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Learning Joomla! 1.5 Extension Development: Creating Modules, Components, and Plugins with PHP Paperback – 6 Dec 2007
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About the Author
Joseph L. LeBlanc started with computers at a very young age. His independent education gave him the flexibility to experiment and learn computer science. Joseph holds a bachelor's degree in Management Information Systems from Oral Roberts University. Joseph is currently a freelance Joomla! extension developer. He released a component tutorial in May 2004, which was later translated into French, Polish, and Russian. Work samples and open-source extensions are available at www.jlleblanc.com. In addition to freelancing, he is a board member of the DC PHP Conference. He has also worked as a programmer for a web communications firm in Washington, DC.
Top customer reviews
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I'll now return to earth and explain a little. I've made a few modules for Joomla! 1.0 and was never happy with the integration (e.g. using an Excel spreadsheet for the customer to store & edit a reading list - yuck!). Despite this, I never took the trouble to write the things properly. Now Joomla! 1.5 is here I thought I better revisit the situation so bought Joseph LeBlanc's book. It walks you through the development of a Joomla! component, an associated module and even a plug-in to go with them. It finishes off with a chapter on how to wrap the whole lot into a deliverable/installable package.
The code examples are given in complete chunks and then explained line by line. My technique is to work up a project and copy the essence of the code to create a similar component, module and plug-in; thus avoiding simple, mindless copying of code and so proving I understanding what I'm typing. So far (and it's still only day 3) I have found one occasion where the explanation of a line of code wasn't good enough and I had to resort to Google to find a real explanation of what was going on. But otherwise the creation of my new component is progressing nicely. The code is downloadable from the Packt Publishing so I don't have to re-type much of the obvious boring code. Also available is a list of errata for the book (don't worry not too much and nothing too serious).
One small gripe: the original proof was probably in colour and showing a page to illustrate before and after the addition of hyperlinks that are coloured but non-underlined wasn't too smart in a book that now is printed in monochrome.
Please note - this book is for Joomla! 1.5 which is so radically different from the earlier version there's nothing here for you 1.0 folk. Anyway, the message is: load Joomla! 1.5, get this book and be inspired to move on.
I found the book quite hard going - the main way it explains things is by showing you some code, then working through it. I would have preferred to see an explanation of the topic and then an example.
The whole book is a worked example of a component, module and plug-in.
This book will get you up and running in component development but it's not easy going. If you already develop componenets for Joomla 1.0 you might be frustrated by the lack of information explaining the differences between 1.0 and 1.5, and if you are thinking of developing for 1.0, then you'll find better tutorials available on the web for free!
The book is riddled with syntax errors, it does very little to explain the different classes used throughout the example and what their purpose is. It starts by getting you to develop a component for a restaurant review site then basically gets you to hack it up and build it again MVC style, causing much confusion. It barely describes the coding and naming conventions of Joomla which I think is very important when you're working with a new framework.
The majority of this book is just bulky code which you are instructed to type out without any real explanation of what you're doing to break it all up. I managed work through this book but I only believe I was able to because of my experience with MVC and other frameworks. I think I beginner would REALLY struggle to understand what is going on.
I have managed to grasp a hazy idea of what is required to build your own Joomla extensions but I will be reading a few other online tutorials and may even look into getting another book.
The book appears rushed to marketplace and with its shortcomings does not represent good value.
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