the introduction in the Node.js documentation and the Express framework's documentation.

    In conclusion, this is an excellent introduction to prototyping web applications using Node.js. I would recommend this book to people who are familiar with JavaScript programming and want to being prototyping without the need to learn additional languages and frameworks like Ruby on Rails, Catalyst, ASP.NET MVC, etc.

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