WebRTC Blueprints: A Book for Hardcore Developers

July 7, 2014

If you know nothing about WebRTC – skip this book. If you are looking for something beyond the basics – pick this one.

[I am off for vacation, but decided to schedule posts this week in advance. Feel free to comment and share while I am enjoying Italy with my family]

WebRTC Blueprints book

WebRTC Blueprints is the fourth WebRTC book that I’ve read. Written by Andrii Sergiienko, a software developer from Ukraine, this book is different than the rest.

One thing that is different from other books is that Andrii decided to make use of Erlang for the application server in his examples. While the rest mostly focus on Node.js, this can be seen either as a good thing or a bad one – depending on where you come from. To me, this was just different and welcome.

The Good

WebRTC Blueprints take a very brave attempt at explaining issues unexplored by previous books:

  • Detailed steps on installing, setting up and running STUN and TURN servers, instead of just indicating the need to use them. This also includes how to set up TURN with usernames and passwords that can actually work in production systems
  • File sharing service built on top of WebRTC’s data channel APIs. Then using that technique to send a media file and playing it back on the other end
  • Treating security aspects of signaling and showing the hassles associated with them
  • Screencasting
  • Attempting to explain how to obtain, compile and run WebRTC on Android and iOS

All in all, it touches areas that are important, and aren’t available in other books.

The Bad

There are, however, a few things that were hard for me with this one:

  • The editing of the book isn’t satisfactory for me. It makes reading harder and less fluent
  • It skips a lot that needs to be said, sending the reader to the standards (which is never a good thing – standards are usually heavily encrypted against the casual reader)
  • Coming out recently, it is already out dated in areas of screencasting – not only that it doesn’t explain the Chrome extension mechanism – it doesn’t even indicate that this is coming soon
  • There are areas where I felt the explanations can mislead readers

The Verdict

While it is hard to wholeheartedly suggest reading this book, I believe this one is a book for the advanced developer – one that already knows WebRTC used used it a bit in development.

If you are not familiar with WebRTC, take a look at one of the other books first: The Alan Johnston Book (third edition), Getting Started with WebRTC or Real-time Communication with WebRTC. Once done, go for WebRTC Blueprints – you will find it valuable as well at that point in time.


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