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My first book!

More than 4 month of intensive planning, writing, coding, correcting, drawing, rephrasing, more writing,... to keep it short: A huge lot of work and much more even than we expected, after so many people told us, that writing a book would be a huge lot of work. Anyway, although writing was hard beside university, normal work, conferences, girl friend, and other commitments, Kore and me managed to have the world wide first eZ Components book in the final correction phases right now! *jump``*`` While Kore already wrote a chapter for a collaborative work, this is the first book for us 2, which we write completly on our own and for me even the first real contribution to a book overall.

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Especially the last phase, right during the exams, was hard and kept us much more from our regular work than we originally expected. Sorry to eZ for our delay there, I'm sure I can fix what I missed so far in a bit more than 2 weeks, when I can start right with real work on the 2007.2 version. Luckily I passed 3 of my 4 exams already very good this year, the 4th does not look very likely to succeed and I fust just need to write a 15 pages evaluation paper on XML accessing facilities in PHP during the rest of the free phase between exams. That means, until mid of October a lot of time for eZ Components, private projects and personal issues.

Amazon has finally setup the image for it, so I can blog this post. ;) The "eZ Components Developers Handbook", that is the working title translated to English, is a full-featured, professional and modular introduction into eZ Components. Beside the basic services of eZ Components you will get to know most of the stable components, among those Template, Graph, PersistentObject, DatabaseSchema, ConsoleTools, SignalSlot and a lot more. Except for 2 really minor ones and the brand new of background and insider information directly from the developer team.

Since eZ Components already have a very good API documentation with basic usage examples and a tutorial including some descriptive text, we decided, that a pure reference book would just be a rephrased print of the docs and not worth much. Therefore, we developed a funny little example application to illustrate, how eZ Components could can be used, as close as possible to the real world. This tiny blog is developed during the book, step by step, introducing new features which are based on different components.

This gives you, as a reader, the possibility to understand how to solve real-world-like problems from the base of an application up to more specific features, like visualizing log data using Graph or creating blog entries out of IMAP or POP mail boxes. We also show extended features of what each component can do for you to catch up all available features, everything build upon our integrated examples.

While this is a nice way of reading the book sequentially and mostly suitable for beginners, we tried to take care, that you can use it as a reference to find commented reference examples as fast as possible. Each chapter has an informal part, introducing the new features for the example application and how they will be realized using the specific components. You won't need to understand this one, if you did not read the chapters before, but get all references you need to understand that part. The second part is much larger and gives you a detailed architectural overview of the component, including small examples, and a about as long practical introduction, based on shorten code snippets from the application.

That way, it is possible to read the book as a complete eZ Components new-be, as well as an intermediate and also professional users, who get a good reference, completing the online documentation. Where feasible, important OO patterns are explained in short, but from scratch and references for additional information is provided, so that even OO-beginners can learn good programming manor while reading this book.

The complete source code, so far we needed it for the book, will be shipped with the book on CD, as well as the utilized eZ Components release, the documentation and more material. That way, you get the full source code to dig into the application structure in depth, if you want to. Following the book, you should be able to understand the step-by-step application development and the different source code stages, alligned with the chapters. Trying to extend the functionality of the tested code or to implement missing parts of a feature is a nice idea to reflect a chapter.

We hope to give the PHP community a good way to start rapidly with their speed-improved, secured and more comfortable application development. Pre-Order the book in German language now, either on Amazon or directly on our publishers website, to get a shipping-free copy (inside Germany) as soon as the printed version is released. The target due date here is start of October 2007. Although the Amazon text states, that the book will be about 350 pages, I can tell you the secret that the last draft that I saw was over 400. Let's see how the final version will like...

Some insiders of the library project told me, that chances might be good, that eZ will get this book translated into English, after the German release... ;)

Note: Kore and me wrote this book apart of our work at eZ Systems and the content is not related to the company in any way! Anway, thanks to eZ Systems for the permission to use the logo on the really cool cover and to the eZ Components team for technical support. Special thanks from me to Kore for great team work! :)

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