Web Development with Node and Express: Leveraging the JavaScript Stack

Web Development with Node and Express: Leveraging the JavaScript Stack
By Ethan Brown

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Product Description

Learn how to build dynamic web applications with Express, a key component of the Node/JavaScript development stack. In this hands-on guide, author Ethan Brown teaches you the fundamentals through the development of a fictional application that exposes a public website and a RESTful API. You’ll also learn web architecture best practices to help you build single-page, multi-page, and hybrid web apps with Express.

Express strikes a balance between a robust framework and no framework at all, allowing you a free hand in your architecture choices. With this book, frontend and backend engineers familiar with JavaScript will discover new ways of looking at web development.

  • Create webpage templating system for rendering dynamic data
  • Dive into request and response objects, middleware, and URL routing
  • Simulate a production environment for testing and development
  • Focus on persistence with document databases, particularly MongoDB
  • Make your resources available to other programs with RESTful APIs
  • Build secure apps with authentication, authorization, and HTTPS
  • Integrate with social media, geolocation, and other third-party services
  • Implement a plan for launching and maintaining your app
  • Learn critical debugging skills

    This book covers Express 4.0.

Product Details

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #148409 in Books
  • Brand: O Reilly Media
  • Published on: 2014-07-25
  • Released on: 2014-07-25
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 9.19" h x .75" w x 7.00" l, .0 pounds
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 332 pages


  • O Reilly Media

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ethan Brown is a senior software engineer at Pop Art, a Portland-based interactive marketing agency, where he is responsible for the architecture and implementation of web sites and web services for clients ranging from small businesses to international enterprise companies. He has over twenty years of programming experience, from embedded to the web, and has embraced the JavaScript stack as the web platform of the future.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful.
4great intro to web site development, OK intro to node/express/mongo
By 26oo
Coming from a html/php/javascript background, so I guess you can say I already know "Web Development" I wanted to learn how to use node.

You should be able to build a simple node website after reading this book.

First off, awesome author, he is a passionate programmer and good writer as well. Chapter 5 about QA is an amazing chapter, and could inspire any developer.

But this book is a bit confused on what it whats to be. It often deviates into scholarly philosophy about web development theory, but isn't this supposed to be a technical book? Don't get me wrong, the ideas in this book are great, but some of the theory seemed out of place, and just distracting from learning node.

My biggest problem with this book as a person who is already a 'web developer', is it fails to demonstrate any real benefit of using Node in future applications. You learn how to build a website that you could have made in the language you already know (be it Ruby, PHP, etc). It lists some of the things node is good at in the first chapter of the book like Single-Page Applications, Expandable packages, using AngularJS. But doesn't mention any of these things again, I find no compelling reasons to migrate from PHP to Node after reading this book (even though I've been told they exist).

There is also no "Bringing it all together" chapter at the end, that would go through all the things you just learned to properly build a node website from scratch. While the book builds upon itself making the 'Meadowlark Travel Website", no objectives for the website are ever defined, so it doesn't feel like you are building anything real. It also gets more and more messy, especially when adding experimental features to demonstrate code functionality. In later chapters many code examples also lack a verbatim explanation of the expected output, so you never know if you actually did it right or not.

Most egregiously there isn't a mention of the MEAN stack or Socket.io in this book, 2 of what I feel are some the primary drivers for people moving over to node (and the reason I wanted to learn Node in the first place).

A few other nitpicks:

despite how ugly it is, I feel like EJS should get more than a mention, as you tend to see it in a lot of places that use node (for example the heroku node boilerplate is EJS). This would also explain the benefits of using Jade/Handlebars better. Also mentioning using AngularJS for views would have been nice.

Chapter 7 is like it was written in a Vacuum to Chapter 3. Many concepts that were already mentioned in Chapter 3 are reintroduced as completely new concepts....very confusing.

Code examples can get a bit ugly and aren't commented consistently. It's sometimes hard to know what code in what file is being referenced. This could be easily fixed in the next edition by putting line numbers and file names on the top of code examples. I wish there were less 1 line if statements and ternary operators in some of the examples, as it makes it less clear what is happening. For example, on page 150, it gives no indication where this connection to Mongo code is supposed to go, while one could figure it out, this is not a clear working example.

Both exports and module.exports are used without clearly defining the difference use-cases between the two

While the author states you should know Javascript, he also assumes you know HTML and CSS, which is fine, but throughout the book it is inconsistent what skill set the author assumes you have.

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful.
3Provides good information, bad code examples
By Jeffrey Young
I've been working along with the examples in this book and, while the book is informative, many of the examples don't work. This is problematic as future exercises rely on prior ones. In many cases this may simply be progress outpacing publishing: many of the examples use older or now obsolete versions of libraries or tools, not to be unexpected with relatively new technology. I've noted these problems on this book's O'Reilly errata page as descriptively as possible, as have many other readers.

Other than the problems with the code examples, this book does offer a good conceptual framework for developing for the Web using these technologies. I hope future versions work out the code example issues.

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful.
5Intro to Practical Modern Web Development
By Ethan
From this book, I learned not just about how to write a basic Express app and make it nicely modular, but also learned from the enthusiastic author's wealth of knowledge and opinions about web development in general, including how to: provide security in a sane way (3rd party authentication, secure cookies, https, secure hosting and domain registration, etc.); make QA and deployment easier, simpler, and more trustworthy; plan for multi-year maintainability; and understand asynchronous javascript methods.

No knowledge of NodeJS is necessary -- I had none and was able to follow along and make my own little app. I would also estimate that (a lot) more space was used in this book covering web development in general than Node and Express in particular.

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