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Practical CakePHP Projects [Paperback]

Kai Chan , John Omokore , Richard K. Miller
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Dec 4 2008 143021578X 978-1430215783 1

CakePHP is a Web framework for building PHP-based/driven Web applications. PHP is still considered by many the leading Web scripting language that’s most adopted and used. The CakePHP framework is an emerging framework to help today’s Web developer build PHP Web applications faster and easier.

Practical CakePHP Projects is written by PHP expert professionals for the professional Web developer. It is an in-depth treatment of CakePHP using real world examples. The book also includes sections and useful sidebars, providing useful tips, cautions and notes.


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About the Author

Kai Chan started his programming career in 1992 after graduating from Cardiff University. He wrote his first website in 1995 which allowed clients in London and New York to view and discuss the same videos online. Since then, he has worked with many different web technologies. Nowadays focusing mainly on the many PHP frameworks that are out on the web. He holds a Computer Science degree and a Masters in Computer Graphics. He currently works as an independent consultant. At present he is improving his own framework Azzian and occasionally runs PHP and MySQL courses. Kai is getting married to his long term partner Rita in August 2008, and has plans to get a pet dog after that.

John Omokore is a web programmer, consultant and trainer for more than a decade. He is based in London, England. His technical areas include Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP and related technologies and website deployment. Over the last 8 years, he has worked on over 50 websites and online applications.

He holds a bachelors of Science degree in Mathematics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and is pursuing his Masters in Software engineering at Oxford university. He currently works as an independent consultant. John is married to a beautiful woman by the name of Christine, and with two daughters Diana and Daniella.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Desappointing and confusing but good content April 29 2009
Format:Paperback
There are a lot of errors in this book, to the point that it seems that they didn't review it or even tested the examples. In many of the examples the screenshots of what you are supposed to get is not the same as what you get, and this gets you really confused.
Anyways the content and project examples of the book are good, and if you are an experienced PHP developer you should be able to spot the errors and fix them yourself or figure out what you are doing.

Hope this review help someone.
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Amazon.com: 2.5 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for newer users Jan. 30 2009
By John D. Anderson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Practical CakePHP Projects is published by Apress, intended for for developers familiar with PHP, and at least marginally familiar with CakePHP as well. The book starts with some introductory material, then moves on to twelve chapters of practical project implementation. If you're not familiar with CakePHP, it's a rapid application framework for PHP. It cuts out a large swath of redundant tasks needed in everyday web development. It's a mature framework with a fantastic community I'd recommend you check out.

Honestly, the first impression of the book isn't great (stick with me though, it gets much better). First, as a member of the core CakePHP team, it's always a bit disappointing to see a book coming from people I'm not familiar with. I'd suggest prospective authors get their feet wet contributing to the community in a significant way before moving straight on to commercial publishing. The lack of community interaction shows in the first chapter-it's essentially a rehash of material that is better found in CakePHP's official online documentation. It's going to be more up to date, and there's really no reason to have it in the book.

You'll probably want to skip right to chapter 2, where the title of the book comes into play - actual projects created in CakePHP. In general, the specific project chapters are technically accurate and easy to follow. Newcomers to the CakePHP field will enjoy the examples and code they can pick through to better see the big picture.

Having said that, some chapters seem much more relevant than others. For example, leading out with a blog application (which is usually the first example new users are pointed to in the official documentation) seems a bit redundant. They don't cover much new ground there, focusing on vanilla MVC interactions. There's a bit of a diversion into the creation of RSS feeds, but that's more or less covered in the official manual as well.

The following chapter covering a simple e-commerce application is similarly uninteresting. More vanilla MVC, peppered with a bit of Google Checkout and PayPal "integration" at the end, which unfortunately only amounts to rendering some buttons that hand users along to their respective payment engines.

New users may appreciate these chapters, but you'll probably find comparable overviews of Cake's underpinnings in blogs, the CakePHP Bakery, and in the official manual.

The remaining chapters of the book (4-13) is where the book really shines. Project examples are varied, and each idea is inviting and innovative:'
A message forum webservice
Google maps for traveling salesmen
A Twitter/Google translator mash-up
Unit Testing (not so much, but stay with me)
An ACL-enabled control panel
Internationalization using behaviors
Custom automagic fields
Custom view tags integrated with plugins
"Dynamic Data Fields" (not that CakePHP specific, but interesting to some)
Captcha (which is more of an example with controller/component callbacks)

My impression of the remaining chapters was positive. The steps are easy to follow and seem well-explained to me. The code inserted onto the printed page gets a big hefty in places (three consecutive pages in chapter 9), but that's to be expected in some instances, I suppose. It's a programming book, after all.

Best practices seem to be evident as well - keeping your models thick and your controllers thin, not repeating code, and following CakePHP convention in order to take advantage of automagic are all present.

Aside from the rehash that is the introduction and first few chapters, the authors seem to avoid that in the rest of the book. Each chapter is atomic enough to pick up on its own (more or less), yet you don't have to be re-introduced to covered topics each time you move on.

Putting my own personal grudge of people publishing before contributing to the core effort aside, I'd recommend the book to users who are getting started with CakePHP. Experienced users have probably seen most of what's here, but new users will enjoy example after example of good CakePHP code in interesting, practical projects.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible Examples, Poorly Written Book... Dec 16 2008
By Aniq N. Rahman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
It would be acceptable if this book taught you how to do practical projects well, but unfortunately, it cuts corners and teaches you little. You're far better off learning from the gurus in IRC and reading the blog tutorials online.

The ecommerce chapter gives a very simple integration of Google Checkout and Paypal which is prone to security vulnerability using simple apps like Firebug (not optimal at all!). The last chapter creates a very easily hackable CAPTCHA using ASCII art and totally violates the DRY concept.

There is even a chapter on creating a blog (which is less in depth than the CakePHP blog tutorial on CakePHP.org)...

A lot of the code samples in this book are also poorly written -- some controllers that are like 150 lines should really be 30 when written out properly. For anyone wanting to learn Cake, I'd recommend David Golding's book for a firm grasp that goes in depth but also teaches you concepts and methodologies. TERRIBLE book!
2.0 out of 5 stars Worthless Without Source Code May 22 2009
By richwalkup - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I am a well-versed PHP developer but only marginally familiar with Cake. I was amazed to see the great depth of how the book delved into a few great issues like Access Control Lists and a control panel to ease security settings as well as how to do database-level internationalization so I quickly thought the book would be invaluable. I spent hours reading the book and manually typing in all the code in the samples to be "hands on" and watch the code grow into completion only to find that MAJOR critical pieces of the code were completely undocumented and missing from the sample code listings. My projects ended up looking nothing like their screenshots or samples and none of the advanced topics worked at all without essentially copying over their sample code into my directory because so many pieces were missing. Great code samples, poor presentation, poor publishing in my opinion.
1.0 out of 5 stars Authors Neglect to Mention 75% of All Tutorial Files April 24 2011
By webdevpro - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is not for those who are new to Cake or to the MVC file structure.

The instructions in the book fail to cover most of the files needed to make their applications work. Worse yet, in all these cases they don't even make mention of the existence of these files.

Readers will have to play detective and search through the source code available from the book's companion website to find the missing files.

On the brighter side, having to research all the files and code for each tutorial is an exercise in itself. Though no credit should be given to the authors for this.

This book should have never been published.

It's a shame the are no good published works for beginners wishing to learn the Cake framework.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ...Complete value for money... Feb. 26 2009
By M A OJEWUNMI - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
In one of the most unusual way the first chapter summarized the main features of Cake and how it structures a web application. The chapter avoids beating around the bush for those who intend to hit the ground with the framework. The second chapter to me is not far off from what was treated at the official Cake website, but blogging is important when juggling on the internet and so a necessary topic in web development texts. As a matter of preference, the way blogging is treated in this book is OK. It was finally buttered with Cake' helpers features for creating an RSS feed.

There is evidence of best practices by following Cake convention and auto magically providing thin code snippets - straight to the point. E-commerce usually is a difficult topic to be treated fully in a chapter and trying to do so is like killing an elephant with a kitchen knife. I found the way the e-commerce topic is treated to be a bilk, but hey! the topic is usually for a whole book or more pages than treated in this book. Although, there is no need to treat more than a checkout payment topic - Surprising the book tries to treat more than one payment system. I appreciate the extra effort the authors take to cover this subject.
The rest of the book proceeds through the various web development topics that certainly makes it far better than any other book written on Cake in the market. It includes projects topics such as e-commerce, Message Forum Web Services, Google Maps and the Travel Salesman, A Twitter/Google translator mash-up, Unit Testing, An ACL-enabled control panel, Internationalization using behaviours, A Cake Control Panel, Translating Stories, Dynamic Data Fields, Captcha, and so on which are quite interesting. However, these topics cover the framework' advanced features with the necessary profundity that many developers, even those who would class themselves beyond intermediate, will get something practical out of the book.

By and large, I found the book to be brilliant for its target audience of beginning to intermediate Cake programmers (It makes you not to be afraid of using a framework for developing PHP) and still very valuable to experienced developers. Thus, I recommend it without hesitation for programmers who are familiar with some PHP but know only a modest Cake. Experienced developers should purchase it for its excellent coverage of the interesting topics aforementioned.

Finally, I will encourage the authors to contribute some of the practical projects /components to the Cake foundation - official website[...].
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