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SilverStripe 2.4 Module Extension, Themes, and Widgets: Beginner's Guide Paperback – May 3, 2011

4.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Philipp Krenn lives in Vienna, Austria and studies software engineering. Besides being a student, he also works as a freelance IT trainer and web developer (mostly using SilverStripe, but also some Drupal, CakePHP, and Smarty). Philipp started using SilverStripe in 2007 while he was one of the students at the Google Summer of Code improving the project. While kicking off the effort to support multiple databases (besides MySQL), he got a good insight into the inner workings of the project. Building on top of that, he became an expert in developing web applications with SilverStripe.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (May 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184951500X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849515009
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,984,263 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By T. MCCANN on July 14, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are 2 ways to teach something, the top-down approach and the bottom-up approach. The other SS book (SilverStripe: The Complete Guide to CMS Development published by Wiley) takes the top-down approach in that it begins by carefully explaining the Model-View-Controller approach to design, the basics of the CMS, what the SS folder structure contains, what a page consists of, how the templates are constructed, etc, before getting into any detail.

This book on the other hand takes the bottom-up approach. BAM! After an inadequate introduction in chapter 1, in chapter 2 it gets straight into the details of the API, function calls and their parameters, etc. It doesn't pause to explain why you might be doing the things it asks you to do. Not only that, but if you follow along with their tutorial approach, they don't supply pictures of what you are supposed to see on the screen at any point. I'm near the end of chapter 2 and I know less about SS than when I started (I had the advantage of completing half of the other book before I started on this one.)

Despite following along carefully, my site looks like a mess and I have no idea why (yes, I've checked and re-checked what I've been asked to type). The instructions are not very clear. This book badly needs an editor. Krenn's sentence construction and grammar are mangled. I frequently have to read paragraphs several times before I understand what he's trying to say. I'm no dummy - I have been developing corporate websites for almost as long as the internet has been around. I know HTML, CSS, Javascript, Java and PHP, so I'm not confused because I don't understand websites or the underlying technologies.

This is NOT a beginner's guide to SS.
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Format: Paperback
This book on Silverstripe is written by a new author on this field, Phillipp Krenn. Though his skill set (as available on his website) shows a far wider spread than what I would expect from a Silverstripe enthusiast, the book shows that he is definitely not new to Silverstripe.

Krenn is currently finishing his double master in Software Engineering & Internet Computing and Information & Knowledge Management at the Vienna University, and his knowledge of programming concepts and theories shows; he smoothly guides the reader through the Silverstripe system and highlights its ORM features and clean object oriented structure.

The book does show some similarities to the official Silverstripe book by Ingo Schommer (I read the German version in 2009), in that it approaches the Silverstripe novice and explains the system in its entirety. Having worked with Silverstripe since 2007, this is off course superfluous for readers like me, but essential in a book of this kind, especially as it is only the second book available on Silverstripe.

I like how Krenn didn't delve in to the fallacy, many code authors do, of providing too much code in the book. He only highlights what's essential (and walks the reader through new steps), and avoids code where it's unnecessary, relying on that readers have access to the code online. Furthermore he doesn't loose one second discussing general concepts as JavaScript and CSS development as these should (and can) surely be learned elsewhere. He only applies these when needed. More than once he restrains from using pre-built modules and goes back to using plain PHP code and non-Silverstripe JavaScript libraries, to once again demonstrate how easy Silverstripe plays with other technologies, and that e.g.
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Format: Paperback
In the world of Silverstripe there are few books, but when a book is published, its is well thought out and easy to follow. Philipp Krenn's book is no exception to this rule.

I have to admit, that when I first saw the title of this book I got excited as I've been working on developing a couple modules. It was great to finally find some good help and instruction on Modules, and widgets.

While the book says Beginner's Guide on the cover, it really is useful for intermediate and seasoned developers alike. With almost 2 years of Silverstripe development experience, I learned new things all throughout this book.

At first glance, everything is well organized and easy to find, and if you have a question in a certain area, you can refer to the preface and see what each chapter is about. Each chapter has well explained examples that introduce (or reinforce) the MVC framework and OO principles.

Sections in the chapters flow nicely and are easy to follow. At first I thought the pop quizzes were a little childish. However when I actually tried to write down my answers with out looking for help, I started realizing that the further I went through the book, the less I really do know about silverstripe. If I read and practice the examples I will become good at this.

Chapter 7 was very informative for me. While I've worked with Uncle Cheese's modules before, this chapter really explained whats going on in his modules and how I can use them effectively in pages that I'm building. Also showing how to make modules was explained clearly and the step by step process showed me that anyone can do this.

Over all, this is an excellent book for Silverstripe developers from beginning to advanced.
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