File Size: 60735 KB
Print Length: 368 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (July 23, 2012)
Publication Date: July 23, 2012
Sold by: Digital Services LLC
X-Ray: Not Enabled
Word Wise: Not Enabled
Lending: Not Enabled
Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Best Sellers Rank: #811,755 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store) #156 in Books > Computers & Technology > Web Development & Design > Content Management #254 in Books > Computers & Technology > Graphics & Design > Electronic Documents #611 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Computers & Technology > Web Site Design
Agonizing.This book is about Joomla templates, right? It says so right on the cover. So, out of 278 pages of real "stuff" (excluding introduction, index, appendix), why are the first 90 pages devoted to everything but Templates?Author Angie Radtke has great qualifications, but if I wanted to know her opinion about website accessibility, color balance, PHP basics, CSS and HTML basics, the aesthetics of font selection, and general website design advice, I'd have bought a book about, oh say, "Website Design."Here are some things I just don't need to be told in a book about Joomla templates:- "In many cases the choice of colors is determined in advance by the corporate design of the client."- "People who are blind tend to have well-developed acoustic as well as tactile senses..."- "Firebug is one of the most glorious inventions for template designers."With that said, the other 180 pages of the book do a pretty good job of explaining the role of templates and how to use them. The last 60 pages walk the user though a productive, detailed exercise of designing the front end of a Joomla website and illustrate template use in a rewarding way. If anything, those 60 pages are the nugget of value in this book. (In fact, if I had to take a guess, I'd say Ms. Radtke wrote the last 180 pages, was told by the publisher to make it longer to justify the target size and price of the book, and that she then added the first third, but that's just me.)I took my lumps on this one and proceeded to the Joomla "Programming" book in the same series, which I liked very much, so I haven't searched more for templates-only guides on Joomla.
I'm a beginning level web developer who has created a basic Joomla website but wanted to learn how to customize a template for increased style control. I've looked at several Joomla! templates and found that they are typically composed of many different files, making it almost impossible to figure out where to start*. I was hoping that this book on Joomla templates might explain how these are typically set up, but was disappointed in this.Many rather basic topics are covered in this book, but Radtke often inexplicably uses advanced undefined terms and concepts in the midst of elementary explanations, leaving beginners in the dust. For instance, on page 37,in the context of the introduction of HTML5, Radtke says "The new semantically significant elements are particularly interesting," with no further explanation (I have a clue, but this could have been stated in much plainer language). On page 38, when she explains that css statements can be added in external files (already knew that!), she provides a code sample to accomplish this, but doesn't mention where this code would be placed among the many template files. A brief explanation of how style sheets are integrated into a Joomla website would have been nice here. It is also unfortunate that while this book was copyrighted in 2013, it does not discuss either of the default templates packaged with Joomla!3 (released in 2013), but instead deals with the old Beez2.As there are not very many reference books available for Joomla!, this is still a useful reference for those of us who prefer to learn by reading. The table of contents shows the broad scope of this book, and dutiful perseverance will still reward relative beginners with some information useful at that level. However, it could (and should) have been so much better....*A refreshing exception is Jaxstorm-Blue, with all of its css in one file, making it a good learner's tool.
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