Joomla! 1.5x Customization – Book review and general Joomla discussion

I just went through the Joomla! 1.5x Customization book by Daniel Chapman, published by Packt Publishing. If you subscribe to this blog you will know that I’ve been working a lot with Joomla 1.5 recently and one of the basic questions I asked myself before I started reading it was would it have made me do anything different if I had read it before I began my massive re/deconstruction job?

Joomla customization

Sadly, or maybe luckily for me, the answer is basically no, it would have mattered very little. The basic reason is that the way Joomla is structured wouldn’t have let me do everything I wanted in an easy way. I wanted to make all my changes without being scared of upgrading the components I was using. As it happens that didn’t work 100% despite my best efforts since I was forced to make modifications in the components’ code. Upgrading any of JomSocial or iGallery will break my work.

So, if the book didn’t really help or change the way I would’ve done things, then who is it for?

This book is helpful for anyone who has a basic- or no knowledge at all of Joomla and needs to be able to modify templates, modules, components and plugins to make their setup tailored to their needs. But aren’t the prerequisites too tough to managed that, what with all the PHP, SQL, CSS and so on that you need to know?

Not really if the premise is to simply describe the Joomla MVC architecture and describe what to change where without bothering with trying to explain what exactly all of the code is doing all the time.

It’s an interesting top down approach and will probably work for anyone who doesn’t care about the details, someone who just needs to get stuff done, right away. Stuff that doesn’t require too much technical knowledge.

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