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The Node Beginner Book, an introduction to Node.js, is now complete (nodebeginner.org)
314 points by ManuelKiessling on July 10, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 25 comments

I've read the guide a few weeks ago, and it's absolutely great! I certainly learned a lot, and it saved me a lot of time Googling for answers. I think it would be a great addition to the book to discuss some of the frameworks that take Node.js to the next level: MVC (Express?), debugging, etc., and provide some examples. How does the author actually go about doing real-world projects? (I'm thinking along the lines of the Manning books that not only introduce a language, but also discuss plugins, etc)

As a Java developer, I cannot imagine writing a website with "pure" Java vs. using a framework such as Struts 2, for example.

Hi, I'm the author. I would like to add much more relevant content to the book, but I need to be realistic about how much time I can spare for this currently. We will see how it works out.

Hi Manuel! I didnt mean for it to sound the wrong way, as if I'm ungrateful for the work you have done. As I've mentioned, it really is good, and it got me up and running and experimenting with Node.js quickly (for which I'm thankful for!).

Maybe other people from HN can pick up the glove? Maybe a book deal with Manning/O'Reilly/Wrox (unless you're not interested in pursuing writing)?

I was just reading the Google+ public "How-to" collaborative doc the internet community has been building (http://bit.ly/qg0Yf6). Maybe the Node.js guide should take this format and make it into a living manual?

All cool, didn't sound the wrong way at all!

I think "Hands-on Node.js" by Pedro Teixeira is the perfect "next read" when you're finished with NodeBeginner. Pedro and I have bundled our eBooks at Leanbundle.com, maybe that's interesting for you: http://leanbundle.com/bundles/node

I actually bought the bundle! :) great work! PDFs and ePub looks great on my nook color.

As a cofounder of Leanpub (which is where both books are published and sold) and LeanBundle (which sells the bundle), this makes me so happy to hear!

Hello Manual,

I just bought the LeanBundle - both your and Pedro's books look useful. I have played with NodeJS a bit and I am hoping that the two books get me to the point where I can do an "All Javascript" example app that functions like compiled GWT (Java to Javascript) web apps where the entire application lives in memory on the browser with occasional syncing between a server side data store and an in-memory data model.

Your technical writing is really phenomenal, you are able to communicate far more than just the hard and fast details in a really relateable way. I haven't seem many things that have adopted a voice like yours in the article, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope you keep writing.

You're a good writer, I think you should take it all the way to a full-size book, get O'Reilly to publish or self-publish on Amazon.

Color me interested. I only did a super short-and-quick scan, but it looked nice for newbs trying to get up to speed.

My #1 hurdle to adopting server-side Javascript is the terrible, utterly lacking documentation for anything CommonJS related. If you've got any kind of reference for that stuff, then triple bonus points!

Figuring out what CommonJS really is, and that it should be completely disregarded was difficult. 'module.exports' and 'require()' are the only relevant bits as far as I can tell.

Node doesn't implement commonjs. So it should be ignored. It's similar, but different enough that you can ignore it completely.

Sure it's just sample code, but I spilled my coffee when I saw this:

  function sleep(milliSeconds) {     var startTime = new Date().getTime();     while (new Date().getTime() < startTime + milliSeconds); }

Someone likes feeding the garbage collector.

Did you see that it's just code to demonstrate blocking, i.e., to demonstrate how to NOT do it?

I read this book and the Hands-on Node.js book by Pedro Teixeira of NodeTuts. I have to say, while The Node Beginner Books is a tremendous effort that deserves congratulations, I did learn more from buying Hands-on Node.js for those interested.

Granted, Hands-on Node.js costs $6 versus Beginner's free. But in my opinion it's worth it. And a sizable portion of Hands-on Node.js is free in a sample download which I what I started with before deciding to buy it.


FYI: you can buy both those books (The Node Beginner Book and Hands-on Node.js) as a bundle for only $7.99 at http://leanbundle.com/bundles/node. Buying the bundle gets you both books on Leanpub as well, so you get free updates for as long as they're updated on Leanpub.

It's silly that the layout requires a width of 1280px because of the right column, when there's plenty of free space in the left column: http://oi54.tinypic.com/20a3xxc.jpg (only offending areas shown :)

You're right, but I suck at CSS - any hints?

The quickest and easiest thing to get you up and running might be a grid framework, like grid960 (960.gs) or blueprint (blueprintcss.org).

Though off the top of my head, I can't think of a way that you could maintain your current layout but collapse the left column first.

Great stuff when I worked through it a few weeks ago. That bundled deal looks very tempting!

Excellent! I highly recommend this book if you're looking to get into Node.js.

Just in time as I was planning to dive head first into node. Thanks!

Reading it now; excellent introduction! I'm what you might call an "experienced developer" - I've been writing code since I was a little kid typing in Basic games to an Apple II - but I still find this back-to-the-basics approach more helpful than the usual high-level intro.


"Our plan was to allow users to upload an image file, and display the uploaded image in the browser. Back in the 90's this would have qualified as a business model for an IPO."

Tru dat!

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