Category Archives: JavaScript

Review: „Web Development with Node and Express”

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Node book done well

Web Development with Node and Express is the third book I’ve read about Node since 2012. Last two books were mediocre and I had quite high expectations this time.

The core of this book is building fictional website for Meadowlark Travel, a company offering services for people visiting the great state of Oregon. First two chapters cover basics about Express and Node, then in third chapter starts development of Meadowlark Travel web application. I started project from scratch and I was adding features according with material presented in consecutive chapters. I was typing most of the JS code provided in book. This way I run into some issues with typos but I had also some problems with newer versions of libraries used in book. I’m familiar with managing dependencies in Node, so I figured out which libraries I needed to downgrade. Book may contain some typos so be watchful and check errata.

At first order of chapters seemed to me a little bit chaotic, but after reading all of them they are good chunks of bigger picture. Chapters: 4 & 5 introduce good practices like version control system & quality assurance. Later, chapter after chapter, are introduced other topics like: template engine (handlebars), cookies, sessions, middleware, sending email, REST API and many more. It’s worth noting that most of the topics appears in daily work.

To sum up, Ethan Brown did good job in writing Web Development with Node and Express. He covered many topics & provided solutions to real-life developer’s problems.

 

My rating:

Product page: http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920032977.do

I review for the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program

Review: „JavaScript & jQuery: The Missing Manual”

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Manual for beginners

JavaScript & jQuery: The Missing Manual consists of 17 chapters (+ appendix).

First part skims the surface of JavaScript – it is gentle introduction to programming in JS. I really like author’s explanations and visualisations of simple concepts like: variable, statements, conditions, loops.

Afters basics of JavaScript journey with jQuery begins. After introductory material there are real-life examples of jQuery usage: photo galleries, navigations, forms with user friendly validations and some more.

The book is quite verbose and if you’re familiar with a bit of JavaScript & jQuery then I recommend other books (e.g. JavaScript: The Definitive Guide). If you’re taking first steps in web development and you want to start with programming in JavaScript, that’s the book for you.

My rating:

Product page: http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920032663.do

I review for the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program

Review: „Learning jQuery Deferreds”

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Promising Deferreds

Learning jQuery Deferreds is another book related to JavaScript I read from O’Reilly Reader Review Program.

At first I was struggling to grasp the idea how jQuery Deferreds work but explanations provided by author helped me understand this.

I solved some of challenges in Chapter 3. It’s nice that they tackle many different problems in different contexts but I didn’t find them very engaging.

In general it’s good to get familiar with idea of deferreds and this book is good with explaining with that concept.

My rating:

Product page: http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920030508.do

I review for the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program

Review: „Version Control with Git” By Jon Loeliger, Matthew McCullough, O’Reilly Media

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Git inside out

I started using Git about year and half ago. Through hands-on experience I gained a lot of experience. Recently, I found Version Control with Git available in O’Reilly Blogger Review Program. I decided to dive into this book and learn more about Git. First 3 chapters are light introduction to Git: history, installation and basic use of tool. Chapter 4 covers internals, basic concepts of Git. It gave me better understanding of „hidden” changes made by every command I type. Chapter 6-13 covers essential aspects of Git in everyday work. Following chapters contains more complicated and more interesting stuff 😉 Version Control with Git is an awesome book. Authors explain things thoroughly. They also have a good sense of humour and it makes reading much more pleasant. A lot of material presented in book, I learned just by exploring available commands in Git. However, there are many useful tips & tricks. Interactive rebasing is the best thing I found in this book 🙂 This book showed me more powerful things I can do with Git. I recommend this book everybody who needs great version control system.

My rating:

Product page: http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920022862.do

I review for the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program

Review: „Jump Start Node.js” By Don Nguyen, SitePoint

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Node.js for novices

Several months ago, I took a look at Node.js. Recently, I decided to get to know JavaScript and related stuff better. Beginning of Jump Start Node.js looked promising: test-driven development, interesting examples, fetching remote data, connecting Node.js with MongoDB. The goal of the book was to write Nockmarket — application with different features. Around Chapter 4 it started getting worse. I expected that book show much more about Node.js in action. Seriously, if I want use Twitter Bootstrap then I take a look into documentation. Author shows password encryption with MD5 algorithm and warns that is considered as a weak mechanism for storing passwords. It would nice to see better & complete solution with e.g. bcrypt.
In Chapter 6, author writes about Backbone and use it in Nockmarket. I don’t see purpose of introducing Backbone in book with Node.js in the title. I’m much more interested in Node.js ecosystem and tools. Chapter 7 covers some production issues. You can skip Heroku section and find much comprehensive documentation on Heroku pages.
To sum up, this book can be good enough for novices but if you’re experienced web developer probably you’ll dive into documentation or other resources.

My rating:

Product page: http://shop.oreilly.com/product/9780987332103.do

I review for the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program

Review: „HTML5 and JavaScript Web Apps” By Wesley Hales, O’Reilly Media

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Building web apps with HTML5 & JavaScript

I am interested in the latest technologies and solutions so I decided to broaden my horizons by reading this book. Author did a good a job to show the latest concepts/solutions in HTML5 & JavaScript. Big part of this book covers The Mobile Web (e.g. fetching, caching, network type detection, device orientation and others). Author seems to be a very aware developer — he points out issues on different devices & platforms. Across the book there are many practical code examples. In „The Desktop Web” chapter author presents top five JavaScript MV* frameworks. Unfortunately, I found some code examples hard to set up and test. They need better instructions how to do that without wasting too much time. Author mentions a lot of useful frameworks/tools when he describes particular HTML5 API.
Wesley Hales wrote in Preface: If you’re a developer aiming to write lightning-fast, HTML5-driven applications, as well as to understand how the server interacts with today’s newer client-side concepts and technologies, then this book is for you.. I agree with that. If you’re beginner, learn JavaScript first 🙂

My rating:

Product page: http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920024088.do

I review for the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program

Review: „WebGL: Up and Running” By Tony Parisi, O’Reilly Media

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Good & practical book

This book is good introduction to WebGL. It covers the most important aspects of programming in WebGL. There are a lot of practical examples written mostly in Three.js and Sim.js. Author points out other useful tools & frameworks to play with. I like author’s good sense of humour & his approach „use right tool for right job”.
WebGL: Up and Running is really good choice if you want to play with WebGL.

My rating:

Product page: http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920024729.do

I review for the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program