Building Isomorphic JavaScript Apps
From Concept to Implementation to Real-World Solutions
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: September 2016
Pages: 210

Often referred to as the holy grail of web application development, isomorphic JavaScript lets you run the same code on both the browser client and web application server. This hands-on guide shows you a practical approach to building and maintaining your own isomorphic JavaScript apps. You’ll learn why this application architecture has become an increasingly popular way to fix business-critical issues such as page-load speeds and SEO compatibility.

Isomorphic JavaScript is becoming a real game changer, even for teams used to very different server stacks. Authors Jason Strimpel and Maxime Najim demonstrate why companies including Walmart, Airbnb, Facebook, and Netflix have adopted isomorphic libraries.

  • Understand how isomorphic JavaScript can dramatically improve user experience
  • Define a contract between the framework and your application for responding to resource requests
  • Take framework and application code from server to client to make it an isomorphic codebase
  • Create common abstractions, get and set cookies, and redirect user requests
  • Learn why isomorphic JavaScript can finally bring a halt to the fat-server, fat-client pendulum
  • Learn about advanced isomorphic JavaScript topics like collaborative, real-time applications
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oreillyBuilding Isomorphic JavaScript Apps
 
3.5

(based on 8 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

63%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to understand (6)
  • Well-written (4)
  • Helpful examples (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Intermediate (6)
  • Novice (3)
  • Student (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Developer (7)

Reviewed by 8 customers

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3.0

Needs work if you type code to learn

By Joel

from Enumclaw, WA

About Me Developer

Verified Buyer

Pros

    Cons

    • Difficult to understand

    Best Uses

    • Expert
    • Intermediate

    Comments about oreilly Building Isomorphic JavaScript Apps:

    I usually type through an O'reilly book step by step, at least for all chapters that I think I need to learn. In most cases this works excellently, but in the case of this book it did not. The book seems to be set up assuming very little knowledge of nodejs or javascript, with detailed descriptions of every step, but then about chapter 7, it begins having you make edits to scripts, but not clearly saying where. From here, I found I could not find a way to get the code to run, despite a good bit of work.

     
    1.0

    Typical O'Reilly book: good knowledge, terrible code

    By Patrick

    from New York City, NY

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

      Cons

      • Too many errors

      Best Uses

        Comments about oreilly Building Isomorphic JavaScript Apps:

        I see some good reviews here and I have to wonder: have these people actually tried to run the code? Because if so, you will quickly find that it is a mess: the actual application is mixed in with the node modules and changing around the file paths results in errors. I am sure this author is very smart and knows his stuff, but at some point, authors need to realize that is not enough: please spend more time ensuring that your code works and that buyers do not have to spend hours upon hours trying to get sample code(s) to function properly. This is by no means the first book I have purchased where this is the case, and while I realize that with the complexity of JavaScript today, it is no small feat to set up 'just add water' code, I still believe that most of these issues are the result of either author or editorial laziness. There are ways to improve quality control vis a vis the samples: you owe this to your readers and buyers.
        Bottom line: if you want to get a sense of how isomorphic apps work in *theory*, then this book is fine,. If you actually want to dig deep and see how they work in *practice*, then look elsewhere or be prepared to do a lot of frustrating and needless debugging.

         
        2.0

        Probably better off just learning React

        By Adam L

        from Oakland, CA

        About Me Developer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Easy to understand

        Cons

        • Not comprehensive enough
        • Too many errors

        Best Uses

        • Intermediate

        Comments about oreilly Building Isomorphic JavaScript Apps:

        Tried to work through the code in the book, but many code typos along with file names types and the code in the Git repo that is used to follow along is not even close to being the same at the designated branches that pair with chapters . So I cloned the git repo and switch to the branch to match the chapter and get Babel errors in Gulp. UGH

        I guess this book is a good guide conceptually, just don't spend too much time worried about the code in the book.

        Book seems to start falling apart near the end of chapter 7.

         
        5.0

        Great guide for a next generation website

        By Scott B

        from Carlsbad

        About Me Developer

        Pros

        • Easy to understand
        • Helpful examples
        • Well-written

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Intermediate
          • Student

          Comments about oreilly Building Isomorphic JavaScript Apps:

          This book does a great job of laying out the problem that modern websites faces and provides a guide for creating a next generation webiste that many industry leading companies are pursuing.

          If you're building a competitive website for the future, this book will help you get there.

           
          5.0

          Very well presented with real world examples

          By justinrbn

          from San Diego, CA

          About Me Developer

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Easy to understand
          • Helpful examples
          • Well-written

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Intermediate
            • Novice
            • Student

            Comments about oreilly Building Isomorphic JavaScript Apps:

            I really enjoyed reading the real world solutions and seeing the thought and decision process a company like Walmart makes before moving to a new framework. I found the examples very clear and easy to follow especially for someone still new to React as myself.
            Disclosure: I was given a digital copy of this book to read.

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            3.0

            good introduction

            By luca mezzalira

            from London - United Kingdom

            About Me Developer, Educator

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy to understand

            Cons

            • Too basic

            Best Uses

            • Novice
            • Student

            Comments about oreilly Building Isomorphic JavaScript Apps:

            I liked the first part of the book where the author was talking about the history on how we are arrived on having isomorphic applications.
            The second part was more practical but in my opinion missed to explore in deep the potential issues someone could have working with this approach.

            Anyway a good introduction, definitely after this book the developer will need to go more in deep about the context and find by itself how to deal with potential different issues

            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            Isomorphism made easy and well structured

            By 3v0k4

            from Kraków, Poland

            About Me Developer

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

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

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Intermediate
              • Novice

              Comments about oreilly Building Isomorphic JavaScript Apps:

              This book came out when I was doing research for an academic isomorphic project and helped me a lot structuring my reasoning.

              The first part introduces isomorphic js applications and how they came to be. In the second part, in a step by step fashion, you are guided to build an isomorphic app with Node and Hapi.

              This is a great introductory reading for novices in isomorphic apps. Also, it helps a lot to structure your knowledge if you've been playing for a while with isomorphism.

              Don't forget that what Jason and Maxime speak about is stuff that is used in real production apps at WalmartLabs.

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Great book! Well paced & instructive

              By cliffeh

              from Up in Canada

              About Me Developer

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Easy to understand
              • Well-written

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Intermediate

                Comments about oreilly Building Isomorphic JavaScript Apps:

                Disclaimer: I've only read through chapter 8 in the Safari Early Release version.

                This book tackles a potentially very complex topic, but the authors have written a very approachable, yet instructive book.

                I've read lots of technical books. Often, authors get bogged down in touting their own frameworks, or the complexities of the domain they're using for the example application. In this book, although the authors have necessarily made some framework choices (e.g. Hapi, Browserify), it's easy to see how those could be swapped out, yet they don't waste time showing us how to do it.

                What you're left with at the end is a core app that has all the elements you'll need to build your own, without any cruft. Looking forward to building some Isomorphic Javascript stuff!

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