Learning Web App Development

Author: Semmy Purewal
Publisher:  O'Reilly
Pages: 306 
ISBN: 978-1449370190
Print: 1449370195
Kindle: B00IFMZW94
Audience: Beginners
Rating: 2 
Reviewer: Ian Elliot 
Web Apps are still a hot topic and it is hard to find out how to best create them.

What you actually mean by a web app is vital to this book being what you expect it to be. The problem is that web app can mean an app that runs on a mobile device and then you need to consider if you should power up Cordoba or one of the many frameworks that make it easier. Even if you think that a web app is just an app that runs in a browser, you might very well start off from a framework designed to create single page apps. This isn't what the book is about. 

This book is essentially about using HTML, CSS and JavaScript to create a website. The only real thing that is "appy" about it is that it uses JavaScript. 

Banner

The book starts off with some advice on how to setup a workflow and it is very traditional - Sublime Text, Emacs and Git feature prominently. To be honest, if you can master Git you probably don't need the spoonfeeding that is about to come.

Chapter 2 is a dummy's guide to HTML. If you have never encountered HTML before this is at the right level, but it quickly gets into complexities that would best be left till later. Chapter 3 introduces you to CSS and Chapter 4 introduces JavaScript in the same simple way. There isn't enough information in any of these chapters to get you from complete beginner to anything other than a complete beginner wondering what just hit them.   

 

 

From this point the book dives into topics vaguely related to writing web pages that include some JavaScript. Chapter 5 introduces JavaScript objects, JSON and Ajax. Chapter 6 is about setting up a server including using Virtual Box and Vagrant and then goes into HTTP, Node and Express. Chapter 7 is about SQL v no-SQL, but no-SQL simply wins with sections on Redis and MongoDB. 

With only two chapters left to go, the subject of creating a web app has hardly been scratched but Chapter 8 goes into detail about CloudFoundry and how to use it to create an app. Chapter 9 brings the book to a close with a look at a range of general topics - refactoring and handling Ajax errors.

The big problem with this book is that it doesn't have a clear idea what a web app is. It doesn't focus on the problems of creating single page apps and it certainly doesn't venture into the field of creating web-based games or even adventurous user interfaces. It also starts each topic with a very beginner-oriented approach in its tone and attitude, but then moves on so quickly that any beginner is sure to be left behind.

This book isn't going to teach you how to write web apps. To learn to write web apps you first need to master HTML/CSS and JavaScript and you need a book or books that help you learn this. Only after you have these technologies mastered can you start to study a book on web apps. This particular book doesn't assume that you know the basics - and it is far too short to teach you them in any meaningful way. 

 

To keep up with our coverage of books for programmers, follow @bookwatchiprog on Twitter or subscribe to I Programmer's Books RSS feed for each day's new addition to Book Watch and for new reviews.

Banner


C Programming Absolute Beginner's Guide (3e)

Authors: Greg Perry & Dean Miller
Publisher: Que
Pages: 352
ISBN: 978-0789751980
Print: 0789751984
Kindle: B00EANJ09U
Audience: Complete beginners
Rating: 4.5
Reviewer: Mike James

C a language for the absolute beginner! Can a book that uses C take you on the journey to become a programmer?



Professional Microsoft SQL Server 2016 Reporting Services and Mobile Reports

Author: Paul Turley
Publisher: Wrox Press
Date: January 2017
Pages: 816
ISBN: 978-1119258353
Print: 1119258359
Kindle: B01N12MHZU
Audience: Database developers
Rating: 4.5
Reviewer: Kay Ewbank

This is a new fifth edition of a very successful book on Reporting Services, updated to cover the changes [ ... ]


More Reviews

 

 

 

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 19 April 2017 )