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Pro Zend Framework Techniques: Build a Full CMS Project (Expert's Voice) 1st Edition

18 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1430218791
ISBN-10: 1430218797
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Forrest Lyman is a passionate PHP developer who concentrates on content management systems (CMS) development. He developed the Digitalus CMS on the Zend Framework, progressing from version 0.1 through 1.5. Once Zend Framework reached its production release (1.0), Forrest released Digitalus as an open source project.

Over the course of the project, he developed a wide range of sites based on the CMS, from small business sites to international non-profit and university systems. Working hands-on developing these sites with the Zend Framework has given Forrest a unique perspective into building extensible CMS systems with Zend Framework.

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Product Details

  • Series: Expert's Voice
  • Paperback: 500 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 1 edition (October 22, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430218797
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430218791
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 0.6 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,818,491 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Travis Alexander on December 29, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Like many, I bought this book as it is one of the few non-beginner Zend Framework books that comes from a trusted publisher. What I expected was a great next step in advancing my Zend Framework knowledge. What I got was a rushed, almost useless run through of how this particular author created his CMS.

The author spends multiple chapters on the same exact CRUD (create, read, update, delete) functionality in each controller. Very little additional information is given when new features are added.

All in all, the biggest complaint, and the reason this is rated 2 stars as opposed to 4, is you simply can not follow the code in the book. I did a quick run through of my notes after finishing the book and came to the conclusion that 1 in 4 code samples contains at least 1 critical error. From misspellings, to incorrect class names, to missing syntax, to functions that don't exist; You will be spending hours upon hours just trying to figure out why your script isn't working! And to top it off, the publisher has not yet added a single errata (I personally have submitted at least 20).

Another complaint is the sample code is not broken up into chapters, but instead provides only the final product. This is somewhat useless when working through the book systematically. I worry that this added layer of complication and frustration may drive many away from using Zend Framework as a person could easily mistake problems in the sample code with problems of the framework.

To wrap it up, this book was a rushed, weakly thought out attempt at covering the beast that is Zend Framework. I highly recommend you look elsewhere.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Chad Kieffer on January 17, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I agree with most of the points in Travis Butler's review . I encountered several obvious editing errors in code samples and wasted a lot of time tracking them down. I finally wrote to Apress' editorial staff who admitted "It is possible that some code may have been added or changed at the last minute, bypassing our normal technical review process." This is a shame because I had begun to prefer Apress over Packt books because of a perceived emphasis on higher quality from Apress.

The other issue, as Travis points out, is repetition. After building a few CRUD actions there really isn't any need to to show more basic CRUD code samples later in the book. Instead, discussing subjects covered or alternate approaches in a bit more detail would have been more valuable for readers.

If you need to build your first CMS and are looking for a good example of how to do so with the Zend Framework, I'd recommend this book despite the editing errors. If you're a seasoned developer, I'd look elsewhere.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kurt Hogentogler on January 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed this book even with the amount of errors I found in the code.

That said, I learned a lot in this book and had a lot of fun with it. For the most part if you have some experience with php and the Zend Framework you should be able to figure out the errors and fix them.

I'll briefly cover what I think is the heart of the book.

This book uses direct inheritance as it is simple and easy to implement versus lets say composition. For example, by using direct inheritance, if you have a Page Model, then you would directly extend from the data source gateway class.

eg. class Model_Page extends Zend_Db_Table_Abstract

The disadvantages of this are it is hard to run unit test without a database connection. Breaks OO inheritance principle (if your concerned about that) and is tightly coupled with Zend_Db_Table.

The author notes that there are a number of different opinions regarding the structure of an MVC application. He states that the approach he describes is a fat controller approach.

But after building the application it seems to me he is using a Fat Model skinny Controller for the business logic in the application stack. The methods and queries are done in the Model not the Controller.

Doing this allows for code reuse anywhere in the application, readability is enhanced and maintainability is easier as the Controller is easier to maintain with fewer lines of code and less logic contained in it.

What I really like about the application you build, is the authors use of an abstract data structure. Abstract data structures look at content in a contrastive way. In an abstract system content is content.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alastair Dallas on March 27, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is very difficult to follow along when examples contain naming errors. The book is literally riddled with typos, wrong file and class names, and (in only six months) outdated Zend FW calls. Adam DeFields and Wil Sinclair are listed as technical reviewers--shame on you, guys. The core of this book is a fairly innovative, yet straightforward, content management system. Lyman, the author, commits no errors when he's talking about the underlying design. But if you enter the code page by page and try to make it work, the careless mistakes become maddening. There are only two errata listed on the publisher's page--there should be dozens. If the errata were kept up responsibly, all would be forgiven. Some examples: p.17 "...then runs the method that is relates to the helper class..." that IT relates? that is RELATED? Is the class Form_BugReportForm (p.42) or Form_BugReport (p.47)? Is the variable in submitAction $frmBugReport (p.47) or $bugReportForm (p.49)? The examples call lastInsertId() to get the new row's id but apparently Zend Server 5.0 does it differently, setting the row's id for you and returning 0 in lastInsertId, which breaks the code. Bottom line: Smart author, not a bad teacher, but desperately needs an editor and a technical reviewer. For the price of this book, APress should have at least paid someone to keep up the errata.
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