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.
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Manual for beginners
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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.
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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.
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Node.js for novices
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.
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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.
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