Review of "Node.js in Action"

Best book to read from the masters of NodeJS.

"Node.js in Action" by Mike Cantelon, Marc Harter, T.J. Holowaychuk, and Nathan Rajlich ISBN 978-1617290572

Nodejs is quickly gaining acceptance on the server side (see Walmart, PayPal, Groupon). It is simple, fast, and most important: same skills and code can be shared between the server and the browser. Not surprisingly, the number of modules written for Node.js and listed on the public registry has exploded. There are around 50,000 modules listed, together with number of downloads, star ratings, number of dependents. There are several top 10 lists: most popular, most dependent upon, most prolific. The authors of this book are responsible for some of the most popular and most downloaded modules: connect, commander, stylus, express, etc. They are THE nodejs experts, and give the most authoritative account of nodejs' strengths.

The book starts with nodejs fundamentals, and one can quickly skim through the first 4 chapters. Chapter 5 describes data storage with Redis and MongoDB and gives a super concise and useful information for both. Then the next 4 chapters really shine: an indepth look at Connect and Express web servers. The authors intimately know these topics, since they have written both modules. Standard and custom middleware, authentication, headers, data storage: all explained very clearly. The book finishes with several application specific chapters: testing, deployment and uptime.

The writing is fluid, accessible and goes just into enough detail to reach the intermediate level. The reader can then go into more detail on each topic by reading the documentation for a particular module or system. The code samples are numerous and easy to follow and show just enough detail to explain the topic.

I highly recommend this book to anyone looking at nodejs for the first time, or for a solution to a common problem (authentication, webserver, HTML generation, etc). The "Node.js in Action" is exactly what its title claims.