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Archive for the ‘Book Review’ Category

Today, I have received technical reviewer copies of CakePHP Application Development that is written by Anupom Syam and Ahsanur Bari. Both of them are my colleagues and it makes me proud to think that they are Bangladeshi! Another great thing is that i was also a technical reviewer of Hasin Hayder’s Learning Facebook Application Development.

CakePHP Aplication Development

CakePHP Aplication Development

Learning Facebook Application Development

Learning Facebook Application Development

Certainly these tasks were challenging for me, but i’m proud to be a part of these books. I want others to read these books. So i’m going to gift 2 books (one CakePHP copy+ one Facebook copy) to IUB library. Dr.Anwar already welcomed me, soon I will meet him to handover these 2 books.

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I had a good habit of reading when I was in high school. When I became a college student, unfortunately my habit of reading faded. Simply I just lost my patience over lengthy and boring books. maybe I became a boring reader for them. But a good book must have few things such as good content, easy to read and understand, teaches me as a teacher, and I should feel interaction with the author. If the book is a technical book it must tell me or teach me what I exactly want.

I would like to give a big thanks to Shu-Wai Chow who has presented all web developers an excellent book. I have found my interests back after reading this book. Other day I was telling my friends that now days a developer can develop an excellent web application just by using web services! My friend was agreed with me. There are few types of web services available such as SOUP(almost dead), REST and XML-RPC.

This book that I’m talking about carries all information about above mentioned web services. Author wrote everything clearly and im sure it doesn’t matter if you are an expert or a newbie – this book touches all levels!

This is a perfect Mashup projects with a combination of all available web services. So lets go through each chapter of this book to get a bit more clear idea about it.

PHP Web 2.0 Mashup Projects

Chapter 01: Introduction to Mashups – This book started with a great introduction. A clear and simple idea about Web 2.0 and Mashups. Nothing much on this chapter but I guess all necessary information that is required to understand about the book is given here. This is actually an idea what you are going to read in this book. Personally, I was excited to read next chapter.

Chapter 02: Buy it on Amazon – This chapter is actually a complete application example to use Amazon Service. It takes an UPC symbols and looks them up on Amazon.com, two types of protocol XML-RPC and REST have been used in this example. I love the way Author described everything. Very simple and examples are really needy. It doesn’t just help you to be connected with Amazon but I guess it gives clear idea about these web services.

Chapter 03: Make Your Own Search Engine: Ah! What a chapter! Every time I finished one page I was eager to see what was written next page! This is complete tutorials to make your own Search Engine using Google, MSN and Yahoo web service. One of the most important topic was SOAP, I think it’s really complex thing in web service protocols. But one thing I really missed that author might give a little bit more screen shots. After all, this chapter is simply awesome.

Chapter 04: Your Own Video Jukebox: I liked the way author wrote a step by step process. Of course you should start reading from the first chapters – this is well integrated. This chapter is about audio/music and video. How to make your own jukebox using YouTube and Last.fm web services. Both of them use REST web service and if you followed previous chapters you shouldn’t have any problem to use REST service. And I found this chapter was easier to understand.

Chapter 05: Traffic Incident via SMS: This is an example of SMS service to mobile users. This tutorial shows how to get content from California Highway through Short Messaging service. Well, comparatively this chapter a bit complex. But it should be understandable if you follow previous chapters carefully. And im sure we have lots of things (specially how SMS service can be given) to learn from this chapter. This chapter also gives and idea about PHP’s new extension called PHP DOM Extension.

Chapter 06: London Tube Photos: I guess this last chapter was a gift from the author. Quite lengthy but not boring at all. This chapter is about how to use Google Map (of course with example) from London Tube Station. When a station icon is clicked, it searches Flckr for photos of station and displays them on the map. Wow- quite nice thing eh. But one thing u can do as a reader, you can skip some parts of this chapter such as description on Ajax, Json and some other things if you are an expert on them.

That’s it!

I really loved this book. At least it brought my interests back and I believe this is very needy book for developers. This is the book for today and tomorrow.

Well, finally I have finished reviewing this first book. I’m sorry that its being long time since I got the book on my hand. Was really busy with some project deadlines, as a result I couldn’t continue on it after first 3 chapters. Anyways, today I have finished reviewing this book, so let’s see what I have found interesting from this book. Let’s go through each chapter.

CodeIgniter for Rapid PHP Application Development

Chapter 1: Introduction to CodeIgniter: First chapter will give you a good idea how CI can reduce your lots of code comparing to ROW PHP. A little bit idea about Framework as well. Although I felt – it should have been a little bit more and a picture of the author on this chapter was really unnecessary.

Chapter 2: Two minutes work: Setting up a CodeIgniter Site: a very little chapters on how to install CI. I guess CI user guide has got the same thing – although there is nothing much to talk about CI installation.

Chapter 3: Navigating Your Site: when I was reading this chapter, I felt like I wanted to read about Framework concept too earlier. This is a great chapter on Controller and View- it gives some idea about CI’s controller. But I didn’t like writings on “Types of files on classes on a CI site”- because it looks messy. Maybe it should have written more clearly. Except that everything of this chapter were wonderful.

Chapter 4: Using CI to Simplify Database: an excellent description on how Active record saves your time and makes everything organized. Even if you don’t know what is called Active record , this chapter will make you understand it easily.

Chapter 5: Simplifying HTML pages and Forms: Liked all description about HTML view but really wanted to see a complete different chapter on VALIDATION. Writer should have written more on Validation. I found description wasn’t enough on Validation.

Chapter 6: Simplifying Sessions and security: Nicely explained about SESSION and SECURITY. But one thing came in my mind that there should have been some ordered in chapters as we see in the manual. Well it was writer’s choice but still I didn’t see any complete explanation of the CI framework yet!

Chapter 7: CodeignIter and Object: This is the chapter that actually describes how CI works. If you are a newbie I guess you can skip it. This chapter gives you some idea about OOP and a clear idea on “Super-object”.

Chapter 8: Using CI to test Code: Yay!! This is what I really wanted to see. Even if you don’t like other things of this book, I guess you can buy this book just for this chapter! This is a complete description of code testing including Unit test. I didn’t want to use Unit test before just because it was too much time consuming. But I guess CI can make it easier and this chapter adds more on it.

Chapter 9: Using CI to communicate: another great chapter! A clear idea on XML-RPC with a cool example. People, who are not familiar with XML-RPC, will get a good idea about it.

Chapter 10: How CI helps to provide Dynamic Information: well, mainly about helpers. I guess user guide has all these informations.

Chapter 11: Using CI to Handle Files and Images: If you want to know how to handle image and files with CI – this chapter is a great explanation for that.

Chapter 12: Production versions, Updates, and Big Decisions: Very needy information especially for production version. A great discussion on some common errors that are actually often occurred on production version.

Chapter 13: Instant CRUD – or Putting it all Together: A complex and boring chapter. Unnecessary codes without proper explanation. A better description is given in User guide on CRUD. It was really boring to read!

Chapter 14: The Verdict on CI: I liked this chapter. I liked the honesty of the author. I guess title of this chapter says what it is about.

Chapter 15: Resources and Extensions: mainly all needy links that contains information about CI. Well- I guess goggling will give you better results for it.

That’s it! Personally, I like this book for:

  • Chapter 3: Navigating Your Site.
  • Chapter 4: Using CI to Simplify Database
  • Chapter 8: Using CI to test Code
  • Chapter 9: Using CI to communicate
  • Chapter 12: Production versions, Updates , and Big Decisions
  • Chapter 14: The Verdict on CI

I guess these are enough reasons to buy this book. Although CI has one of the strongest documentation but I guess people who want to know about Unit testing with CI, XML-RPC with CI can buy this book. Plus a book is always a better explanation than just the documentation.

I missed one thing that writer should have given a complete example with screenshot. Like a blog tutorial is given in the manual. There are some examples given, but I felt it wasn’t enough. Few more screenshot of the examples should have been taken.

It will be a little bit difficult [as writer said] to read this book if you are a newbie and don’t have any idea about PHP. To read and understand this book you should have some good idea PHP, only then you can get 100% out of this book.

Mr. Duane Moraes is a Marketing Account Executive of Packt publications who emailed me like 2 weeks ago asked me if I was interested to review 2 PHP books. Well, I was glad to receive that email from him and I emailed him back saying that I would love to review them. These 2 books are:

  1. CodeIgniter for Rapid PHP Application Development and
  2. PHP Web 2.0 Mashup Projects

CodeIgniter for Rapid PHP Application Development   PHP Web 2.0 Mashup Projects

I’m so happy that today, I have received them! So, I’m gonna start reviewing these 2 books. I will start with “CodeIgniter for Rapid PHP Application Development” and of course I will let all of you know about this book. I’m pretty sure I’m gonna enjoy these books because i love PHP and CI is one my favorite PHP framework.

Well, I would like to thanks Mr. Duane for considering me as a reviewer of these book.


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