Android Cookbook: Problems & Solutions for Android Developers – #bookreview #in #programming

Android Cookbook
Edited by Ian F. Darwin
(O’Reilly, paperback, list price $54.99; Kindle edition, list price$43.99)

Several dozen Android developers have contributed some 200 tested “recipes” to this hefty how-to guide for building Android apps.

But be sure you know Java reasonably well before tackling Android Cookbook. As the book’s editor, Ian F. Darwin, notes, “Android apps are written in the Java language before they are converted into Android’s own class file format, DEX. If you don’t know how to program in Java you will find it hard to write Android apps.”

The 661-page book starts at the traditional “Hello, World” level so you can test two different approaches. At the command line, it shows how to “create a new Android project without using the Eclipse ADT plug-in.” And then it shows how to create an Android application using Eclipse.

From there, a clear and simple problem-solution approach is taken, and the solutions are illustrated with code examples.

The 22 chapters cover a wide range:

  1. Getting Started
  2. Designing a Successful Application
  3. Testing
  4. Inter-/Intra-Process Communications
  5. Content Providers
  6. Graphics
  7. Graphical User Interface
  8. GUI Alerts: Menus, Dialogs, Toasts, and Notifications
  9. GUI: ListView
  10. Multimedia
  11. Data Persistence
  12. Telephone Applications
  13. Networked Applications
  14. Gaming and Animation
  15. Social Networking
  16. Location and Map Applications
  17. Accelerometer
  18. Bluetooth
  19. System and Device Control
  20. Other Programming Languages and Frameworks
  21. Strings and Internationalization
  22. Packaging, Deploying, and Distributing/Selling Your App

In Ian Darwin’s view, “Android is ‘the open source revolution’ applied to cellular telephony and mobile computing. At least part of the revolution.”

There have been worries in the past about Android’s future. But Darwin and the book’s contributors are among the many who remain firmly convinced that “Android is definitely here to stay!” Darwin adds: “This book is here to help the Android developer community share the knowledge that will make it happen.”

Si Dunn

The CSS3 Anthology: Take Your Sites to New Heights – #bookreview #in #webdesign

The CSS3 Anthology: Take Your Sites to New Heights, 4th Edition
Rachel Andrew
(SitePoint,
paperback, list price $39.95; Kindle edition, list price $29.95)

“The basic purpose of CSS [Cascading Style Sheets],” Rachel Andrew notes, “is to allow the [web] designer to define style declarations — formatting details such as fonts, element sizes, and colors — and then apply those styles to selected portions of HTML pages using selectors: references to an element or group of elements to which the style is applied.”

The fourth edition of this popular how-to book for Cascading Style Sheets is aimed at providing how-to examples, shortcuts and tips for busy web designers and web developers already working with CSS.

However, web-savvy beginners and those who build and maintain their own websites also can benefit from this well-written book. Along with a short introduction to CSS basics, it offers many short code examples and related screenshots. And virtually every chapter is structured around answering the question “How do I…?” as each new topic is introduced.

Indeed, the 420-page book is a compilation of answers to questions, specific how-tos and examples readily adaptable to real-world web pages.

The CSS3 Anthology is organized into nine chapters:

  • Making a Quick Start with CSS
  • Text Styling and Other Basics
  • Images and Other Design Elements
  • Navigation
  • Tabular Data
  • Forms and User Interfaces
  • Cross-browser Techniques
  • CSS Positioning Basics
  • CSS for Layout

If you need a tutorial or refresher in HTML and CSS basics before grabbing this book, the author recommends Build Your Own Website the Right Way Using HTML & CSS, 3rd Edition, available in paperback and ebook formats.

— Si Dunn

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Inside Windows Debugging: Practical Debugging and Tracing Strategies – #bookreview #in #programming

Inside Windows Debugging: Practical Debugging and Tracing Strategies
Tarik Soulami
(Microsoft Press,
paperback, list price $39.99; Kindle edition, list price $31.99)

Debugging and tracing tools — and the willingness and strategies to use them — should be key aspects of any software development and testing process.

Inside Windows Debugging is intended for software engineers who want to “perfect their mastery of Windows as a development platform through the use of debugging and tracing tools.”

Yet anyone serious about learning, using and supporting Windows can benefit from this book. Its first few chapters provide basic explanations of debugging and tracing tools and how to acquire the right packages and use them. From there, the author presents and explains numerous code examples that demonstrate many types of bugs and related problems in software. So it is helpful to have at least a little experience with C/C++ and C# programming languages.

Inside Windows Debugging has 560 pages, including an extensive index, and is divided into three parts: (1) “A Bit of Background”; (2) “Debugging for Fun and Profit”; and (3) “Observing and Analyzing Software Behavior.” Two appendices sum up common debugging tasks and show how to accomplish them using the WinDbg debugger.

To run the software and examples used in this book, you should have “Windows Vista or later.”

The author, however, “highly” recommends at least having Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2. And in some of the kernel debugging exercises, a second computer will be needed to serve as a host kernel-mode debugger machine.

Si Dunn

For developers and system administrators: Windows Internals, Part 1, 6th Edition – #bookreview

Windows Internals, Part 1 – 6th Edition
Mark Russinovich, David A. Solomon, Alex Ionescu
(Microsoft Press, paperback, list price $39.99; Kindle edition, list price $31.99)

This latest Windows Internals guide is being released in two parts that are “fully updated for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.”

“Updating the book for each release of Windows takes considerable time so producing it in two parts allows us to publish the first part earlier,” according to Microsoft Press and the authors.

Part 1 is now available. Meanwhile, Part 2 is scheduled to be released sometime this fall.

Part 1 has 726 pages and is divided into seven chapters:

  • Concepts and Tools
  • System Architecture
  • System Mechanisms
  • Management Mechanisms
  • Processes, Threads, and Jobs
  • Security
  • Networking

Part 2, once it becomes available, will offer these seven additional chapters:

  • I/O System
  • Storage Management
  • Memory Management
  • Cache Management
  • File Systems
  • Startup and Shutdown
  • Crash Dump Analysis

Both parts of Windows Internals, Sixth Edition, are aimed at advanced computer professionals (developers and system administrators) “who want to understand how the core components of the Microsoft Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 RS operating systems work internally.”

Such knowledge can help developers “better comprehend the rationale behind design choices when building applications specific to the Windows platform,” the authors note. For system administrators, having a deeper understanding of how the operating system works “facilitates understanding the performance behavior of the system and makes troubleshooting system problems much easier when things go wrong.”

The book is heavily illustrated with screenshots, tables, diagrams and other illustrations.

And it features a number of hands-on experiments to help you dig deeper into how Windows works inside, using tools such as “the kernel debugger and tools from Sysinternals and Winsider Seminars & Solutions.”

What Part 1 and the forthcoming Part 2 will not do, the authors point out, is “describe how to use, program, or configure Windows.”

— Si Dunn

Node: Up and Running – A fine intro to Node.js, the new 799-pound gorilla in the room – #programming #bookreview #in

Node: Up and Running
Tom Hughes-Croucher and Mike Wilson
(O’Reilly, paperback, list price $34.99; Kindle edition, list price $27.99)

Node.js is often described as “the dominant player” in the world of server-side JavaScript development. Whether that’s completely true or boastful hype, big players such as Google, LinkedIn, eBay, Walmart and Microsoft now are using it. And so are countless smaller players and startups. If Node.js is not yet King Kong, it has at least grown into a 799-pound, but reasonably tame, programming gorilla for those who want to write scalable server-side code using JavaScript.

In today’s weird, challenging job market for programmers, it would not hurt you to feed this new gorilla a few bananas and gain at least passing familiarity with it. You never know when you may need to ramp up some Node.js skills in a hurry, to get or keep a job or land a contract.

I like O’Reilly’s “Up and Running” book series for that very ramp-up reason. They do a good job of introducing a programming language and showing how to use key aspects of it. And they point you to additional resources for skills and knowledge you can pick up on the fly.

According to the two authors of Node: Up and Running,“Node.js is many things, but mostly it’s a way of running JavaScript outside the web browser.” They add: “Many people use the JavaScript programming language extensively for programming the interfaces of websites. Node.js allows this popular programming language to be applied in many more contexts, in particular on web servers. There are several notable features about Node.js that make it worthy of interest.”

For example: “Node is a wrapper around the high-performance V8 JavaScript runtime from the Google Chrome browser. Node tunes V8 to work better in contexts other than the browser, mostly by providing additional APIs that are optimized for specific use cases.”

The two authors point out that “JavaScript is an event-driven language, and Node uses this to its advantage to produce highly scalable servers. Using an architecture called an event loop, Node makes programming highly scalable servers both easy and safe.” Node.js also features non-blocking I/O.

Node.js “runs on Windows, Linux, Mac, and other POSIX OSes (such as Solaris and BSD),” the authors state. And this is the second Node book I’ve reviewed that claims the installation process is “extremely simple.” The previous book did not give enough information for beginners. This one follows “extremely simple” with instructions and screen displays spread across nearly four pages. But – a hurried beginner may miss this at first – the steps are only for those who choose to do a source install rather than use one of the Node.js installer links.

The first time I used a Windows link to install Node.js (trying to follow the previous book), I somehow ended up with stuff scattered and duplicated in several subdirectories  –. an “extremely simple” mess.)  This time, my installation did seem “simple,” if not quite “extremely simple.” (Once it completed, I had to go to a command prompt and run “node” rather than just click on a brand new Windows icon — my definition of “extremely simple.” )

Of course, you are expected to have some JavaScript knowledge and programming experience before tackling this book, so you may not want to get ahead of yourself on the learning curve. If you’re currently a JavaScript novice, put this one on the shelf for a little bit later. But definitely get it.

Node: Up and Running offers plenty of code examples, and the paragraphs between them are well-written and kept reasonably short. Thus, knowledge and skills can be gained in manageable small chunks. Only a few other illustrations are offered, and, unfortunately, they tend to be more goofy than helpful.

The 184-page book has eight chapters:

  1. A Very Brief Introduction to Node.js
  2. Doing Interesting Things
  3. Building Robust Node Applications
  4. Core APIs
  5. Helper APIs
  6. Data Access
  7. Important External Modules
  8. Extending Node

Some readers have noted that this book does not contain the traditional appendix giving links and referrals to other sources of more information on Node.js, and that’s a fair criticism. However, the book’s Chapter 6, “Data Access,” does have links to, and discussions of, “the basic ways to connect to common open source database choices and to store and retrieve data.” The topics covered include using Node.js with CouchDb, Redis, MongoDB and relational databases such as MySQL and PostgreSQL. The chapter also looks at connection pooling and message queuing (MQ) protocol.

“The Node project is still very young,” the two authors state, “and yet rarely have we seen such fervor around a project. Both novices and experts have coalesced around the project to use and contribute to Node, making it both a pleasure to explore and a supportive place to share and get advice.”

Their new book, Node: Up and Running, can help you get friendly fast with this new 799-pound gorilla in the room, Node.js.

— Si Dunn

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Three new specialized how-to books for SharePoint, JQuery & Mac OS X Lion Server – #bookreview #in #programming

Here are three new books for those with at least some basic to intermediate experience with Microsoft SharePoint, or web development, or Mac OS X Lion.

Microsoft SharePoint 2010: Creating and Implementing Real-World Projects
By Jennifer Mason, Christian Buckley, Brian T. Jackett, and Wes Preston
(Microsoft Press,
paperback, list price $34.99; Kindle edition, list price $27.99)

If you have some background in Microsoft SharePoint and want to dig deeper, this book can help you learn how to use SharePoint to create real-world solutions to ten common business problems.

Each chapter is devoted to a single project, such as creating a FAQ system to help users quickly find answers to their questions, setting up a help desk solution to track service requests, or building a simple project management system.

The projects are based on “various scenarios encountered by the authors as we have used SharePoint as a tool to build solutions that address business needs….Each of the solutions has been implemented in one or more organization,” they state.

Do not jump into Microsoft SharePoint 2010: Creating and Implementing Real-World Projects until you have gained “a general understanding of the basics of SharePoint,” the authors caution. And note that SharePoint is not easily defined as one “type” of product.

If you keep in mind the process of building a house, they write, “SharePoint is like the various tools and materials, and the final business solutions you build are like the house. There are many features and tools in SharePoint, and within this book, you will see different ways to combine and structure them into business solutions.”

Their 403-page book is well written and cleanly organized with short paragraphs and many headings, step lists and illustrations. It also has an extensive index.

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JQuery: Novice to Ninja, 2nd Edition
By Earle Castledine and Craig Sharkie
(SitePoint,
paperback, list price $39.95; Kindle edition, list price $29.95)

Technology changes fast, and web developers curious about JQuery will welcome this updated edition of Earle Castledine’s and Craig Sharkie’s book that first appeared in 2010.

This also is not a book for beginners. “You should,” the authors note, “already have intermediate to advanced HTML and CSS skills, as JQuery uses CSS-style selectors to zero in on page elements. Some rudimentary programming knowledge will be helpful to have,” they add, “as JQuery—despite its clever abstractions—is still based on JavaScript.” 

The authors offer high praise for the power of JQuery: “Aside from being a joy to use, one of the biggest benefits of JQuery is that it handles a lot of infuriating cross-browser issues for you. Anyone who has written serious JavaScript in the past can attest that cross-browser inconsistencies will drive you mad.”

They describe how to download and include the latest version of JQuery in web pages. And their book is organized to introduce JQuery features and code examples while also showing you, step by step, how to build a complete working application.

JQuery: Novice to Ninja, 2nd Edition has plenty of illustrations and is well indexed and written in a friendly, approachable style. 

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Using Mac OS X Lion Server
By Charles Edge
(O’Reilly,
paperback, list price $29.99; Kindle edition, list price $23.99)

Yes, intermediate and advanced system administrators will find some useful information in this well-written and nicely illustrated guide.

“But the book,” says author Charles Edge, “is really meant for new system administrators: the owner of the small business, the busy parent trying to manage all of those iPhone and iPads the kids are running around with, the teacher with a classroom full of iMacs or iPads, and of course, the new podcaster, just looking for a place to host countless hours of talking about the topic of her choice.”

What Using Mac OS X Lion Server  does not cover is “managing a Lion Server from the command line, scripting client management, or other advanced topics.”

The topics it does cover include: Planning for and installing a server; sharing and backing up files; sharing address books, calendars, and iChat; Wikis, webs and blogs; building a mail server; building a podcasting server; managing Apple computers and iOS devices; network services; and deploying Mac OS X computers.

The author cautions: “In many ways, the traditional system administrator will find Lion challenging in its consumeristic approach. There is a lot of power under the hood, but the tools used to manage the server have been simplified so that anyone can manage it, not just veteran Unix gods.”

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Si Dunn is a novelist, screenwriter, freelance book reviewer, and former software technical writer and software/hardware QA test specialist. He also is a former newspaper and magazine photojournalist. His latest book is Dark Signals, a Vietnam War memoir. He is the author of an e-book detective novel, Erwin’s Law, now also available in paperback, plus a novella, Jump, and several other books and short stories.

The Developer’s Code – Good advice to live & work by – #programming #bookreview #in

The Developer’s Code: What Real Programmers Do
By Ka Wai Cheung, edited by Brian P. Hogan
(Pragmatic Bookshelf, paperback, list price $29.00)

When Ka Wai Chung is asked to describe what he does for a living, he sometimes responds: “I am a nonaccredited, overly logical psychologist, therapist, mechanic, diplomat, businessman, and teacher working in an industry that is still defining itself each and every day.”

In other words, he works in software development as a programmer. (He is a founding partner at the Chicago-based web development firm We Are Mammoth, Inc.)

His new book is not about writing better code. And yet it is. It’s also about adopting a better approach to life and work so you can write better code and flourish in your career.

For jaded professionals, The Developer’s Code offers some astute advice for reinvigorating a weary career. If you are a newcomer still trying to get started in software development, the book is a handy guide to putting more order, efficiency and productivity into the way you program.

His 142-page book offers more than 50 short essays under major chapter heading such as “Motivation”, “Productivity”, “Complexity”, and “Clients.”

In essay #12, in the “Motivation” chapter, for example, Cheung counsels: “Test your software first thing in the morning. That’s when you’re the freshest and the most motivated to continue building something good.”

He adds: “During the day, we spend so much effort building software that we lose steam testing each piece we write. It gets hard to see the big picture as the day wears on. By late afternoon, we’re too close to the software. Our perception of what makes sense or feels right now competes with fatigue. Also, fatigue makes us miss the small details.”

Cheung’s advice rings true. I spent about 20 years immersed in software development, and I found that I typically did my best testing early in the morning, before co-workers and managers showed up.

Once the daily circus of meetings, banter and office politics got underway, it became increasingly difficult to code and test effectively as the day wore on and time to go home finally drew near — or passed.

Today, of course, it is possible to write and test code 24 hours a day without leaving your house or apartment. But many of Cheung’s gentle counselings apply to that situation, as well. We still need a good balance between work and life away from the job. If we tilt too much toward working long, disorganized hours, our accuracy and efficiency go down, deadlines slip, and project costs climb.

This is not a “how to code” book, of course. But it does not ignore the art of writing good code from scratch. At the same time, it also celebrates the vast array of tools others have written and made freely available.

“To that end,” Cheung writes, “building applications today feels a bit like going to a Walmart; maybe the open source movement is more like a Goodwill store. We can throw all of these great toolsets into our cart, hit the checkout line, and go. Once we get home, we can unwrap all these great bits of code, stitch them together with a helping of our own, and give life to an application. We can get to running software really, really fast today.”

His chapter titled “Clients” is especially important. He emphasizes: “Like any relationship, the client-programmer relationship is a continual work in progress. It gets better when each side of the table understands what matters to the other. Working with clients well starts with understanding the view from their end so that we can start to teach them how things work from ours.” (He includes advice for dealing with stubborn, unhappy clients, too.)

If  you’re serious about having or re-energizing a long-term career in software development, The Developer’s Code definitely should be high on your to-read list.

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Si Dunn is a novelist, screenwriter, freelance book reviewer, and former software technical writer and software/hardware QA test specialist. He also is a former newspaper and magazine photojournalist. His latest book is Dark Signals, a Vietnam War memoir. He is the author of an e-book detective novel, Erwin’s Law, now available in paperback, plus a novella, Jump, and several other books and short stories.

ActionScript Developer’s Guide to PureMVC – Hands-on learning for experienced developers – #programming #bookreview

ActionScript Developer’s Guide to PureMVC
By Cliff Hall
(Adobe Developer Library and O’Reilly Media,
paperback, list price $29.99; Kindle edition, list price $13.99)

A key concept in this book is “code at the speed of thought.” And the book is written for a very specialized audience, according to Cliff Hall, architect of the Open Source PureMVC Framework.

“ActionScript developers who are interested in, or are already working with PureMVC, will gain usable insights,” Hall says, “although Adobe Flex and AIR developers will be best served, as the example application is written with AIR.”

He also notes that “developers who are using or learning any of the PureMVC ports to other programming languages could certainly use this book as a basis for understanding the framework classes and how they are used.”

ActionScript is one of the dialects of ECMAScript, which is used most often for client-side scripting of programs that are executed on users’ web browsers. (JavaScript is one of the other ECMAScript dialects.)

Where PureMVC fits into the picture is in its ability to help developers get their work done faster.

“Too often in the development of a large application,” Hall emphasizes, “the developer must stop and think about where to find some class he needs, where some new class should go, and how to wire them up in such a way that gets data from wherever it lives to a display so the user can interact with it or vice-versa.”

He continues: “Regardless of the high level complexities in your application, you will never truly be doing anything more involved at the lower levels than moving data from point A to point B and occasionally doing some calculations on it. You should not have to keep inventing ways to do it; instead, your energy should be focused on the requirements of your current use case.”

So this is where “code at the speed of thought” comes in, with help from PureMVC.

“PureMVC is a simple framework,” Hall says, “that helps reduce the amount of time spent thinking about these low level issues by providing solutions for organizing your code and an expression of the well known Model-View-Controller concept based on several time proven design patterns.”

Despite that somewhat wordy sentence of introduction, Hall generally delivers clear, concise explanations. And his paragraphs are highlighted with numerous code examples and illustrations.

His 239-page book is divided into 10 chapters:

  • Chapter 1: Introduction
  • Chapter 2: Building an Application with PureMVC
  • Chapter 3: Modelling the Domain
  • Chapter 4: Implementing the User Interface
  • Chapter 5: Proxying the Model
  • Chapter 6: Mediating the View
  • Chapter 7: Applying Business Logic
  • Chapter 8: Advanced Model Topics
  • Chapter 9: Advanced View Topics
  • Chapter 10: Onward

That final chapter includes using a debugger with PureMVC, PureMVC utilities and a listing of some other resources.

For experienced developers seeking to know more about PureMVC, this book can provide a good hands-on guide to learning its fundamentals.

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Si Dunn is a novelist, screenwriter, freelance book reviewer, and former software technical writer and software/hardware QA test specialist. He also is a former newspaper and magazine photojournalist. His latest book is Dark Signals, a Vietnam War memoir available now in paperback. He is the author of a detective novel, Erwin’s Law, a novella, Jump, and several other books and short stories.

Node for Front-End Developers – Writing server-side JavaScript applications – #bookreview #in

Node for Front-End Developers
By Garann Means
(O’Reilly, paperback, list price $14.99; Kindle edition, list price $7.99)

Node is a JavaScript platform used to create server-side applications, communicate with the client, work with data, create dynamic web pages, and handle other tasks.

According to the Joyent Incorporated’s nodejs website: “Node.js is a platform built on Chrome’s JavaScript runtime for easily building fast, scalable network applications. Node.js uses an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model that makes it lightweight and efficient, perfect for data-intensive real-time applications that run across distributed devices.”

Node’s library has many modules created by developers who have focused on automating server-side development. But Garann Means’ new, 45-page book shows how you can get started programming for back-end servers using Node and JavaScript.  

Node.js is easy to download.  And, according to Node for Front-End Developers: “Node is easy to set up or very easy to set up. Node runs on Unix-compatible systems and, more recently, Windows.”

The how-to-get-started instructions, however, are a bit sparse in this thin book, and virtually nonexistent for Windows. Beginners who don’t have much experience with JavaScript may puzzle over a number of basic “What now?” and “WTF?” issues. 

Sparse information for Node beginners, however, is not limited to Node for Front-End Developers. I checked several other sources of  Node documentation and found similar problems. You’re just supposed to know this stuff, I guess. 

As one example, I followed the book’s instructions to create Node’s important package.json file, then discovered that what I had downloaded from Nodejs already contained a package.json file. In fact, it was now in several subdirectories. Was I supposed to edit it, instead? Delete it and replace it with my file? Had I just screwed up the installation by creating my own file?

After a lot of horsing around with node and npm at the command line and getting strange results at the not-quite “Hello World” level, I happened across a small note on the GitHub.com website. It stated that Node’s “Windows builds are not yet satisfactorily stable but it is possible to get something running.”

Especially if you resort to package managers to help you out.  And maybe get assistance from a Node guru. [See UPDATE below.]

Yes, I was indeed attempting a Windows setup, and I did get Node to partially work. But after several tries at reinstalling, rebooting, debugging, and attempting to supplement the book with conflicting bits of  information downloaded from the web, I gave up having “fun” with Node. (UPDATE: Recently, I reviewed my command line procedures a bit, looked again at my files and subdirectory structure and tried again. This time, Node works fine at the “Hello, World” level and beyond. I stand by my criticism that this book’s how-to-get-started instructions should be made clearer for Windows users. But I am at fault, too, for not figuring out what I was doing wrong much sooner.)  

Your results likely will be much better than mine, especially if you have more than novice experience with JavaScript.  and are using something other than (and better than?) a Windows machine. 

As for Node for Front-End Developers, the rest of the book appears to be an easy-to-use guide to getting a basic understanding of the Node platform. The code examples look good and are preceded by well-written explanations. I have now tested some of them successfully and plan to try a few of the longer, more-complex examples soon. wish I could have tested more of them. But I intend to keep this book and try Node again once easier and more stable Windows options are available.

The book’s chapters are:

  • Chapter 1, Getting Node Set Up
  • Chapter 2, Serving Simple Content
  • Chapter 3, Interaction with the Client
  • Chapter 4, Server-Side Templates
  • Chapter 5, Data Sources and Flow Control
  • Chapter 6, Model-View-Controller and Sharing Code

How-to-get-started instructions are vital in any programming and developer’s book, in my view. And they need careful preparation and presentation for every major operating system that is supported.

Countless beginners are looking for new programming and development paths and challenges, and many of them will buy books that are beyond their experience level so they can try to learn faster and backfill as they go. Most of them also won’t have the latest-and-greatest hardware and software. Therefore, minimum requirements need to be spelled out clearly, as well.

Don’t let my blunderings with Windows dissuade you from considering this book. Node has been hot, and if you have JavaScript experience at the browser level, Node for Front-End Developers can help you learn how to work on back-end servers, too.

It pays to be versatile in today’s fast-paced tech world.

But yeah, I probably do need a Mac and a Linux machine flanking my Windows PC.

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Si Dunn is a novelist, screenwriter, freelance book reviewer, and former software technical writer and software/hardware QA test specialist. His latest book is Dark Signals, a Vietnam War memoir available soon in paperback. He also is the author of a detective novel, Erwin’s Law, a novella, Jump, and several other books and short stories.