Creating the ‘ideal’ content management solution is a goal many businesses strive for. Having written my own and worked on several others I know the perils that can befall those who attempt such a feat. In this latest book Kae Verens takes on the beast.
This book aims to enable the reader to build a working CMS by the turn of the last page. The author outlines objectives that the CMS must achieve and this sets the tone of the book. Broken down into clear sections which introduce the reader to complex concepts such as plugin management, access rights and security. All of this is maintained against the backdrop of working examples which the reader is encouraged to complete.
Strengths of the book
The author does a great job of outlining some key concepts when designing a CMS. Ideas around a core code base, which can be enhanced on a per business basis is excellent and the explanation of plugins and hooks for bespoke functionality was a topic which was very clearly explained. Tackling a subject of such a grand scale is always going to be tough and the author does a good job of outlining areas where the reader might want to expand beyond the scope of the book. I was also relieved to see that ajax was not over-utlised. The introduction ofย of the Smarty templating language was also a great addition to the design patterns.
This book does not come without its drawbacks, and though these are few, there were a couple of aspects, which I was not keen on. Directory structures is always going to be a point of contention. I have strong views on this and so will many other developers, so using one letter words for CSS & JS directories seemed a little foolish. Also areas around security were at times a little flaky, and if there is one area of building a CMS system that needs to be rock solid it is this. However that out of the way the book sheds light on a lot of important aspects such as planning and general design patterns around building such a complex system.
Being a seasoned programmer I felt this book had a lot to offer, though there were areas which I did not personally agree with this did not stop me drawing a lot of useful information, and by the final chapter I felt that the book had been a worthwhile investment.