Thursday, April 9, 2015

Node is up: hello world

This "Hello world" thing has a long history in programming but very few student programmers really understood it purpose or assumed wrongly what it's purpose.

The "hello world" program is the first thing done on learning new programming languages and it's also the first program done when trying out a newly setup environment to make sure everything is working. This is what we are doing now.
  1. Start by creating our "Basic Node.js Express 4 Application" in Visual Studio.

  2. Run it, point your browser to http://localhost:1337/ and see our web app running. If it runs we are golden and continue to the next set of steps. If not, then you better get to fixing.

  3. Now that we have a known working node.js app. We should commit this to a source repo like github or bitbucket. At the start of this tutorial I did mention I'll be using SourceTree to manage this but you can go old school and use a terminal if you feel that SourceTree is creepy.

    So create a new repository and don't commit any files yet.

  4. We have to create a .gitignore file so we don't commit temporary or intermediate files. We will be using this .gitignore file. So just go to the root of the new repo and copy that .gitignore file there. SourceTree should be able to pick it the new file and use it, "ignoring" files listed in the gitignore..

    Don't forget to commit the files and push it into your repo. Read this if you need more details about pushing into a remote repo.
Now for the lazy, you can instead clone the repo here. Or if you're just lost then follow this tutorial on how to use git.

Don't be afraid to play around with the code. If you screw up, just delete the offending project folder and clone the project again. After cloning, you'll be good again.