CodeIgniter 1.7 by Packt Publishing review

Pack Publishing asked me to do a review of their “CodeIgniter 1.7” book.
Since I’m familiar with Packt Publishing and books (not with reviewing) I said I’ll give it a go.

This book is for PHP programmers who are familiar or unfamiliar with model-view-controller framework CodeIgniter. After reading this book you should be able to use most of CodeIgniter`s features and make your own scripts which run on CodeIgniter.

CodeIgniter (CI for short) is an Open-Source PHP Model-View-Controller (MVC) framework. Multiple studies concluded that CodeIgniter is faster and lighter than other PHP frameworks like CakePHP and Zend Framework.  This book is targeted at PHP programmers who want to save time, effort and cost by switching to the CodeIgniter framework.

There are several benefits of CodeIgniter:

  • It runs on PHP 4 and
  • It generates clean urls (using mod_rewrite)
  • It’s extensible
  • It doesn’t require a template engine
  • It’s well documentated (especially when reading this book!)
  • It`s free!
  • It’s safer
  • It saves you loads of time

For a full list of features I recommend you read this link.

Before reading this book I had no experience with MVC. I do have some experience with PHP/SQL and much experience with HTML/XHTML.
The books requirements are basic knowledge of HTML and PHP. Basic knowledge of (My)SQL is also recommended.

The book covers the following topics:

  • Installing CodeIgniter
  • Creating a basic CodeIgniter page
  • Use CodeIgniter to connect to a database and execute read queries
  • Creating HTML pages and forms
  • Using sessions and implement security systems like a login system
  • Object-oriented programming in CodeIgniter
  • Create your own CodeIgniter plugins
  • Communicate using FTP and XML-RPC
  • Using CodeIgniter to provide dynamic information (for the constructions of calendars and translations)
  • Handle files (up and downloading) and images
  • Putting your site online, useful tips and trick to avoid errors
  • Advice about upgrading CodeIgniter
  • Create, Read, Update, Delete; create your first fully database powered script
  • In general, how codeigniter works and what the benefits are
  • Writers recommendation plugins
  • Additional resources (browser plugins, webserver software, literature)
  • Appendix: using codeigniter`s cart function to create a shopping cart

After reading the book I’m able to create and enhance websites with features found in the book. I can now tell my customers I make some “advanced” script myself.

The book still leaves me with few questions about advanced topics like database query caching. The book points to the CodeIgniter user guide (online), which fed my information hunger.

The book fulfilled my expectations.

I’ve placed the book in reach of my desktop. Programming can be overwhelming although CodeIgniter makes life easier. I’m happy to have this book in my bookcase! I’m very sure I’m going to use it on my next big PHP project.

I recommend this book to all PHP programmers who are looking for a framework to lower the workload. After reading this book you’re ready to replace most PHP scripts by your own custom made scripts based on CodeIgniter.

A sample chapter can be found here. It’s chapter 3: “Navigating your site”.

If you’re interested and read more, or buy the book you should check out this link.