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@Ryan & Senior Members, Recommended Reading?

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I've done some Javascript (introductory class) and tinkering on my own, and self taught what I've needed so far w/ PHP (as it's syntactically similiar to C).

I'd be interested in Book recommendations from Ryan or other members that have become well versed with ProcessWire development.

Thank you,

Crash

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Thanks for your question and welcome to the forums. Can you tell me more about the types of books you are looking for? General web development books, or something more specific? I have a lot of books in my library, but very few recent stuff other than the Book Apart mini-books (CSS3, HTML5, Responsive Web Design). And just for fun, here's a couple of highly recommended books on ProcessWire (below) written by our forum members. :)

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Cool. Thanks.

I hadn't dug deep into the internals of ProcessWire yet. My "boss" prefers Joomla, and then customize templates as needed - depending on client budget. Personally I can't stand anything about Joomla - I begrudgingly use it as required and have gotten used to some of it's less offending "qualities".

I had thought PW was based on PHP, but I see the revised PW frontpage is referencing JQuery now. There were a few JQuery and/or JavaScript based books I was considering but hadn't nailed down which might be best. Obviously personal taste will differ one way or another, but primarily I'd be looking for recommendations on:

  • PHP - that goes beyond merely cataloging functions or basic examples, php.net is fine for that.
  • JQuery and/or JavaScript.
  • CSS, as I'll need to develop templates that rely much less on hacking/customizing prefab structures.

I was considering a PHP/Mysql book, but at this point in time, I find myself much less inclined to cut my teeth on developing Joomla extensions:: the internals of Joomla (proper, templates and extensions) are painful to look at (and I know DOS/CMD Batch Script). Comparatively ProcessWire is so clean, functional, and easy on the eyes and brain.

A few years ago, I likely would of wanted a text on HTML, but that has devolved so far now, 90%+ of the front-end "Web-Code" I deal with are <div>'s modified by CSS.

As well, anything beyond the 3 languages/topics above, that would be beneficial or synergistic, like that ProcessWire book (much appreciated).

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Hi Crash and welcome to the forums!

To make things clear:

  • ProcessWire is php-based software, you do not need javascript knowledge to build sites/applications with it (ok, PW uses jQuery on its admin, but stuff you build won't require jQuery or javasript)
  • jQuery talk in frontpage tries to say that ProcessWire will do the same for site building with php that jQuery made to writing javascript: make it easy and fun. Also the PW api mimics jQuery API whenever it is possible and reasonable. So if you already know jQuery, you will probably grasp PW more easily.
  • (Javascript basics are common need in web development, so knowing those (after solid html/css) won't hurt at all)

About the books.. I have few recommendations on those topics:

PHP:

I would probably go with something very basic book with php. What got me started few years ago was first or second edition of this book: http://www.sitepoint.com/books/phpmysql4/ It is entry level book and very easy to follow. Although most of the topics it teaches are something that PW will give you granted (contennt management, database use, clean urls etc), it will teach you the basics that won't hurt. After that.. well I am open to suggestions also :)

Javascript:

If you are not sure about your CSS skills, please go train that before diving into javascript. If you code frontend javascript with lots of dom manipulation, you really need to know css well. It is vital part of that. I would probably go with some jQuery basics and after that dive into javascript. Reason is, that I remember that learning javascript was difficult and boring, but when I first tried jQuery, I got bling bling right away: it is easy, fun and rewarding. After getting grasp of jQuery you probably want to learn javascript more (I'm on this path now, still on basics with javascript.. :)).

And actual books: I would start with this: http://www.sitepoint.com/books/jquery1/ (I haven't read, but as entry level books I really like Sitepoint) and after learning the basics I would go with this: http://jqueryenlightenment.com/

CSS

The books I have read were written so long time ago, that I don't even remember titles. Eric Meyer wrote those, so probably good stuff :) I know that best way to learn css is just use firebug and sneak what others have done and how. Mimick and try to challenge yourself. Asking help on forums (maybe we should have general web talk for topics like that and this?) is good thing to do.

ProcessWire books

I really cannot recommend Beginning ProcessWire by Adam Kiss. He mainly talks about himself there. Even put his picture on the cover!

Whatever book you read, remember to create something at the same time or right after. Learning by doing, that is what really works for most of the people.

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I had thought PW was based on PHP, but I see the revised PW frontpage is referencing JQuery now.

This is actually funny: frontpage mentions jQuery 4 times, but php 0 times. We are currently re-thinking the website and it's content, so we will definitely make it better and more obvious.

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Thanks for replying Antti!

I agree with everything Antti said. Except for one thing: I don't recommend buying anything from SitePoint. They are an active supporter of spec work, which is bad for designers and bad for our industry. From their previous "SitePoint Contests" to their 99Designs.com company, they are taking advantage of the design community in a bad way. This isn't to say anything bad about their books or authors, just the company behind it. So buy their titles used. :)

When it comes to books, I usually head over to Amazon and hunt through reviews. People learn differently and books communicate in different ways. I try and find the reviews from people that are looking for the same things I am, and focus in on the books that seem to have a solid set of positive reviews with like-minded individuals. I don't have any books that I feel are must-haves, but I generally like everything I've purchased from O'Reilly, APress, and Wrox. My only jQuery book is Learning jQuery 1.3, which I think is excellent, but I'm guessing it's been updated since then.

While the two ProcessWire titles were a joke, I do think we will have a real book after a year or 2. If not through a well known publisher, then we'll self publish. My father owns/runs a design book publishing company, so lots of experience there to learn from.

With regard to the 'Beginning ProcessWire' book: While much of the language and examples could be potentially upsetting to any females that might come across the book, and nearly every sentence either starts or ends with some variant of the F-word, there is much wisdom and wit to be found in it's pages as you can probably derive from the author's photo on the cover.  ;)

Can't believe I forgot to mention PHP on the homepage. I have updated this so there are a couple of PHP mentions now. But seriously looking forward to Adam's work on the homepage.

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That looks like a good one– I definitely look forward to reading that.

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OK, so I just posted this to another thread but it's more appropriate here... I'm trying to get better with my PHP (well probably couldn't be much worse so any improvement there is a great improvement for me ;) and the Zend 'PHP 101' seems pretty useful to get going with http://devzone.zend.com/6/php-101-php-for-the-absolute-beginner/ plus it has a lot of really useful cross-references to the PHP manual on php.net (along with a goldmine of commented code snippets in the comments there).

Regarding books, the same author produced http://www.amazon.co.uk/PHP-BEGINNERS-Beginners-Guides-McGraw-Hill/dp/0071549013/ref=pd_sim_b_4 and it seems to have a set of decent reviews on Amazon (but I've not read it myself and it does date from 2008 so may be some better more up-to-date books).

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... just for fun, here's a couple of highly recommended books on ProcessWire (below) written by our forum members. :)

Adam is the new pinup hero in my office ;)

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Great links Martin. As for books, I think that looks like it could be a good one. Though with only 4 reviews, it's hard to tell, but I can't say that I've ever come across a bad PHP book. I've never been able to really learn stuff online like I can with books. I must be old fashioned like that, but I need to sit down with a book, away from the computer, and read through it all before I can really start to absorb it. One of the nice things about PHP books is that PHP itself is pretty timeless in that it's a reliable constant over long periods of time when new technologies keep popping up and disappearing. As a result, I like putting time towards mastering things like PHP, regular expressions, unix, vim, git, because you know they'll still be your tools 5, 10 years from now. So it doesn't really matter if you are buying a PHP book from 2008. So long as it's a book about PHP5 (not PHP4) then all is good.

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Good points there Ryan; and yes, I'm still a bit of a paper-based book person too.

I thought Vikram Vaswani's book looked like it might be useful based on the contents plus his great style in the '101' tutorials - which have also garnered good reviews for observing good programming practice; the book includes PHP5.3 even though this was still in development at the time so I would assume it's still pretty relevant.

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