Socket.IO Real-time Web Application Development Book Reviewed


Last night I finished reading Socket.IO Real-time Web Application Development by Rohit Rai, the book is 140 pages published by Packt publishing. The book could be interesting for NodeJS beginners, interested to get started using a real world applications such as the chat app. I used the kindle edition of the book, and finished reading the book in about 15min (kindle estimation time was 9min). So don’t be fooled with the 140 pages, as it’s mostly sample code followed by line by line explanation, very straightforward.

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The book started with a brief history of Real Time web applications, followed by the applications of real-time web in gaming, social media, and business apps. Chapter two, getting started with NodeJS, and there are only wiki links provided to install the packages if you don’t have it already. Then the most common hello world sample code, deeply explained, how to routing requests, usage of http methods, creating your own modules, and serving files. Then finally ExpressJS is introduced briefly, which is the most widely used NodeJS Framework. This time no wiki links to learn more, just “refer to the vast documentation available online, or other NodeJS books”, for a moment I thought the book was about something else.

Chapter three and four are a step by step real-time chat application development, which are probably the only interesting chapters in the book that also introduce jQuery and Socket.IO. By the end of chapter four, you will be able to create a chat app, with registration, public and private rooms, etc. Chapter five give a quick look at the Socket.IO protocol, and how it works. I would refer you instead to the website to read more about it. Chapter six provides steps to deploy and scale your real-time web application, using HAProxy, and the node cluster. Finally a distributed database is introduced (Redis) about the end of the book, I would prefer introducing all the necessary tools in the beginning then showing how it can be used.

Overall the book is just good, the chat application code is very well explained, two parts that I find missing the installation and a clear overview of the architecture of real-time web applications.
Order : Socket.IO Real-time Web Application Development from Amazon.

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Hatem Ben Yacoub, PHP expert and PHP5.3 ZCE, Energy engineer, Entrepreneur, ICT & eGov consultant, Senior Systems architect, Independent Open Data expert and Open Source evangelist.