- Taschenbuch: 348 Seiten
- Verlag: Packt Publishing (20. Juli 2010)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1849510865
- ISBN-13: 978-1849510868
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 19 x 2 x 23,5 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 1 Kundenrezension
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 83.879 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Nginx HTTP Server (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 20. Juli 2010
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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Clement Nedelcu is the technical administrator of the GBATEMP NETWORK and a computer science teacher at Jiangsu University of Science and Technology in Zhenjiang, China. He also works as technology consultant, specialized in web and Microsoft .NET development as well as Linux server administration.
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Nginx is an http server written in Russia intended for high traffic websites with a mind toward network scalability. It also works great as a lightweight replacement for Apache on my little server with 256MB RAM and one processor (that has since been upgraded, but I didn't switch back). Even the day I had a post on the front page of of a popular social networking website, my little server withstood the onslaught without crashing.
The hard part of making the switch was finding documentation. As Nginx was birthed in Russia, I presume good documentation may be found in Russian, but since I don't know the language that doesn't help me. Finding documentation in English was a chore. Simple things were available at the main Nginx website and wiki (which have also grown and improved over time), but I had a difficult time finding detailed information about specific things I needed, such as translating Apache 301 rewrite rules into a format that would work in Nginx so that I could continue to use WordPress with pretty URLs.
Nginx HTTP Server is the first English book I have seen that compiles quality documentation and instruction for using Nginx. I'm glad it exists. The information is current, detailed, and clear.
Some of the topics in the book seem to me to be a bit odd for a text on the topic. There is a whole chapter dedicated to basic Linux shell commands and administration. Perhaps this will be useful for some, but I would imagine most people interested in Nginx will already know the topic. The second chapter discusses downloading source code, configuring, and installing the traditional way along with writing up a SysV init script for the service. I think that is good information to include. Strangely missing is information about installing Nginx from Linux distribution repositories, which is far easier, especially for the presumed newbies who needed the first chapter on shell commands.
The real value of this book is in chapters 3 - 8. Here we dive deep into configuration options, file syntax, modules, variables and more. We learn how to set up PHP and Python with Nginx, which will make hosting most popular website software like WordPress, vBulletin, or anything built with Django fairly simple. Also discussed are similar methods of enabling other languages and platforms like Perl or Ruby on Rails.
The last two chapters are great for people coming over from Apache. One discusses how to use Nginx as a front end proxy to speed up a website running Apache. The other discusses how to make a full switch. Both include great comparisons and honest discussions of the strengths and differences between Apache and Nginx, including some good advice about when one may be a better choice than the other.
I have a lot of good things to say about this book, and I'm glad it exists. It will remain on my shelf as a useful reference for specific modules and configuration details that are not committed to memory. Comparing its contents to what I already know of Nginx, I believe the book to be technically accurate and current.
The book does have one glaring weakness, though. The quality of the writing is inconsistent. Most of the time, the text is adequately clear and communicates well. However, there is an annoying tendency throughout the book toward awkward grammar and odd phrasing, perhaps as often as one occurrence every two or three pages. This tells me two things: the book was probably written by someone who is not a native English speaker, which is not a big deal at all, and that the copy editing and proofreading was weak, which is a major failing. The initial cringe-worthy portion occurs in the very first paragraph of the Preface:
"...for the past few month the same reports reveal the rise of a new competitor: Nginx, a lightweight HTTP server originating from Russia--pronounced "engine X". There have been many interrogations surrounding the pronounced newborn. Why has the blogosphere become so effervescent about it?"
Packt Publishing generally releases books on technology that are current and contain accurate information. The company focuses their efforts on very narrow, niche topics that they alone offer, and I like that. They also have a disappointing habit of being filled with this sort of writing. This book is no exception. Since, like many of their offerings, this is the only book on a topic that is interesting and useful to a specific group of people, I can't help but recommend that people using or wanting to use Nginx take a look at the book. Still, I would love to see the language of their books rise to the level of their technical content. This would allow me a clearer conscience in recommending their products.
One of the features of nginx is its extensibility via add-in modules. Many modules come with the nginx package, and others are available from 3rd parties. I was disappointed at how brief the content was in relation to modules that are included in the base package. I'd be understanding if the book lightly touched on 3rd party modules, but there are significant feature additions that are covered in less than 1/2 page each.
Also, details on nginx configuration directives were sparse in some instances. A one sentence description of a directive may suffice for someone that has a basic working knowledge of a subject, but more details would be a great addition for a book that claims to address both beginners and experienced users.
Overall, the book answered some of my questions, but leaves me with many unanswered ones. Alas, the reason I purchased the book was because online reference materials were somewhat disjointed and brief. I had hoped for the book to be superior to the information I could find online. Instead, the book is on-par with the info that I could find myself. While it's nice to have it all in one place, it's not worth ~$40 for that convenience, in my opinion.
The editors pledge to answer questions not addressed by the book, so I've dropped them a note. I'll follow up when they respond.
While I agree with the others that the first two chapters seemed disconnected in the sense that they were more intro to linux administration than they were specific to nginx, it was not a big deal. First, it was just those chapters and once we start with the nginx chapters, the content is rich there. Second, it was nice to see validation and some variation on how another fellow site admin does things.
I found the explanations of the various nginx directives to be great. I liked the format of context (where you can put them), explanation (what the directive does) and examples (various useful examples). The parts on the rewrite module were great to get the hang of how the redirects work and how to adapt rewrites from apache.
I also liked the authoritative stances that he takes. Like php-fpm (the fastcgi solution that became included with php 5.3.3) being "currently acknowledged to be the most efficient solution in terms of features and performance" (page 207). It gave me confidence to want to try it. Between the book's explanations and the wiki's recipes I was able to get an nginx based Drupal 6 install running off php-fpm on my Ubuntu box. A hint, if you're compiling your own nginx, include the separate 'echo' module so that you can see the values of the variables provided by nginx. See the nginx wiki for installing that module.
The writing is pretty clear and I heartily recommend this to anyone like me who's put off learning nginx until a good book has come out on it.
I'm a computer science graduate who is proficient in several programming languages, but never was interested in setting up a server until now. This book literally walks you through all the steps necessary in order to be able to do that and configure it. The author was even nice enough to include a chapter on how to use the UNIX command line, so even if you've never dealt with anything but a GUI before, you'll be up to speed by the time it walks you through installing Nginx. By the time you finish the book, you'll more-or-less know most of what you need to know about Nginx (from it's design (and why it was designed that way), to simple setups, to advanced setups, to even suggested configurations for powerful machines).
As far as the actual writing, I thought the English in this book was fine (and this is coming from a grammar-Nazi). If something I'm reading does not make sense, I'll read it several times until it does, then note what an author could have done to phrase it better. I could count the number of times that I had to do that for this book on one hand. So not only do I not agree with the reviews criticizing the English, but I'll go as far to say that the writing style of the author was very clear, and beginner-friendly.
Right now, there are only two ways to learn Nginx. The first way is to scour the internet for all articles that contain the word "Nginx", subscribe to the mailing list (and hope somebody answers your "newbie" questions), and read the relatively weak wiki. The second way is to get this book, and I guarentee you it's the better way. An experienced server administrator did all of the "first way" 's work for you and compiled it in to a piece of work that you won't regret reading if you're interested in Nginx
first time through. Ended up picking the areas that were unclear, and reading.
It has improved my understanding of this web server.
The price was right.