10/09/2012

Node: Up and Running

Node (or Node.js) is a system using Javascript and the V8 Javascript engine that can be used to easily build fast, scalable network applications. Node.js uses an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model that makes it lightweight and efficient, perfect for data-intensive real-time applications that run across distributed devices. Building servers in Javascript may not seem to be an optimal way of doing things, but as the V8 engine is highly optimised (it's the same engine used in Google Chrome browser) meaning things can run quickly (as node itself is event driven so it almost performs as a procedural server process).

The main advantage though is that code written for the front-end can be duplicated for the back-end and data passed between the two without having to do any form of processing.

Node: Up and Running starts form the beginning (i.e. how to install Node) and then how to master its capabilities and interface it to various services like databases and of could build (web) servers.

Node is also highly extensible and comes with a package manager than can both build packages and get packages locally or from the central Node package system.

The book is laid out as follows: -

Chapter 1 A Very Brief Introduction to Node.js Installing Node.js First Steps in Code Why Node?

Chapter 2 Doing Interesting Things Building a Chat Server Let’s Build Twitter

Chapter 3 Building Robust Node Applications The Event Loop Patterns Writing Code for Production Deep Dive and API Reference

Chapter 4 Core APIs Events HTTP I/O

Chapter 5 Helper APIs DNS Crypto Processes Testing Through assert VM

Chapter 6 Data Access NoSQL and Document Stores Relational Databases Connection Pooling MQ Protocols

Chapter 7 Important External Modules Express Socket.IO

Chapter 8 Extending Node Modules Package Manager Add-ons

Anyone thinking of having a go with Node should definitely have a read of this book, it may save hours of time in looking up stuff on the Internet (though Node does have a very comprehensive documentation site).

A new service Valobox allows users to read books on-line (paying for the whole book or only the bits they need), they support the O'Reilly catalog and here's the link to Node: Up and Running.

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