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Mastering Joomla! 1.5 Extension and Framework Development Paperback – June 1, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
The goal for this book is to guide the developer through the process of creating components, modules and plug-ins for Joomla! 1.5. Developers are undoubtedly aware that the technical infrastructure of Joomla! 1.5 is significantly different from earlier versions, and requires developers to significantly enhance their skills.
Although the end of my review points out some editorial issues with the index and appendices associated with this book, it's still a solid introduction to Joomla! extension development and one that I would recommend.
For those who need it, the first chapter provides a nice overview of Joomla's framework, and outlines the development tools that are necessary (and readily available) for use in developing Joomla's extensions. Be aware that this is a relatively brief discussion and will require that you do your own investigation of the development tools available to you. Given the assumption that this title is for relatively advanced developers, odds are this isn't a significant issue.
The book starts with a general description of the extension development and packaging process. Chapters 2 and 3 cover basic object-oriented development principles, working with/extending Joomla's database and packaging an extension. I appreciate that Lanham and Kennard also point out that 1.5 was intended to run with both PHP 4 and PHP5, and devote some discussion to the differences. These feel like challenging chapters, however, because they also attempt a discussion of design patterns.Read more ›
Building on the great job James Kennard did in the first version of the book, Joomla! whiz-kid Chuck Lanham takes the concepts of the book and explains them gracefully and clearly. Joomla! at a framework level, as brilliant as it is, is a lot to wrap your brain around. Chuck's great writing makes reading and understanding things a lot less tedious than other technical books in this class. I found his use of examples to be mostly thorough and well thought-out, though some examples lacked full explanation that might be beneficial to a brand-new reader.
The book, overall, was really well planned, and you can tell as soon as you begin reading. The chapters are broken up thoughtfully, and the sections within the chapters guide you through the concepts logically. I never found myself flipping around, trying to figure out the explanation of a concept that should have been explained before the concept I was in the middle of reading. But while the book is a great linear-read, the fact that you can flip to a section and get some immediate clarity on the subject is a testament to not only how great of a reference book this is, but also how well it was planned out. Kudos to Chuck for balancing the front-to-back readability with the jump-to-the-spot reference nature of this book.Read more ›
You should have some general PHP experience and be familiar with Joomla at least in some capacity. The more programming background you have, the easier it will be to get through the book. For people with less experience with design patterns and OOP (Object Oriented Programming), it comes with more detailed explanations on the programming concepts that are applied in 1.5. The best thing about a book like this is that it provides a direct path to learning Joomla rather than piecing together details from various sources online.
Most of the book is relevant for for 1.6, but the major changes in 1.6 are not covered. I use it regularly just to refresh my memory on various items, so it has the ability to be a teaching and reference book. However, its appendix with some API details is ok, but I always just search on the [...] websites for more detail and examples.
As a relative newcomer I feel I must point out that I had to re-read some of the earlier chapters to make them more meaningful to me. It probably was my previous level of knowledge that meant I needed to really study things and chapter 5 was initially a bit confusing but now a veritable font of knowledge.
The detail with which some PHP topics are covered and related to the book subject like static and private variables, combined with the fairly huge resources in the appendix make this work quite nearly encyclopedic. The large page count excludes half a dozen extra downloadable sections.
I can describe my journey through the book as exciting. Each detail as it unfolded brought me closer to my first Joomla extension and each eye-opening detail like how easy it is to create the administrator menus for your component was a joy. You CANNOT google information like this.
How about an extensions cookbook with loads more examples? I'd buy it.
Yes I recommend it.