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Useful Node.js Tools, Tutorials And Resources

24 Aug

Useful Node.js Tools, Tutorials And Resources

Created by Ryan Dahl in 2009, Node.js is a relatively new technology which has gained a lot of popularity among Web developers recently. However, not everyone knows what it really is. Node.js is essentially a server-side JavaScript environment that uses an asynchronous event-driven model. What this means is simple: it’s an environment which is intended for writing scalable, high performance network applications. It’s like Ruby’s Event Machine or Python’s Twisted, but it takes the event model a bit further—it presents the event loop as a language construct instead of as a library.

And that’s not all: what’s really great about Node.js is the thousands of modules available for any purpose, as well as the vibrant community behind this young project. In this round-up, you will find the most useful resources for Node.js, from handy tools to detailed tutorials, not to mention in-depth articles and resources on this promising technology. Do you use Node.js already? Let us know in the comments to this post!

(Smashing’s side note: Have you already bought the brand new Smashing Book #3? The book introduces new practical techniques and a whole new mindset for progressive Web design. Get your book today!)

Useful Node.js Tools

Node Express Boilerplate
Node Express Boilerplate gives the developer a clean slate, while bundling enough useful features to remove all of those redundant tasks that can derail a project before it even gets started.

Node Express Boilerplate

Socket.IO
Socket.IO is a cross-browser Web socket that aims to make real-time apps possible in every browser and mobile device, blurring the distinctions between the various transport mechanisms. It’s care-free real time, in JavaScript.

Socket.IO: Cross-browser WebSocket for realtime apps.

Mastering Node
With Mastering Node, you can write high-concurrency Web servers, using the CommonJS module system, Node.js’s core libraries, third-party modules, high-level Web development and more.

Mastering Node

Log.io
Your infrastructure may have hundreds of log files spread across dozens of machines. To help you monitor deployments and troubleshoot, Log.io lets you instantly see composite streams of log messages in a single user interface.

Log.io

Formaline
Formaline is a low-level, full-featured (Node.js) module for handling form requests (HTTP POSTs and PUTs) and for parsing uploaded files quickly. It is also ready to use with, for example, middleware such as Connect.

Formaline

LDAPjs
LDAPjs is a pure-JavaScript, from-scratch framework for implementing LDAP clients and servers in Node.js. It is intended for developers who are used to interacting with HTTP services in Node.js and Express.

ldapjs

Node Supervisor
This is a little supervisor script for Node.js. It runs your program and watches for code changes, so you can have hot-code reloading-ish behavior without worrying about memory leaks or having to clean up all of the inter-module references, and without a whole new require system.

Node Supervisor

Stylus: An Expressive CSS Markup Language for Node.js
Stylus is supposed to be an expressive language that can be converted to CSS. The compiler is written in Node.js.

Stylus: An Expressive CSS Markup Language for Node.js

Jade – Template Engine
Jade is a template engine for Node.js applications. It combines great power and flexibility with a nice and clean syntax.

Jade - Template Engine

Express
This is a Sinatra-inspired Web development framework for Node.js: fast, flexible and sexy.

Express - Node web framework

Hook.io
hook.io creates a distributed node.js EventEmitter that works cross-process / cross-platform / cross-browser. Think of it like a real-time event bus that works anywhere JavaScript is supported.

Hook.io

Node Package Manager
NPM is a package manager for node. You can use it to install and publish your node programs. It manages dependencies and does other cool stuff.

Node Package Manager

Node-QRcode
Despite being quite young, Node.js already has a huge number of libraries for every possible application. This one is a QR code generator.

Node QRCode Generator

NWM
NWM is a dynamic window manager for X that was written at NodeKO 2011. It uses libev to interface with X11, and it allows you to lay out windows in Node.js.

NWM - Node Window Manager

Bricks.js
Bricks.js is an advanced modular Web framework built on Node.js. It is highly flexible. Bricks.js can be used as a standalone static Web server, a basic routing framework or a multi-level Apache-like routing system; and it is modular enough to have the capability to completely switch out its routing engine.

Bricks.js

Node.js Modules
A list of almost all the Node.js most famous modules organized by category. This list definitively is worth a look.

Node.js Modules

90 open-source Node.js modules
Recently, Browserling released over 90 Node.js modules to the open-source community. Some of them are small and strange modules, others might be pretty useful for your next Node.js project.

90 Opensource Node.js modules

Calipso
Calipso is a content management system (CMS) based on the NodeJS server.

Calipso - A NodeJS CMS

PDFKit
PDFKit is a PDF document-generation library for Node.js that makes it easy to create complex, multi-page, printable documents. It is written in pure CoffeeScript, but you can use the API in plain ’ol JavaScript if you like. The API embraces chain-ability, and it includes both low-level functions as well as abstractions for higher-level functionality.

PDFKit - A PDF Generation Library for Node

Forever
A simple CLI tool to ensure that a given script runs continuously (i.e. forever).

Forever - Make Scripts run Forever

Introducing Node.js

Node.js Step by Step
Node.js is an amazing new technology, but unless you’re a JavaScript developer, the process of becoming acquainted with it can quickly become a bit overwhelming. If you want to learn how to use Node.js, this set of articles and screencasts might do the trick.

Node.js Step by Step

What Is Node.js?
Another interesting discussion on StackOverflow about what Node.js is and is not. Recommended for those who are approaching Node.js for the first time.

What is node.js? - Stack Overflow

Learning Server-Side JavaScript
Node.js is all the buzz at the moment, and it makes creating high-performance, real-time Web applications easy. It allows JavaScript to be used end to end, on both the server and client. This tutorial walks you through from installing Node.js and writing your first “Hello World” program to building a scalable streaming Twitter server.

Learning Server-Side JavaScript

Node.js Is Important: An Introduction
“Once in a while, you come across a technology and are blown away by it. You feel that something like this should have been around much earlier and that it will be a significant milestone, not just in your own life as a developer but in general.

Node.js is Important. An Introduction

The Secrets of Node’s Success
In the short time since its initial release in late 2009, Node.js has captured the interest of thousands of experienced developers, grown a package manager and a corpus of interesting modules and applications, and even spawned a number of start-ups. What is it about this technology that makes it interesting to developers? And why has it succeeded while other server-side JavaScript implementations linger in obscurity or fail altogether?

The secrets of Node’s success

Asynchronous Code Design with Node.js
The asynchronous event-driven I/O of Node.js is currently evaluated by many enterprises as a high-performance alternative to the traditional synchronous I/O of multi-threaded enterprise application server. The asynchronous nature means that enterprise developers have to learn new programming patterns, and unlearn old ones

Asynchronous Code Design with Node.js

A Giant Step Backwards?
In this article, Fenn Bailey expresses his opinion of Node.js and why he sometimes thinks Node.js is a step backward compared to other solutions.

A giant step backwards?

Node.js Is Backwards
A hot topic in computing is parallel programming in languages such as Erlang. Will JavaScript join the party?

Node.js is backwards

Videos And Screencasts On Node.js

Node.js Meetup: Distributed Web Architectures
A series of videos from the Node.js Meetup at Joyent headquarters, discussing how to build distributed Web architectures with Node.js.

Node.js Meetup: Distributed Web Architectures

Introduction to Node.js with Ryan Dahl
In this presentation Ryan Dahl, the man behind Node.js will introduce you to this event-driven I/O framework with a few examples showing Node.js in action.

Introduction to Node.js with Ryan Dahl

SenchaCon 2010: Server-side JavaScript with Node, Connect & Express on Vimeo
Node.js has unleashed a new wave of interest in server side Javascript. In this session, you’ll learn how to get productive with node.js by leveraging Connect and Express node middleware.

SenchaCon 2010: Server-side JavaScript with Node, Connect & Express on Vimeo

Technical Articles And Tutorials On Node.js

Proxying HTTP and Web Sockets in Node
This guide is geared to beginners and people who are unfamiliar with reverse HTTP proxying, Web socket proxying, load balancing, virtual host configuration, request forwarding and other Web proxying concepts.

Proxying HTTP and Websockets in Node

Bulletproof Node.js Coding
“Right around the time that I started the third refactoring/rewrite of the code, I felt like I had gotten a feel for how to write bulletproof code, and I thought it would be worth sharing some of the style and conventions I came to adopt.”

Bulletproof Node.js Coding

How to Write a Native Node.js Extension
In this tutorial, you will learn how to write a native Node.js extension the right way, from the very basics to packaging the extension for NPM.

How to write a native Node.js extension

Let’s Make a Web App: Nodepad
This series will walk you through building a Web app with Node.js, covering all of the major areas you’ll face when building your own applications.

Let’s Make a Web App: Nodepad

HTML5 Canvas Drawing with Web Sockets, Node.JS and Socket.io
Web sockets and canvas are two really cool features that are currently being implemented in browsers. This tutorial gives you a quick rundown of how they both work, and you’ll create a real-time drawing canvas that is powered by Node.js and Web sockets.

HTML5 Canvas Drawing with WebSockets, Node.JS & Socket.io

Developing Multiplayer HTML5 Games with Node.js
Inspired by the famous iOS game Osmos, developer Boris Smus has created an alternative version of the game using HTML5 canvas and Node.js. This article explains the main phases of the project.

Developing Multiplayer HTML5 Games with Node.js

Deploying Node.js on Amazon EC2
Amazon’s EC2 is a popular choice for cloud applications. This tutorial shows how Node.js can be deployed on an EC2 instance.

Deploying node.js on Amazon EC2

A Simple Node.js + CouchDB Calendar
In this tutorial by Chris Storm, you will learn how to build a Web calendar with Node.js and CouchDB.

A Simple Node.js + CouchDB Calendar

IIS7
The IISnode project provides a native IIS 7.x module that enables hosting of Node.js applications on IIS. The project uses the Windows build of node.exe, which has recently seen major improvements.

Hosting node.js applications on IIS

Node.js + Phone to Control a Browser Game
Someone wondered how easily a smart phone – specifically using its gyroscopes and accelerometers – could be used as a controller for a multi-player game on a larger screen. With a bit of Node.js and HTML5 magic, it turned out to be pretty simple.

Node.js + Phone to Control a Browser Game

Is There a Template Engine for Node.js?
An engaging discussion appeared on StackOverflow about the template engines that are available for Node.js. Really useful arguments came out of this discussion.

Blogs, Podcasts, Resources On Node.js

How to Node
How to Node is a community-supported blog created by Tim Caswell. Its purpose is to teach how to do various tasks in Node.js and the fundamental concepts needed to write effective code.

How To Node

Nodejitsu
A really interesting blog about scaling Node.js apps in the cloud and about the Node.js events in general.

Nodejitsu Blog

Node Up
A podcast that reviews Node.js, explains its philosophy and goes over many of its popular libraries.

Node Up: Node.js Podcast

Node Tuts
Free screencast tutorials.

Node Tuts - Node.js Free screencast tutorials

Minute With Node.js
Node.js is constantly changing and growing with each new version. New libraries and frameworks are coming out daily that allow you to write JavaScript for new and exciting projects that were previously impossible. This is a one-stop shop for news updates on the entire Node.js eco-system, with a heavy slant on hardcore nerdery.

Minute With Node.js

Felix’s Node.js Guide
Over the past few months, Felix have given a lot of talks and done a lot of consulting on Node.js. He found himself repeating a lot of things over and over, so he used some of his recent vacation to start this opinionated and unofficial guide to help people getting started in Node.js.

Felix’s Node.js Guide

Node.js Knockout
Node.js Knockout is a 48-hour hackathon for Node.js. It’s an online virtual competition, with contestants worldwide.

Node.js Knockout

References And Books

Node.JS Help Sheet
“Node.JS is an evented I/O framework for the V8 JavaScript engine. It’s ideal for writing scalable network programs, such as Web servers. We’ve been working on some exciting things with Node.js, and we felt it was only fair to share our knowledge in the form of an easy-to-read Help Sheet.”

Node.JS Help Sheet

The Node Beginner Book
The aim of this document is to get you started with developing applications for Node.js. It teaches you everything you need to know about advanced JavaScript along the way. It goes way beyond your typical “Hello World” tutorial.

The Node Beginner Book

Up and Running With Node.js
“Many people use the JavaScript programming languages 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.”

Up and Running with Node.js

 

 

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Posted by on August 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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