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Drupal 7 Mobile Web Development Beginner’s Guide Paperback – March 14, 2012
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
About the Author
Tom Stovall's mom got him a Timex Sinclair 1000 in 1982 for his birthday and the first night he slept with it under his pillow. Both school teachersand his mom and dad always made sure he had access to computers and today's programming chops owes its origin to those lazy summers spent in front of whatever hardware he could beg, borrow or use when no one was looking. He started doing websites in 1995 with PERL, later with PHP. He now works for REI Systems, Inc. in Reston, Virginia, doing Drupal-based performance analysis websites for the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
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Top customer reviews
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My background encompasses 25+ years of commercial software development, particularly as a principal architect and lead engineer. Re the subject at hand, I have now read roughly 50 percent of this book. Also, I have worked through the corresponding hands-on exercises -- to the extent that I have been able to. The following review is quick and to the point. I may write a more thorough and updated review once I have finished the book...
THE GOOD --
Drupal 7 Mobile Web Development is packed with valuable knowledge and practical perspectives. For the experienced developer who already has decent familiarity with the basics of Drupal 6 and/or 7, this book introduces and explains important processes and associated tools. It also delivers on its main theme, which is to walk the reader down one of the practical paths for developing Drupal sites that are "responsive" to the differing needs of users of mobile phones, tablet computers, and desktop/laptop computers. In this sense the book is chock full of goodies.
If the problems outlined below did not exist, I would rank it at 4 or 5 stars.
THE BAD --
The book fails to address numerous problems setting up and using some of the tools that are employed for the book's hands-on exercises; this is also true of key configuration files. These failures pertain to MAMP PRO setup; configuration of Google's Android Emulator; settings.php; and others.
Second, there is a huge gap between the book's organization and exercises, on the one hand, and its collateral materials on the other. The downloads provided by the author (via github) and those provided by the publisher Packt (via its site) are just plain out-of-sync with the book. This is especially true of the Packt material, which is horrendously organized, outdated with respect to the book itself, and incomplete.
Moreover, the screen captures of Drupal 7 site building modules in action -- and in many cases the book's instructions -- often are not up-to-date with the now-current Drupal 7 release (7.12). This sometimes leads to a good deal of confusion.
THE UGLY --
It is clear to me that this book was prematurely rushed to press, namely in order for it to be published in time for DrupalCon Denver (March 19-23, 2012). Date-of-publication definitely took priority over quality.
This decidedly is not a book for beginners, particularly given the problems set forth above. For its title to suggest that its audience is beginners is highly misleading.
I can recommend Drupal 7 Mobile Web Development, with qualifications, to experienced Drupal developers.
I cannot recommend it to inexperienced and beginning Druaplists.
The quality comes through via the authors and the content chosen. All the books are full of detailed and very informative hands-on examples. I have had experience with other Drupal books as well and have found even the supposedly "advanced" example less detailed and comprehensive than in the books from this publisher.
This book takes an already important PC tool and show you how to leverage it on mobile devices - probably one of the most important things to learn as we move away from an Internet of connected people to an Internet of connected devices.
I would call it a beginner's book for those who are already experienced in web/drupal or some PHP-based CMS. Experience with PHP is probably required.
Certain things about the book are strong, the explanation of fonts and the history behind that. The chapter on cloud-based deployment is interesting.
I would have replaced the entire MAMP/Cygwin/git for Windows etc chapter with a chapter devoted entirely to setting up a VAGRANT development box with ubuntu/centos and showing all command line examples for Subversion and git. The time of stacks is over... Definitely would have shown some actual PHP/Apache configuration. Explained a little bit about "virtual hosts" and HTTP 1.1 HostName header.
The book contains solid coverage of a lot of front-end issues I haven't covered as a more back-end sys admin/developer-when-I-have-time-which-is-never. I look forward to learning about those areas--flash, media issues, geo, some of the theming and jquery. I would have cautioned to use only latest Display Suite, because early DS does horrendous things to MySQL in a replicated environment where binlogs must suffer what DS does to the global variables table. Have to be careful of DS on our sites especially earlier versions.
I like the Time For Action sections. The "What Just Happened" sections are less interesting, having had a roommate developer who always screamed those words after just having hosed his build.
jQuery mobile, I have to learn. Not looking forward to it. But have to look at it, and this book will be a good intro to that in a drupal context. (edit: 6 months later still haven't touched jquery mobile. mobile is hot though).
My drupal lab is a centos Vagrant box containing varnish-cache, mongodb, redis, custom PHP builds, MySQL config, memcached, lots of similar things. Would like to see MAMP section disappear and be replaced by more such technology.
Rsync was mentioned in the index but I couldn't actually find it. Rsync -av is great, put in an example. Unison feels a bit unstable for production site, I replaced with Rsync...