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on 14 November 2013
My expectations on buying this book were very high, I'm a big fan of the In Action series of books. I found Groovy In Action to be an excellent in depth introduction to the language and Android In Action proved to be an excellent reference for development. When I bought Node.js in action I was expecting the following.

- A low level look into the mechanics of Node.js and how best to use low level functionality.
- Best practices when using Node.js to build complex server side applications.
- Pitfalls and gotchas that might be avoided.

Essentially, I was expecting a book about Node.js. This book takes the easy route of focusing less on the subject matter and more on the available libraries. The issue with this is that the libraries will prove to be far more volatile over time, they are far more specialized and frankly the libraries in question are so excellent and easy to use that you're far better off reading about them in a Github Readme than in this book.

The section on streams and event emitters was interesting but far too brief and shallow and there are countless diagrams that provide no value to anybody but to the author in padding out chapters. Near the end I also noticed some repeated information as if the writer had a word count to hit before a deadline. I'm sure there are far better references for Node.js available elsewhere.
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on 8 December 2013
I've just started learning nodejs and this is not the first book I read about the topic.

I found out this is the best book I've read so far on the topic.
It starts from the very beginning and guide you through the whole development process.
It doesn't delve deep into low level details but I think this is due to target audience for this book.

It explains you the basics and there are a lot of good examples to get you started.

Nodejs is very extensible and there are a lot of useful packages. The book tries to cover the most useful in the daily usage.

The only bit I didn't like a lot is the development of the first application, it comes to early in the book and doesn't really help in understanding the language.

The rest of the book is well done. I'd advice this book to all nodejs novice who want to get ready to use it quickly.
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on 28 December 2013
If you're looking for the Node.js book to cut your teeth on then look no further; Node.js in Action is a comprehensive introduction to getting up and running with Node.js, using real-world examples and written by recognised experts within the Node.js community. For anyone interested in getting to grips with Node.js or even getting started with web development in general, this would be the book I would recommend.

The book starts out as most technical books do when introducing a new technology, namely, describing what the technology is, how it can be used, followed by the classic "Hello World" example. But then this is where it diverges from the well-worn path by showcasing what can be achieved with the technology with a fairly involved example that includes building a real-time chat web application akin to Internet Relay Chat (IRC), but using HTTP and, a Node.js package for handling asynchronous communication between a web client and web server. What's a Node.js package you might ask? All is explained within the first part of the book with the introduction of the Node Package Manager and the concept of Node.js modules. Although this part of the book introduces the reader to some core JavaScript concepts such as the event loop and writing asynchronous code using Continuation Passing Style callback (continuation) functions, I would highly recommend also picking up a book focused entirely on JavaScript to accompany Node.js in Action, to become better acquainted with the core idioms and quirks of the JavaScript language and facilitate consuming the contents of this book more readily.

The second part of the book is focused on building web applications with Node.js. The authors have done a fantastic job in covering the fundamentals that one needs to know when building a web application such as authentication, URI routing, session management, cookie management, cross-cutting concerns such as error handling and logging, interacting with data sent by the client in the query string and request body, how to render HTML to serve back to the web client using templates, how to build an API following REST principles and how to persist data to a relational database such as MySQL or to a "NoSQL" database such as MongoDB or Redis. Rather than being thrown all of this information at once and watching us flail all over the place to try and make sense of it however, the authors introduce the topics one at a time in a way that is both compelling and interesting to read, starting with simple examples and then introducing the concept of middleware components like Connect and Express. As someone with many years of experience building web applications using a number of different web technologies, I often found myself asking "how do you do X in Node.js?", only for it to be answered in the proceeding pages. Well thought out and well written.

No comprehensive technical book would be complete without touching on how to test those lovingly written applications. Node.js in Action goes into some detail on how to unit test and acceptance test applications. At twenty pages, this chapter provides sufficient explanation of the common test patterns to get verifying that an application correctly fulfills the function that it is intended to.
The last part of the book focuses on using Node.js for non-web applications such as command-line utilities and TCP clients and servers as well as hosting and deploying web applications. The reader is also introduced to the wider Node.js community and how to participate and contribute back to make Node.js a more robust and useful platform. This is perhaps the driest part of the book but does provide a good reference to revisit when the reader is ready to launch their application to the wild world of the internet and needs to ensure uptime and performance.

The Appendices round out the book with details on how to install Node.js and also how to debug Node.js applications. Both of these topics are vitally important; precluding the former would be a non-starter for a book on Node.js whilst precluding the latter would make writing any non-trivial application a teeth-pulling experience, but it makes sense that both topics are included in the appendices as opposed to in the main body since each has a tendency to disrupt the flow of information presented within the book.

In summary, Node.js in Action is the Node.js book that I would recommend to anyone wishing to get into web development in general or for anyone coming from another programming language background, wanting to get a heads-up on Node.js; the first and second parts will get you up and running with Node.js in no time and the third part will ensure what you have written with Node.js will remain up and running. I should make it clear that Node.js in Action does not focus on the low-level API of Node.js or on Google's V8 JavaScript engine; the Node.js API documentation ([...] and source code ([...] should be consulted if wishing to dive deep into the technology. Node.js in Action does exactly as prescribed; provide a great "in Action" introduction into the Node.js world.

Full Disclosure: I was provided a free electronic copy of Node.js in Action by the publisher, Manning books, in exchange for an Amazon review. This fact has not influenced the honesty or integrity of this review; it has taken me around six weeks on and off to finish reading the book in order to write this review, time that as a professional software developer far outweighs the value of an electronic copy of the book!
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on 18 November 2013
I bought this book as part of my attempt to choose the best framework for replacing my aging and bloated JSF applications front end with.

My Javascript experience is reasonably limited so I found the first few chapters at times hard going to follow and understand as Nodes functional nature is a vastly different approach from the standard java applications I'm used to. However running the examples which were all relevant and easy to get working made it simple for me to eventually get my head round and I soon began to see the real power and flexibility that the Node framework and its functional non blocking structure has to offer.

I found the first section fascinating as I learnt the basics of Node but remember thinking at the time that it wasn't a viable candidate for my initial goal of finding a new UI framework for my existing application as it would involve an almost complete rewrite, and even after reading section 2 covering the Connect and Express modules which do make web applications simpler to implement that opinion still stands. That said though if I was to start writing a new application tomorrow I would definitely consider writing it in Node.

I thought the book itself as a guide to get a Node newbie like me up and running quickly whilst covering all the basics was excellent. It flowed well and kept me hooked until the end, I have tried all of the examples which whilst reasonably simple were all relevant and useful. In particular the shoutbox application created in chapter 9 I thought would give any application developer enough of a starting point to get up and running very quickly. This book has not only left me feeling confident that I could write Node applications straight away it makes me excited at the prospect of doing so.

I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn Node.js from scratch with a view to creating web applications as that seems to me to be the main focus of the book. It is certainly not a low level technical reference guide for Node but it never claims to be so if you are already using Node and are looking for an in depth low level Node manual its probably not for you but it was perfect for what I needed.
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on 27 December 2013
Thought it will be more advanced and exhaustive like other books from Manning.
I read 'Hibernate in Action', 'Redis in Action' and they were much better.
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on 22 April 2014
What I liked about the book is that it doesn't just explain how NodeJS works but also explains third-party modules that are useful when building a webapp.
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on 11 February 2014
Gets into the action pretty fast, easy to understand and start using node fast and easy. Start to learn node in the easy way.
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on 21 March 2016
Many outdated chapters and missing some explanations between code. A revision of this book is needed
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on 30 June 2014
Very clear examples. Easy to dip in and out as you need to information and very thorough content.
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on 11 September 2014
I bought this for my grandson. He assures me it is interesting and enlightening.
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