Nginx HTTP Server, Second Edition

I reviewed the first edition of this book back in 2010 (see: Nginx HTTP Server). To be honest, that review was lukewarm and one of the reasons I started thinking about whether I would continue to review every book sent to me or whether I should be more choosy. I decided nearly two years later to be more choosy.

Nginx HTTP Server, Second Edition is an improvement over the first edition. Some of the shortcomings I pointed out have been addressed. The unnecessary chapter about basic Linux commands is gone, for example. The space was filled by expanding the Nginx-specific technical information chapters. In general, the writing quality has also improved a little, although this book still displays the annoying tendency seen in most Packt Publishing books toward awkward phrasing and grammar. Sometimes I wonder if their editorial staff is comprised of non-native speakers of English, in which case I would be more gracious toward the editors themselves while being more concerned about the company’s decision making.

Because there are so few books on Nginx, and because I think it is a web server worth learning about, I’m going to post another lukewarm review of this book. It is improved over the previous edition and is still filled with excellent technical information, but you still have to slog through writing samples like this, from the preface:

…for the past few years 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 this young web server. Why has the blogosphere become so effervescent about it?

That is almost identical to the awkward quote I included in my 2010 review of the first edition. A couple of words have been changed, so this was obviously read and updated, but to call it edited is to slight real copy editors.

Bottom line: I don’t have anything new to say over the last edition, except that today there are other books in print, including the recently reviewed and better book on Nginx, Mastering Nginx, also by Packt. Take a look at the tables of contents for the two books and compare them. If the topics covered in Mastering Nginx are enough for your purposes, buy that book. If you need the information that is in this book but not in that one, then Nginx HTTP Server is still your best bet, even with its weaknesses. This information is hard to find anywhere else, and that is why I’m reviewing the book.

Disclosure: I was given my copy of this book by the publisher as a review copy. See also: Are All Book Reviews Positive?