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3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 29 July 2015
Very disappointing.

With a title like this, I was expecting a lot more explanation of the design and philosophy of Joomla's framework, so a developer could understand
1. the relationships between Joomla's classes
2. the APIs
3. the principles that a developer needs to make his/her own informed decisions when designing extensions.

Instead this is little better than a few worked-examples.

Since Joomla 3 documentation seems so very poor (I hate community-supplied documentation: it is too-often patchy and of an uneven quality), I am left spending way too much time searching online for answers, and far too often coming up with no good guidance). For an example of top-notch reference documentation, see what Django does ( https://docs.djangoproject.com/en ).

For example, when I want to learn more about JForms, I want more than a list of the field-types you can use in the XML document, and a declaration that JForms are really good. Joomla's own documentation seems sparse:

joomla site: https://docs.joomla.org/XML_JForm_form_definitions
joomla site: https://docs.joomla.org/Category:JForm_forms
joomla site: https://docs.joomla.org/Portal:Developers

Developer's working under time-pressure often do not have the time to trawl through the source code to 'work it out', nor does doing that necessarily answer the questions about 'best practice', alternative ways of doing things and how to choose between them.
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on 30 May 2014
OK, so I'm not a professional programmer but I've been programming since my teens (a looong time ago). I've used lots of languages, mostly procedural, but I do sort of get the OO paradigm.

I fell into developing a web site and selected Joomla as the framework, a decision I'm very happy with. I like to make things exactly the way I want them and that led me into needing to develop custom code. All fine and good. I can cope with PHP fairly well - actually quite like it - and did some fairly sophisticated stuff on the query side, but I want / need to progress in the data input / form / transaction space.. And this led me to this book.

What's good about it is that it pulls a lot of intermediate level material together very well and walks you through a series of examples of the different kinds of extension. Joomla development documentation is very fragmented (if you think I'm wrong and can refute with examples I'll be forever in your debt) and this book pulls it together well. I have however noticed recently that it seems be heavily based on material that is freely available on the web - if you have the time, patience and organisation to find and collate it. Again, all well and good. That's a value add that this book delivers that I'm very happy to pay for.

My personal challenge is the API. Another review identifies the API as the heart of any framework and I think this is certainly true with Joomla. The problem is that the Joomla API (a) is extensive and complex, (b) has recently changed (Legacy to v3.3) and (c) is poorly documented, at least for the neophyte (e.g. Me!) The available documentation for the 3.3 API goes down to the method level but provides, as far as I can see, absolutely nothing about the parameters. I have torn my hair out trying to reconcile the API calls used in this book to the documentation and have failed miserably.

This then is why I have marked the book down a star. If you follow the sequence in the book, you will end up with a well-constructed component using the Controller-Model-View paradigm. But you won't have a clue how to transpose it to your own component. I've followed the steps and tried to apply them to the component I want to develop, and up to a very limited point it has worked: I've created pages with my data on them that pretty much hang together. But there are bugs that I'm struggling to resolve and I have no firm idea on how to extend the scope of my component beyond the functionality encapsulated by the book's Folio component example.

In summary this book consolidates existing material on Joomla extension development very well but it adds nothing new and of value to anyone wanting to really understand the nuts and bolts of Joomla development.
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on 4 November 2015
I bought this to learn Joomla component development. I wasn't a great deal of help.
I'll summarise my opinions because this book has wasted enough of my time :
- huge chunks of code filling up space, ok... maybe necessary but...
- text goes through code, repeats it (taking up more page inches)
- states what the code does but in most cases, does NOT give any in-depth explanation of the overall function and...
- never gives an overview SO necessary to learn 'how things work'

In my opinion you would learn as much going through the code of one of the installed components. Difficult though that may be, I think it's time better spent than reading this book. For a genuine book on this subject, look at "Joomla! Programming" by Dexter and Landry.
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on 1 November 2013
While looking to create a joomla 3.0 component, was unimpressed with the tutorials I found via google.
Bought the book out of frustration, and turned out to be a good purchase.

Well explained and makes no assumptions about your familiarity with joomla.
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on 19 February 2014
This is such an improvement over using the Joomla provided online tutorials.It covers plugins, modules and components in that order so that each chapter builds upon the previous ones.

Easy and clear so I recommend this book.
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on 28 October 2013
I've been working in Joomla industry for 7 years now, nearly as long as Joomla! has been around. I've always been interested in web development, and a significant career in software development in general, I originally found it quite easy to learn the syntax of what was (then) a new language for me (PHP), and quickly got productive with a language which I was previously not very familiar with. However, having said that, the most difficult part of learning and getting to grips with a new language or a new system, is learning its API (Application Programming Interface). Each language and each framework has its own API, different rules, different functions and different ways of working which usually requires a good reference to enable you to be productive with the framework. Joomla is no different has a very rich framework which is essentially its strength since it allows anybody or anyone to create components, modules and plugins which extend the functionality of the basic CMS. However, it takes time to get familiar with an API and usually a good book eases the transition to a new framework. If you are completely new to Joomla or coming from a different CMS, then mastering the Joomla Framework can be a bit of a challenge.

This book has been a game changer and a refreshing help. The book has been a very good resource for me to get to grips with the development nuances of the Joomla 3 API.

The contents of book flow very well, starting with a brief intro to Joomla and it's various types of extensions, What's new in Joomla 3, Tools you need to develop in Joomla and then delves into the API and more details on how to develop plugins, modules and full blown components. It introduces the general classes Joomla uses, and how they relate to each other. Each chapter then introduces and describes more enhanced functionality, such as accessing the database, developing components, the MVC model, and keeps on building, with each chapter building and adding to the knowledge learned in the previous chapters. If you want to complement and enhance your Joomla extension development knowledge, then this is the book for you.

Besides being a good all round development book, its an excellent reference. When you are stuck on something, just find the relevant chapter, read through the examples, and soon you'll have enough information to get yourself going. The Appendix also has a full API reference with all classes and methods, which once again is a golden nugget.

Overall I think this book is a great book for anyone delving into the Joomla Development world, and highly recommend this book.
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on 2 October 2015
Good book to start with joomla developing
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on 28 August 2013
I tried using WordPress to build a website, but found it too restrictive in its offering of templates. So I wandered over to Joomla. This book describes the very latest version 3. It does seem more powerful and flexible than WordPress, with one major caveat. WordPress is often directed at people who do not want to do much programming; typically they have little experience in it. Whereas the present book is unabashedly aimed at a programmer, starting with the first chapter. So a significant amount of time needs to be invested in learning the material.

The overall trend is to use free software. Notably MySql as the database and PHP for coding. While an IDE is also recommended. Nicely, Eclipse can be used. And versioning is possible for complex projects via git or subversion.

One thing to get out of the book is the hierarchy of complexity, starting with simple plug-ins, and gravitating to modules and components. Each type is discussed in some detail. Unsurprisingly, components can require some intricacy in coding. The code snippets for components are rather long for snippets. But this reflects how much typically needs to be done.

A major enhancement of version 3 is that it now supports different types of databases, not just MySql. You can use Microsoft's SQL Server and PostgreSql. Some readers will surely cheer. Thing is, you need to do specific steps for each of those types to integrated into Joomla. The book only gives a brief example of how to use SQL Server. Perhaps a later version of the text will also show the customising for PostgreSql.

Another nice aspect of Joomla is how you learn to internalise the Model View Controller pattern as the most basic and important pattern for website development. The separation of content from presentation is so necessary and fundamental to the entire working of Joomla coding.
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