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9 Reviews
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction to cakephp
Having had some experience developing with PHP, I decided to look around for a PHP framework. I was at the point of starting to think about developing reusable modules for handling common tasks that I had run into (user authentication, form handling, database calls etc..) and so it seemed logical to see if anyone had developed something along those lines already. CakePHP...
Published on September 25, 2008 by pholar

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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction, but a little sloppy and incomplete
As the first book to come out on CakePHP, there was a lot of pressure on this title to be really strong. On the whole, it has pretty good coverage of the topic, but the flow of the title is undermined by shoddy editing.

= The Good =
This title is a pretty decent introduction to CakePHP. Coming from a background in PHP and having worked with Ruby on Rails...
Published on July 25, 2008 by Aaron Gustafson


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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction, but a little sloppy and incomplete, July 25, 2008
By 
Aaron Gustafson (Chattanooga, TN United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: CakePHP Application Development: Step-by-step introduction to rapid web development using the open-source MVC CakePHP framework (Paperback)
As the first book to come out on CakePHP, there was a lot of pressure on this title to be really strong. On the whole, it has pretty good coverage of the topic, but the flow of the title is undermined by shoddy editing.

= The Good =
This title is a pretty decent introduction to CakePHP. Coming from a background in PHP and having worked with Ruby on Rails for a few years as well, I think the authors did a good job covering the basics and putting together some interesting projects for you to work on.

= The Bad =
As a technical editor for several books myself, I know how difficult it is to catch all of the mistakes (missing semicolons and the like), but the level of technical errors in this book was shocking. One simple example: the minLength validation option was misspelled everywhere (as "minLenght") -- in code examples, in body copy, etc. And that's just one example. It's obvious that the examples in this book were not thoroughly vetted despite having 2 reviewers and 2 technical editors. Sure, maybe I'm nitpicking, but I feel strongly that when a technical book comes out, it needs to be as accurate as possible to reduce the frustration level of people following our examples line-by-line.

Another minor gripe I have with the book is the incredibly inconsistent formatting of the code examples. Indents were all over the place, as were line wraps, making it very difficult to follow. I understand that some people don't care about nice-looking code, but when you are supplying that code for an educational purpose, it should be as legible as possible.

= The Ugly =
For the most part, I enjoyed this book, but the section on JavaScript and Ajax made me wince. Repeatedly.

As someone who spends a lot of time teaching people how to write unobtrusive JavaScript, it pains me to see books that continue to promote doing things the wrong way. I'll give the author's props for relegating most of their JavaScript to external files, but their Ajax examples leave no fallback for users with JavaScript turned off (or no JavaScript support). It would have taken just a few more lines to show how it could be done using progressive enhancement techniques like Hijax (discussed in Jeremy Keith's book Bulletproof Ajax).

One final gripe I have with this title is that it completely skips over the topic of unit testing. The section on working with the Cake shell briefly mentions it (by simply having you decline the offer to have the shell script generate test cases for you). After seeing that, I was hoping the authors would at least devote a small chapter to provide a cursory overview of building and using unit tests in Cake. Alas, that chapter never materialized.

= Final thoughts =
In all, the book was decent, but didn't really blow me away. It could have been a lot better.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hire an editor!, October 28, 2009
By 
J. Fleming "nodrmforme" (Chandler, AZ United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: CakePHP Application Development: Step-by-step introduction to rapid web development using the open-source MVC CakePHP framework (Paperback)
I bought this book based on the reviews here. It was the highest rated CakePHP book on Amazon at the time so I figured I couldn't go wrong. I was a little wrong about that...

The book is pretty easy to follow, and it does a good job introducing you to how CakePHP works and talking you through using the MVC pattern. The reason I gave it such a low rating is because of the code typos that litter the pages and all of the terrible, terrible grammar throughout. It's as though the author didn't speak English natively and the editors didn't bother to fix anything! What's worse, some of the concepts in the book are stated exactly backwards; a read headache for the beginner.

If you already know PHP to some degree and are at least familiar with CakePHP, the book is pretty helpful for solidifying ideas. It's probably one of the better books I've read on the topic in terms of the order in which they teach you and how it's described. But, if you're new to PHP or CakePHP, don't start with this book; you'll be pulling your hair out trying to figure out where the typos in the code are and interpreting the text.

Overall, I'm happy I picked the book up. It's the second one I've been reading and it's helped me make more sense of how some of the components work, but if you're new and you just want to learn how to use CakePHP, you should consider looking elsewhere, or at least reading The Manual on their website first.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction to cakephp, September 25, 2008
This review is from: CakePHP Application Development: Step-by-step introduction to rapid web development using the open-source MVC CakePHP framework (Paperback)
Having had some experience developing with PHP, I decided to look around for a PHP framework. I was at the point of starting to think about developing reusable modules for handling common tasks that I had run into (user authentication, form handling, database calls etc..) and so it seemed logical to see if anyone had developed something along those lines already. CakePHP seemed to fit the bill perfectly - a PHP framework built by a dedicated group of developers using best software practices - but the documentation I found online was a bit lacking, especially to get past the initial hurdles; so I purchased both CakePHP books available at the current time (8/2008): this one and "Beginning CakePHP" from Apress.

This book was exactly what I was looking for, and got me up to speed with the basic CakePHP mvc paradigm, and how to build a basic CakePHP application. I particularly liked the format of the book and the way the code was presented - after every new piece of code is introduced and run there is a paragraph called "what just happened?" that steps line by line through the code (no matter how basic it may seem to a seasoned CakePHP developer). I wish more programming books would follow this approach, because it makes sure that the reader knows what's going on every step of the way, even if something was a bit unclear earlier. On a side note, I found the Apress much more confusing in that regard, as if you glazed over something at any point, it became really hard to comprehend any of the chapters that followed. (not to mention the author's tendency to 'be clever' and use things like PHP shorthand notation for echo, use the PHP function 'compact' with the CakePHP 'set' function to pass data to the view etc... all little things that unnecessarily add hurdles for the novice's comprehension).

Anyway, I enjoyed this book a lot, it gave me the CakePHP basics and I now feel a lot more comfortable browsing the online CakePHP documentation. If there's one negative I have, it's the AJAX chapter which I had a hard time following. But I haven't found a good CakePHP AJAX example online either, so I've gone back to learning some basic PHP/ajax first in the hope that CakePHP's ajax helper will make more sense after. AJAX is just a small section in the "advanced topics" of this book though so it's probably a bit much to expect the subject to be done justice in such a short space.

As a primer on CakePHP for someone familiar with the basics of PHP and web database development however, this book is ideal.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not bad for older version of cakephp, July 4, 2013
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This review is from: CakePHP Application Development: Step-by-step introduction to rapid web development using the open-source MVC CakePHP framework (Paperback)
The book was written for an older version of cakephp. So make sure your installed version matches up or the book isn't going to seem confusing when files and directories don't match up.

I wish this book, like other references I've seen, had a picture overview of how things are laid out and what the flow of MVC is within that layout. I think that most books and references are written based on the assumption that the developer is fairly good background in PHP including OO stuff. Though I'm using PHP, usage of OO hasn't been a real push to date, so I'm playing catchup.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Information well presented, but too many typos, January 23, 2011
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This review is from: CakePHP Application Development: Step-by-step introduction to rapid web development using the open-source MVC CakePHP framework (Paperback)
This book does a very good job presenting basic concepts of cake's MVC and the overall framework, however the code examples are filled with bugs and typos. You can tell that english is not the author's first language. I have found myself referring to the online documentation due to completely incorrect information from the book. If you are looking for a comprehensive guide to CakePHP this is not the book to get. If you just want to be introduced to it, then it's a decent buy. Not worth the price for the number of typos! Programmers are detail oriented people and I think the editor was a bit distracted at the time.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent way to learn CakePHP, November 23, 2008
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This review is from: CakePHP Application Development: Step-by-step introduction to rapid web development using the open-source MVC CakePHP framework (Paperback)
Given the fact there is not much out there to learn from, this book is a welcome source of huge amounts of knowledge. I followed the tutorials almost from start to end and the resulting application has been a continual source of reference as I embark on my first 'real' application. Being new to frameworks, I found this book to give a good foundation as well. I would consider it a key reference for anyone wanting to learn CakePHP.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A good introduction to CakePHP., July 6, 2013
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This review is from: CakePHP Application Development: Step-by-step introduction to rapid web development using the open-source MVC CakePHP framework (Paperback)
There are not many books about CakePHP, but this one does a good job at explaining the code and concepts. It is a well done introductory book. Although this book was written a few years ago for an older version of CakePHP, it is still relevant and useful today.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great book for newbies, October 29, 2010
This review is from: CakePHP Application Development: Step-by-step introduction to rapid web development using the open-source MVC CakePHP framework (Paperback)
This is really a great introduction to new CakeBakers. The author did a great job walking you through the MVC in CakePhp. There are some grammatical issues in the book, but all in all, the book is a great introduction to newbies who are willing to approach CakePhp step by step. 4 stars for simplicity and easy-to-follow approach. I would give it 5 if there were not that many grammatical issues.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Frankly, I found it nigh-unreadable, April 9, 2010
This review is from: CakePHP Application Development: Step-by-step introduction to rapid web development using the open-source MVC CakePHP framework (Paperback)
From the first, I was incredibly thrown off by the formatting, of all things. Headers are good in moderation, but the authors of this felt it necessary to write a headline title for almost every paragraph. If there's no headline, then every paragraph is interspersed with tips, or formatted into a number list, or broken between with code fragments, even when it was a one-line code that didn't really feel as though it really needed to be separated that thoroughly. It seemed to me as though the authors were afraid to use more than two and a half paragraphs in a row that weren't broken up by something.

I understand that some people prefer this style, but for me it made it almost unreadable. While most computer books I've read fall into this at times, none of them do so to nearly the extent of this book. Frankly, it reminded me of my school days when I would try to pad the length of my papers in order to make it look longer, though I never would've dared do so to nearly this extent. Of course, this also means that there's rather less information in here than you'd expect out a 300 page book.

Once I managed to get past that, it started off basic to the point of mild absurdity. We're dealing with a book for people who want to program web applications, and is supposedly aimed at people who already know something about PHP. Should telling them how to download CakePHP really take four pages and four screenshots? Really? I mean, I get that CakePHP is kind of supposed to be the web application development framework for dummies, but really?

I didn't feel the information in here was bad, per se. From what I've managed to read of it, it seems a good enough introduction to CakePHP, if not as thorough or readable as I'd hoped. However, it's just that - an introduction, and not a particularly deep one at that. If you ordered it with an obscure problem you were hoping to solve in mind, it'll probably give you a better background understanding, but it doesn't really cover anything outside the basics.
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