Modern Frontend Development with Node.js

Author: Florian Rappl
Publisher: Packt Publishing
Date: November 2022
Pages: 208
ISBN: 978-1804618295
Print: 1804618292
Kindle: B0B9BH5WBS
Audience: Node.js developers
Level: Introductory/Intermediate
Rating: 3
Reviewer: Ian Elliot
Modern development - what else is there?

Node.js started the "JavaScript as backend" revolution. With Node or one of its successors you could use JavaScript in the client and on the server making the whole system symmetric for the first time.  The first thing that puzzled me was the title of the book. Given Node.js is used for backend development I would have thought that "Modern Backend Development with Node.js" would be a more accurate title. I suppose that if you are using Node on the server to support JavaScript or WebAssembly then Node on the server is all about supporting the frontend.  As it turns out it really doesn't matter because the book isn't about coding or systems, it's more about tools that you can use to help with JavaScript developement, irrespective of which "end" we are looking at.


Part 1: Node.js Fundamentals does a reasonably good job of explaining the overall architecture of Node.js. You don't get a "how to install" or a "hello world" and it is very hands off. It also goes into modules and packages - again theoretical. The final chapter of the this part is about package managers - npm, Yarn and panpn. 

Part 2: Tooling starts off with considering different flavors of JavaScript. You can code in JavaScript and avoid a compilation step or you can have a compilation step and use Babel, Flow or TypeScript in place of JavaScript. From here we have a chapter on Linters and Formatters, one on Bundlers and one on testing tools.

Part 3: Advanced Topics The first two chapters aren't about advanced Node but advanced tools - publishing npm packages and structuring code in monorepos. The final two chapters do focus more on Node.js. One is all about using "Native Code" with WebAssembly - again I'm puzzled by the term Native Code which usually means assembler, but in this case seems to mean JavaScript. The final chapter is on alternatives to Node.js and it covers Deno and Bun - but very briefly.

This really isn't a book about Node.js. Most of the chapters could be in a book on general JavaScript and most of them are on tools not Node.js. If you know a lot about Node.js and are looking for a book to help you select tools then you might find this book helpful but notice that it is very general and very vague. It is more a list of things you could do or incorporate into your development process than it is about Node.js. If you are looking for a book the is about actually using Node.js then this isn't it.



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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 07 June 2023 )