The MEN Stack: MongoDB, ExpressJS and Node.js

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After having read the blog post named “The MEAN Stack: MongoDB, ExpressJS, AngularJS and Node.js” by Valeri Karpov we decided to take a look at those technologies.

Some researches have leaded us to two books:  Professional Node JS and the Secrets of the JavaScript Ninja book.

Based on our readings we decided to implement several chapters from the Professional Node JS book (20, 21 and 25).

For info: We needed 5 working days to develop, understand, fine tune the code you have in front of you on our GITHub repository:

We have tackled some requirements :

  • to learn NodeJS and its dependencies like JadeExpressAsync and MongoDB
  • to learn how to write simple Create/Retrieve/Update/Delete (CRUD) applications

Which tools have we used to code?

  • in a first stage we have used Sublime Text 2
  • then we moved to WebStorm IDE at the very last stage due to our inability to debug Jade scripts; but WebStorm didn’t help much

Early difficulties?

  • Jade scripts were very hard to understand
  • the debug of Jade is painful i.e. we lose too much time correcting tabulations vs. spaces !!!!
  • The syntax of JavaScript functions is quite unusual, hopefully the first chapters of Secrets of the JavaScript Ninja book are goldmine to understand them
  • the code of the Professional Node JS book doesn’t fit today’ versions of the tools; it obliged us to adapt the code
  • We didn’t find a decent debugger (read visual) for NodeJS scripts
  • Understand how Grunt works, but we have deleted this part of scripts for the moment; now Grunt is mastered somehow

The future?


  1. After using jade I would never go back writing HTML, it’s not that hard to grasp. My preference of indentation has always been tabs. I use node inspector for debugging.

  2. Indeed, we lack experience with Jade but the documentation could be drastically improved.

    Those two interactive tutorial have been our best allies to understand Jade:

    Thanks for the reference of Node inspector.

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