Node.js tutorial: Get started with Node.js

How to install and use Node.js, the NPM package manager, and Node.js modules and frameworks to build powerful web servers

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How to find useful Node.js modules

The problem with having almost half a million packages to choose from is finding the ones you want. The NPM package finder can sometimes give you a start. In general, if you already know the name or purpose of what you want, you should be able to find it. Finding the best module for your purpose is harder. While there is a ranking mechanism in the NPM site user interface, it currently doesn’t appear to do anything at all.

npm package finder npm, Inc.

One good alternative is npms.io. While similar on the surface to npmjs.com, this site’s rankings actually seem to work.

npms ranked search npms

Learn Node.js: Additional resources

I will leave you with links to some additional resources. You may have learned enough from this little tutorial to start working on Node.js applications, but I didn’t have room to cover more than the basics. For additional information and training, try one or more of the sites listed below.

  • NodeSchool  A collection of open source lessons for learning JavaScript, Node.js, Git, NPM, and so on, packaged as NPM modules. Usually each module contains enough hints to allow you to write code that will pass the included unit tests.
  • Node Hero  A tutorial series to get you started with Node.js
  • Node.js at Scale  A collection of articles focusing on the needs of companies with bigger Node.js installations, and of developers who have already learned the basics of Node
  • Nodejitsu  A collection of Node.js how-to articles ranging from basic to advanced. Useful articles, but not terribly well organized.
  • Stack Overflow  The Node.js tag in Stack Overflow contains many questions about Node, some answers, and a few useful answers. Try the “frequent” tag.
  • Node Documentation  The official API docs. These are easier to grok once you have been through a few real-world examples or some of the tutorials shown above.

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