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I really enjoyed the iterative workflow of this book; it starts out simple and slowly builds each demonstration on the shoulders of the demonstration before it. The book opens with instructions for installing Node.js and NPM (Node Package Manager) as well as using the command-line REPL (Read-Eval-Print-Loop); but, it quickly moves into writing code for your first Node.js application.
Garann Means starts the exploration with a discussion of how to organize your directories. Since Node.js handles every incoming request explicitly, there's no automatic file-serving like you'd have in an Apache or an IIS based application. Again, this gives you complete control, but can leave you wondering if you're doing things in the correct way. Means explains what role directories such as node_modules, lib, and public play in a "best practices" Node.js application. She also talks about the application manifest - package.json - and how to create one.
Then, Means goes on to iteratively explain the request-response lifecycle; how to create dynamic responses; how to server static files; and, how to parse incoming URL and FORM data. Some of these task are then iteratively abstracted away with the introduction of middleware layers like Connect and Express.
Means then goes on to talk about advanced concepts including WebSockets, JSONP (JSON with Padding), server-side templating, connecting to a Redis NoSQL database, the awesomeness of Event Emitters, and Model-View-Controller architectures.
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After seeing your post I was excited about the book but when I went to Amazon it had some bad reviews. One review said it was more like a cookbook - is that right?
Oh bollocks I might as well just buy it.
I didn't feel it was a Cookbook-style approach. I thought it just covered the foundations of Node.js app development. Frankly, I don't think it's long enough to be Cookbook :)
If you create an account on the O'Reilly media website, I think you can probably get this book for like $4 :)
It's ok, got it from Amazon :) Thanks