Top critical review
10 people found this helpful
Found the case studies nearly impossible to follow
on June 4, 2012
I am trying to learn Drupal. I have Drupal 7.14 installed. It appears that this book applies to Drupal 7 so I thought I was in the "right place."
I actually tried to build the Case Studies in Chapter 9 and 10. I found that the further I got into the examples, the more incomprehensible they became. I feel this is because of the numerous errors and poor flow of the text in comparison to what really happens. It seems the author prepared the steps from memory but did not actually quality check the steps to see that what is described matches the user's experience. The editors could not have gone through the steps either as they just don't work.
There are several cases where text is simply missing or out of order. These errata require the reader to apply in addition to reading skills, reverse engineering skills to decode what the author's intent was. In several cases I was able to perform this decoding, but in others I just had to give up. The detailed guidance does not match what you see. For example, there are dialogs that appear that the author does not cover. So at that point I am lost. Or the author refers to links or tabs that are simply not present.
Perhaps the case studies were written for an earlier version of Drupal and have not been correctly updated. Or perhaps they are just erroneous. I cannot tell. But I can definitely say that it is an exercise in frustration and futility to try to follow the case studies. And I am betting that all the steller reviews here are from people who did not try to complete the case studies either.
Originally I believe I overreacted in the rating. The book is useful regardless of the flaws in the case studies. For me, when I want to gain a "sense" of the content, I would often skip over the case studies. However, to really learn to use Drupal, you really have to build something yourself, either from scratch or by following a case study. That is why I am disappointed by the incompleteness and flaws of the case studies.
I am going to continue going through the book, as except for the disastrous case studies, the book does seem well written. I may be able to come back and update this review later if my experience changes.