Tag Archives: Node.js

Online Preview Available of O’Reilly’s Upcoming “Up and Running with Node.js”

Tom Hughes-Croucher is writing a book for O’Reilly & Associates about Node.js called “Up and Running with Node.js” and he tweeted out today that a preview of the book is now available online at:


As he says in the author intro:

When Simon, my editor, and I were initially discussing this project it was obvious how vibrant the Node.js community is. We felt that it was important that we engaged with the community as we worked on this manuscript. In order to do that we decided to release the book in parts as I wrote it. What you are reading now is one of those partial releases.

It’s very cool that he’s made the text available and will be continuing to update it as the book evolves. Apparently he has to do something to enable commenting, but shortly you should be able to comment on his text.

Nice to see authors doing this to solicit input from the larger community before a book is actually printed. Very cool.


Great (long!) Article on Node.js in The Register

TheregisterWhat is Node.js all about? How did it come about? What prompted Ryan Dahl to create Node? What other languages did he try? Who are some of the companies using Node.js, and why? What does Google think about Node.js, given that they maintain the V8 JavaScript engine used by Node? What are the kind of performance gains you can see in Node?

Answers to all those questions and many more are in a lengthy piece on The Register titled “The Node Ahead: JavaScript leaps from browser into future“. It’s a well done article and rather than excerpt it here, I’d encourage you to go take a look at the full piece. Interesting to read about some of the background of which I was not aware. Good stuff!

Free eBook: Mastering Node.js (still a work-in-progress – and NEEDS YOUR HELP)

MasteringnodejsAs I continue my own exploration of Node.js, I was pleased to see that a free eBook, Mastering Node.js, was available about Node.js from none other than TJ Holowaychuk, a big contributor to the Node.js community. You can get the current version of the book at:


However, there is the one little detail… it’s still very much a work-in-progress. As TJ Holowaychuk says on the Github page for the project:

Mastering node is an open source eBook by node hackers for node hackers. I started this as a side project and realized that I don’t have time 🙂 so go nuts, download it, build it, fork it, extend it and share it. If you come up with something you wish to contribute back, send me a pull request.

It is a good start on a book… and if anyone out there wants to add to it and help fill out the contents, he’s obviously open to that assistance.

Nodester Node.js hosting service adds domain mapping, multiple module install

NodesterChris Matthieu and DanBUK continue to iterate fast on their Nodester Node.js service. A bit ago they added a command-line interface to make apps even easier to deploy. The funky part was that to install a module for your Node.js app, you had to type nodester appnpm install modulename. Thankfully, they’ve made that much simpler… now you can just do:

nodester npm install modulename

Chris dropped me a note tonight to let me know that they’ve made it so that you can install multiple modules at once. For example:

nodester npm install express socket.io tropo-webapi

Another cool recent addition is the ability to map a custom domain to a Node.js app running on Nodester. Cool to see!

Want to learn about Node.js? Excellent set of videos coming out of Node.js Camp

Interested in learning more about Node.js and the surrounding ecosystem of tools and modules? The folks over at Joyent have made available a set of videos covering the Node.js Camp that occurred December 14, 2010, in San Francisco. You can view them all at:


Nice range of topics… looks like a fun event…


A Fascinating Exchange on Node.JS, Google’s V8… and Control


Back on Sunday, there was a fascinating exchange on blog sites about the tight linkage between Node.js and Google’s V8 JavaScript Engine. It started with Bruno Fernandez-Ruiz of Yahoo with his post:

NodeJS: To V8 or not to V8

where he expressed his concern about the tight coupling between Node.js and V8 and whether or not this was appropriate given that, in Bruno’s eyes, Google’s plans around V8 were/are not clear, both in terms of server-side usage and of project governance.

Jason Hoffan, the chief scientist and founder of Joyent (the folks behind Node.js), came back with a well-written piece answering Bruno’s questions point-by-point (and raising some of his own):

On Bruno’s Concern About the Current Coupling of node.js and V8

which naturally brought about a response from Bruno:

Answering Jason on V8 governance and impact to NodeJS

and also triggered some commentary from Peter Greiss at Facebook:

NodeJS and V8

For someone such as myself who is relatively new to the Node.js community, the exchange makes for interesting reading, in large part because I’ve been so focused on looking at what I can do with Node.js that I quite honestly haven’t given a great amount of thought to what is underneath the hood of Node.js. In this case, really, the engine that powers Node.js.

Having spent 20+ years now in the UNIX and later Linux and open source space, I do understand the concerns that Bruno Fernandez-Ruiz raises around governance and the reliance of Node.js on a specific JavaScript engine. He’s right to hope that appropriate abstraction layers will be in place so that the V8 engine could be swapped out for another JavaScript engine should the need ever arise. That’s good practice in general. It all comes down to control and assuring that a project is not so reliant on another (that is out of the first project’s control).

Having said that, though, I’m incredibly impressed by the energy and dedication of the “Node.js community”. There is a passion there that I’ve not seen in years… and it’s wonderful to see. Somehow, regardless of abstraction layers, I have a feeling that if there ever were to be a problem with V8, it would be very rapidly solved. Node.js is evolving fast… VERY fast!

Anyway… the exchange is worth a read… kudos to all involved for taking the time to have a reasoned (and civil) debate.

P.S. The social media side of me was delighted to see an exchange like this taking place on blogs … it’s exactly the right medium for long-form debates like this.

Image credit: rxmflickr on Flickr

Get the New Stable Release of Node.js (version 0.4.0) – Many Improvements, Features, Fixes

NodejslogoNews out of the Node.js community today is the second stable release of Node.js, version 0.4.0. You can download it from the site or grab it from the Github repo. The Node.js Manual and Documentation has also been updated for version 0.4.0.

Looking through the Changelog at all the changes in the 0.3.x releases and the final 0.4.0 release, there’s an impressive amount of work that’s gone on. There’s a great writeup about the 0.4.0 announcement on the Node.js site that summarizes the overall changes. Some of the changes I found most interesting include:

  • Major overhaul (seems almost like a complete rewrite) of the TLS/SSL system.
  • New and improved HTTP client.
  • Changes that will help with module management.
  • Upgrade to the latest V8 JavaScript engine and the new built-in debugger which Ryan Dahl created a video about
  • A new “os” module.

All in all a solid bunch of changes. I’m upgrading my servers…

P.S. There is a helpful Wiki page about migrating Node.js apps from 0.2 to 0.3.x (which is now 0.4.0) that can help you understand what you need to change to upgrade. (In my case, my apps were built on later 0.3.x builds and are currently relatively basic, so my upgrade is easy.)

Nodester Continues to Improve Its Free Hosting For Node.js Apps

NodesterLooking for a way to easily try out Node.js? Or have an app idea and want a free place to host it?

I continue to be quite impressed with what Chris Matthieu is doing with his Node.js hosting service now called “Nodester“. I first wrote about the service back in January when Chris put it online and called it “NodeFu.” Since then he

All in all I think it’s rather cool what he’s doing… and he’s enabling all of us who are interested to have an easy way to play with Node.js. Fun stuff!

Using LESS To Create Dynamic Stylesheets with Node.js

Have you been working with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and found yourself wishing you could make those sheets more, oh, dynamic? Like, for instance, including variables so that you could easily change colors or spacing throughout a stylesheet? There are a number of solutions out there to do this, but one I stumbled upon recently is “LESS“. Here’s a graphic from the LESS site that shows exactly this usage with variables:


You can also do some very cool things with easily nesting rules and creating functions that can calculate values for other rules.

All in all it looks very cool… and it can run either in a client browser or, of more interest to me, server-side using Node.js. I have a site idea where this just might come in handy…

P.S. Any other modules for Node.js for doing stylesheet creation that you all like?