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Practical CakePHP Projects [Paperback]

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

Dec 3 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 thats most adopted and used. The CakePHP framework is an emerging framework to help todays 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

Richard K. Millergraduated from Brigham Young University in Utahwith a degree in business management, but has been interested in technology since he began computer programming at age 10. His experience includes web programming, Internet marketing, and new media strategies. He is the developer of several MediaWiki extensions and WordPress plugins, including the widely- used What Would Seth Godin Do plugin.

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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
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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 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
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
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

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!
1.0 out of 5 stars Authors Neglect to Mention 75% of All Tutorial Files April 24 2011
By webdevpro - Published on
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.
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for Cake beginners Sept. 14 2011
By Rinet - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Not a beginners book for PHP. If you know PHP well then learning Cake PHP with this book will be easy. Provides some excellent projects to begin with.
2.0 out of 5 stars Worthless Without Source Code May 22 2009
By richwalkup - Published on
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.
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