Book Review: WebRTC with Salvatore & Simon

02/06/2014

If you are looking for the friendliest book on WebRTC, then you should definitely look at Real-Time Communication with WebRTC by Slvatore & Simon.

There aren’t many WebRTC books, but this is starting to slowly change. A new bookwas released recently. This one on O’reilly.

Real-Time Communication with WebRTC by Salvatore Loreto & Simon Pietro Romano

When I saw this book is coming out, I immediately reached out to Salvatore asking to get a copy and read it. Although I have never met or interacted with Salvatore before, he agreed.

I took the time last week to read this book from cover to cover, and I have thoroughly enjoyed it.

Real-Time Communication with WebRTC is written in a unique voice – one usually not found in technical books (at least not the ones I’ve read). It was as if I was sitting in a coffee shop with Salvatore & Simon and we had a long and interesting chat. It is hard to say why, but this book is personable. In terms of content, it gets the job done:

  • It explains WebRTC, goes over media acquisition, peer connection and data channel APIs and flows
  • It touches some of the differences between browser implementations of WebRTC
  • It builds up a full WebRTC based service throughout the book

I can only come up with three complaints about this book:

  1. The screenshots taken with Simon’s headshot in them – would be nice if he’d smile. He looks very serious in them
  2. WebRTC is a moving target. The book rightly states in a lot of places the current status of browser support for various features, but fails to state the current version number of said browsers. Something that would be useful a year down the road
  3. This is something I see with all the books so far, but I think it is time to complain about it: this book takes the easy route of using Node.js and explaining the signaling backend, but ignores or rather touches only superfluously at NAT traversal backend requirements – setting up and using STUN/TURN servers

All in all, this is one great book. If you are looking as a developer to learn WebRTC in a way that enables you to use it without getting too deep into the details, then this is definitely the book for you.

Responses

Simon Romano says:
June 2, 2014

You guy made me really proud! Thanks a lot for your kind words and appreciation. And thanks a lot also for your improvement suggestions.

Simon

P.S. As to the first complaint, you’re definitely right :-(. I did not take those snapshots in a happy period of my life, unfortunately (and my dedication tells you something about this…). Will try and do better in the sequel of this book, where we’ll definitely cover more advanced topics (including NAT traversal, obviously).

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Jose Ricardo says:
November 5, 2015

Hi, I’m from Venezuela, I just finished reading the book, Thank you Simon Pietro, this book is a master piece, I am a webRTC beginner, I have to build a VideoConference system for my grade Thesis, Is this book enough to start building it? or Do I need to know something else?, I know that bandwidth is an issue cause we would be working with many peers at the same time, but is there any other issue?, thank you.

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