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For "step-by-step", read "basic"
on 13 December 2011
First the good news: This book is up-to-date and covers Joomla! 1.6. Since the current version of Joomla!, 1.7, is broadly similar to 1.6 you can consider this book current. Another good aspect of this book is the way that it takes you through what it calls the "cash workflow" process. It's a good example of where this book adds value over what you could work out easily for yourself. The problem is that there were too few examples of this.
Pay attention to the subtitle of this book - "Your step-by-step guide". This book is aimed at raw beginners with little technical knowledge. The problem that I have with this is that the vast majority of people setting out to use Joomla! will have some technical knowledge. If you don't, WordPress is probably a much better bet for a content management system.
Let me give you an example: the book devotes no less than nine pages to explain how the content editor works. Is there really anyone out there who needs to be told that if you click on a bold "B" icon the text in the editor will become bold, or how to produce bullet lists? Yes, be prepared to spend a long time reading this book.
So, for me, this book has stayed on the shelf largely unread.