CakePHP Book Reviews

October 27th 2008 // CakePHP Book

It has been around 3 months that our (Anupom and mine) book on CakePHP got published. This was our first effort in writing a book, and we both weren’t sure how well it will be accepted. More importantly, we were anxious to know how helpful it will be to people who wanted to learn CakePHP.

But after 3 months, I am very glad to say that both the CakePHP community, and PHP programmers who are eager to learn CakePHP, has liked it. We both are very happy to know that many people bought the book and found it helpful. The CakePHP community was also very generous to welcome and appreciate our effort. I thank all who bought and appreciated our book.

I am also glad that many people took the effort to review our book. Most of them are well known figures in the CakePHP, PHP and web development communities. Here are the reviews by:

I thank all of them for giving the time to review our book. The feedbacks that we got from these reviews (and our readers) were very helpful to us.

Though we had given our best efforts to make sure that the book is as useful as possible to CakePHP learners, there are still room for improvements. Here I would like to outline both the good and the bad things that the reviewers had to say about our book. Let me start with the bads:

  1. Badly formatted code snippets
  2. Bad proof-reading, thus typos and grammatical mistakes
  3. Based on CakePHP 1.2 Beta and RC1
  4. Less on the CakePHP philosophy of why things are done the way they are in Cake
  5. Less information on server configuration other than Apache
  6. No mention of built-in features on unit testing
  7. Nothing about Behaviors

It is hard to read code from books, and even more if its not properly formatted. Also nothing worse than finding typos in a printed book. I wish our proof-reading team were more careful but I guess the pressure of releasing the book on time can be blamed here as well. As many of the reviewers pointed out, it is very hard to write upto date books on technologies that are always evolving. Our book is based on 1.2 RC1. As you may know, that RC3 is already released, and its not far that the stable 1.2 will be released too. But having said that, most of the codes in the book should be working fine (except a few that I will write about soon). Also many of the topics were deliberately left out to make the book suitable for new comers in CakePHP, and to keep the book more practical without making it a complete reference book.

Other than the stuffs pointed out above, the book has been well appreciated. Some of the good things that the reviewers had to say about the book are:

  1. Its well structured
  2. Quick and easy to read and understand
  3. Lots of sample codes
  4. Good explanations after every code snippets
  5. A chapter dedicated to the often misunderstood Auth component
  6. A complete sample application built from scratch
  7. Detailed explanations for the more commonly used functionalities

Our main focus of the book was to make sure that it is practical oriented and easy for the newcomers to understand. All the chapters in the book are divided into parts that accomplish a single goal. Each of these parts start with a “Time for Action”, where it is outlined step by step of what is needed to be done. Then the “Time for Action” is followed with “What Just Happened”, where it is discussed in details why we needed each step. The whole idea being that the readers understand exactly what needs to be done to accomplish a task by going through the code, and not having to go through alot of literature. We also wanted our readers to go through the process of creating a complete and working application from scratch to finish. As a result, we dedicated the last four chapters of the book to create a sample application that we called the Quickwall. As we are finding out, many of our readers liked the practical approach of the book, and are getting started with CakePHP in no time.

All the interest and positive response is encouraging us to revisit our book, and help the readers as much as possible. I am planning to do a self review of each chapter (one at a time) and where possible, point out the more updated and additional information to our readers. If you have read our book, please do not hesitate to suggest to us how we can improve and make the book even more helpful :)

I again thank all our readers and reviewers for such an overwhelming response! :)

  1. junal // October 27th 2008

    CakePHP is not that easy Framework to start developing, but you guys made it easy and made lots of things clear in the book. I kinda knew this book would get some attentions, personally, im happy that i was a technical reviewer of this book. Must say that you and anupom deserve all these credits. See, you guys got good reviews from some well known people from tech world. It defenately something to be proud of, wonderful job guys! just dont stop here …:)

  2. Zoltan H // October 30th 2008

    Ahsanul

    I’ve just finished a review of your’s and Anupom’s book. It was a good read, liked how you covered a few of the things you have to dig for like creating a controller that doesn’t use a model.

    http://yyztech.ca/reviews/book/cakephp-applications-development

  3. Ahsan // October 31st 2008

    @Junal Thanks man :)

    @Zoltan Thanks for the review. I am glad you liked our book. I have added your review to the list above as well :)

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