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I would also highly recommend the other Packt Publishing book by William Rice "Magento 1.3 Sales Tactics Cookbook".
The modifications they supply come without any documentation, so they give you code that does something, but they don't tell you how or why it works.
Personally, I prefer using git for all my Magento projects and don't bother with checking out Magento code via svn.
The book is an introduction to development, so it do not show how (for example) create a script to create product with cron jobs, but show how we can integrate wordpress in... Read morePublished on August 17, 2011 by Iacopop - Ecommerce consultant
This book clearly addresses developers who want to make functional changes and really dive into the Magento system. Read morePublished on March 29, 2011 by Roman Zenner