Professional CodeIgniterThere are currently only two books published about Codeigniter available in the market, one is called CodeIgniter for Rapid PHP Application Development and the other is this one I’m reviewing.

Having being using Codeigniter for a few simple projects, and really consider myself a CI newbie, I scooped up this book when I saw in at my local library, hoping for more insights into this wonderful framework. Instead I was left disappointed.

Written by Thomas Myer, this book has 10 chapters that walks the reader through the world of Codeigniter programming. It takes a unique approach of showcasing a client-programmer scenario. Throughout the chapters, you’ll be peppered with meetings with a hypothetical business owner named Claudia, who wants to build an online shopping site. You will get to witness the whole development cycle from gathering requirements to launching the end product.

The first three chapters introduces Codeigniter and the world of MVC (or Model-View-Controller), and the Agile development methodology. For someone like me who have no idea about Agile, it was at least a good read and a good introduction to what seems to be another rapid development approach.

Following on from the those chapters, you get into the meat of the book from chapter four onward. Here, the book walks you through building your client’s website, starting with the main public facing website and moving to the administrative screens, the shopping cart, dashboards and so on. All the while, illustrating the whole process with codes and simple screenshots.

In the meantime, Claudia hangs in the background and occassionally pops-up to change her mind about something, and the author showing how easy it is to go back and work in the new requirements – thanks to Codeigniter and the Agile methodology!

The book closes out in chapter nine and ten on security and performance issues, and finally launching Claudia’s shopping site.

So is this worth a buy?

Codeigniter might be new to me, but PHP is not, and this book has little to offer me. It looks like it is squarely targetted at PHP and CI beginners, but sadly even that doesn’t appeal. It reads like a bad journal, with Codeigniter being the supporting character, in the author’s quest to build Claudia’s e-com website. After awhile, I don’t really care what Claudia wants! It doesn’t really deserve the word “Professional” in the title, which is a shame really.

Codeigniter is much more than what this book spells out. Best practices like extending native libraries, abstractions using libraries and helpers, even topics like access-control, working with ajax are sorely missed. A good book that covers such best practices and approaches would be a good sell.

Personally, I won’t buy this book nor would I recommend this to PHP developers of any level looking at CI. I got a lot more insights into CI from the wonderful CI User Guide, and from the many excellent postings within the CI discussion boards, than I did from this book.

Final verdict? Do something more worthwhile with your time!