Review: Joomla 1.5 Development Cookbook

Joomla! 1.5 Development CookbookJoomla 1.5 Development Cookbook is a recent book about Joomla extension development, published by Packt Publishing.

The book is written by James Kennard, an extensions developer with more than 6 years of experience with Joomla.


Who This Book is For

The book is written as a cookbook for those already familiar with PHP programming and Joomla extensions development. It does not contain information on how to start developing extensions. Rather, the author assumes you are already programming for Joomla. What he wants is to help you as a developer with solving common problems during your development process. The book does so by giving you practical examples, which show how to overcome common design and implementation problems when creating Joomla! extensions. And, it will help you set up a sustainable collaborative development environment using the powerful free services offered by

Become a Joomla Cook with 130 Recipies

Continuing the cook book metaphore, the book is made up by 130 recipies which solves common problems you may come across when developing a Joomla extension. The recipies are divided into several parts:

Introduction - outlining the problem
Getting Ready - What you will need to solve the problem
How to do it... - How to actually solve the problem. Easy to follow instructions.
How it works... - Targeted at more seasoned developers who want to know more about the inner workings of the solution.
There's more... - Additional information, sometimes with examples, common pitfalls etc.

joomla-1-5-development-cookbookWhat the Book Covers

Joomla 1.5 Development Cookbook has 12 chapters. The recipes contained within the chapters will introduce the reader to specific problems and provide hands-on solutions. It provides solutions for core design topics, including security, data access, users, sessions, and multilingual capabilities.

Chapter 1, Development using and SVN,
explores how to set up and useproject hosting at and explains how to use a Subversion repository.

Chapter 2, Keeping Extensions Secure,
demonstrates how we can secure extensions and explains some of the ramifications if we fail to do this.

Chapter 3, Working with the Database,
teaches us how to interact with the Joomla! database using the handy JDatabase interface.

Chapter 4, The Session and the User,
shows how we can interact with the current user, logged in or not, and how we can interact with their session.

Chapter 5, Multilingual Recipes,
discusses how to overcome common problems with making international extensions, such as how to deal with UTF-8.

Chapter 6, Interaction and Styling,
describes how to restyle pages using CSS and JavaScript, and how to improve the user experience by adding Ajax capabilities.

Chapter 7, Customizing the Document,
shows how we can modify the server response by working with the global document object.

Chapter 8, Customizing the Backend,
looks at how to tailor the backend for our extensions, for example how to add buttons to the toolbar.

Chapter 9, Keeping it Extensible and Modular,
focuses on modularity and extensibility, showing how we can create versatile solutions that can be further extended by third parties.

Chapter 10, JObjects and Arrays,
looks at common things we can do with JObjects and arrays using Joomla!.

Chapter 11, Error Handling and Reporting,
will help us discover how to deal with errors and, for PHP 5 extensions, exceptions.

Chapter 12, Files and Folders,
deals with the filesystem and how we can interact with the filesystem using the Joomla! framework.

Source Code Included to Ease Your Development Process

When you buy the book , you will get the link to download all of the example code used in the recipies. Each of the downloadable files include instructions on how to use them.

About the Author

James Kennard is an accomplished programmer with proven experience in many different types of organizations. He has worked as a private consultant, and has worked in the public and private sectors for the likes of Logica and the National Library of Wales.He has over six years of experience working with Joomla!, previously Mambo. As an active member of the Joomla! community, he maintains a popular open source helpdeskcomponent and wrote the popular book Mastering Joomla! 1.5 extension and framework development, also available from Packt Publishing.

The Author Shares Knowledge, and Opinions

What makes this book particularly good, is the way the author balances factual information with his own opinions about the subjects discussed. The opinions are based on his practical experience with Joomla extensions development. For example, this is from the introduction of the chapter 'Keeping Extensions Secure':

There's no such thing as a completely secure system. No matter how many precautions we take and how many times we verify our design and implementation, we will never be able to guarantee that we have created a truly secure Joomla! extension. Why not? This is because it is not possible to be prepared for every potential vulnerability.

This chapter explains how to avoid some of the more common mistakes that lead to security vulnerabilities, but not how to circumvent all known security vulnerabilities. When it comes to dealing with system security, it is always best to err on the side of caution. But just because we cannot guarantee complete security doesn't mean that we shouldn't aim for complete security.

Why Would You Get this Book?

Even though I'm not a programmer, I found it very interesting to read the book. Some parts were way over my head, but some of the chapters were very useful. Expecially interesting was the chapters on how the development process is organized, and the chapter 'How to make Joomla secure'. It's nice to get an insight into how an extension is developed.

If you're a PHP developer working with Joomla! 1.5 Extensions Development, this book definitely is for you. It provides clear examples and helpful hints which will may help yu when you get stuck.

Joomla! 1.5 Development Cookbook
Written by James Kennard
Published by Pack Publishing
342 pages
Published September 2009

Buy the book here

Read 34047 times Originally published on Tuesday, 17 November 2009 01:34
Last modified on Tuesday, 17 November 2009 01:40
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