Using Drupal

Author: Angela Byron, Addison Berry, Nathan Haug, and Jeff Eaton
Publisher: O'Reillly, 2008
Pages: 496
ISBN: 978-0596515805
Aimed at: Drupal beginners
Rating: 4
Pros: Good case studies
Cons: Lacks deep explanations
Reviewed by: David Conrad

 

This is a users book on Drupal (a CMS) that allows you to get up to speed but do you need it if you can read the source code?

Author: Angela Byron, Addison Berry, Nathan Haug, and Jeff Eaton
Publisher: O'Reillly, 2008
Pages: 496
ISBN: 978-0596515805
Aimed at: Drupal beginners
Rating: 4
Pros: Good case studies
Cons: Lacks deep explanations
Reviewed by: David Conrad

Drupal is an open source project and as such this means that you can always read the code to find out what it does - but like most open source projects getting inside the system is difficult. Also like most open source projects its documentation isn't great and this is a particular problem for beginners. Getting started with Drupal is difficult and working out how to implement some website feature using it confusing.

This book will give you the start you need. The first two chapters give you an overview and help you set up a basic Drupal site. From here the rest of the book tackles a range of types of sites as case studies. We have a job posting board, product reviews, a wiki publishing workflow, photo gallery, a multi-lingual site, event management and an online store. The final chapter deals with themes and templates.

If you want to use Drupal to implement a site that is similar to any of the case studies then you should buy the book. However it doesn't go very deep into any of the modules used and it certainly doesn't venture into creating your own modules. Many of the case studies work by telling you what to do and only later telling you why. You will also need to visit the list of errata at the website if you are actually going to try to follow any of the recipes.

This is the missing user manual for Drupal and if you are a beginner then you will save a lot of time if you buy it.

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Elliptic Tales

Author: Avner Ash and Robert Gross
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Pages: 280
ISBN: 978-0691151199
Aimed at: Adventurous mathematicians
Rating: 4.5
Pros: Fascinating excursion into advanced topics
Cons: Too fast and too tough in places
Reviewed by: Mike James

This is a real math book - can you  [ ... ]



Think Stats

Author: Allen B. Downey
Publisher: O'Reilly, 2011
Pages: 140
ISBN: 978-1449307110
Aimed at: Programmers
Rating: 2
Pros: Good treatment of estimation
Cons: Too slight, badly organized
Reviewed by: Mike James
Increasingly programmers are having to cope with the difficult ideas of statistics and probability i [ ... ]


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