There have been plenty of reviews already on this book, by Mitchel Sellers, which I made sure to not read. I have not been able to find as much time to finish this book, even though it is quite short. Also, unlike the previous Wrox book that I reviewed, I did not help to do any technical editing for this book. So, you can rest easy knowing that even though I try to look at everything objectively, this one is guaranteed 100% objective. :)
When I first picked up this book, I was immediately disappointed. The book is quite tiny in comparison to other Wrox books. With 255 pages, this book is less than half of an average Wrox book. I almost exclusively buy books from Wrox due to their consistency in providing not only the “How To” information, but also the “Why” of the subject matter. Upon first glance at the book, it didn’t look like I would be seeing the additional information I am used to.
Before you continue, know this: I am overall very happy with this book. While I have some criticisms, be sure to read past them to view my summary.
I was surprised at the Professional DotNetNuke 5 book, in that I was able to very easily read from cover-to-cover, much like a novel. This is not typical of a technical book, and that’s what I found in this book. This book on module programming was not a cover-to-cover read for me. It was instead, at step-by-step on building a Guestbook module, with some additional module development options sprinkled in, with advanced topics covered at the end.
Mitchel does a great job throughout the book, pointing out many of the things that every beginning module developer needs to know. He shows us how to effectively and thoroughly use all of the most common module functionality and DotNetNuke API features. He even goes a step further, and gives the method/member definitions for some of the most common classes and methods. Though, in many of the code samples, an important piece of the puzzle for most developers was missing. Why did we code Listing X in this way, versus this way?
I was happily surprised to see that nearly all code samples included both C# and VB examples. However, I was also surprised to see Widgets shunned in the manifest definition topics. Every other manifest type was mentioned.
The final chapter went over “best practices” for module developers, but I think it really should have covered more ground, and offered more tips and suggestions to help first time developers get past the most common speed bumps in module development.
I also would have like to see the community information section expanded a bit more. The list looked quite small – but maybe that was a good thing.
Even though I had some criticisms for this book, that should not reflect poorly upon the book, the author, or the publisher. I have found out first hand that books go through a long and rigorous process where many decisions get made for an untold number of reasons. The fact is, if any publisher could make a “perfect” book, we’d only have a single publisher out there. (My bets are on Wrox.)
Reading through this book cover-to-cover is only recommended if you have never built a DNN module before, or maybe only once. Otherwise, this book is the ultimate reference for DotNetNuke module developers. To-date, no other published resource is as inclusive or as thorough in it’s list of examples and information. If you think of this as a reference, I just wish that this book came in a pocket format, to easily take it with me everywhere.
I most certainly recommend this book to any DotNetNuke developer, as few of us can remember all of the information that this book covers. Is this book worth the money? Absolutely! Do not delay any longer, buy the book now and get better at DNN development. Don’t buy the book, and your skills will remain the same.
Mitchel Sellers is the genius behind Iowa Computer Gurus, and they are a Silver sponsor for the Day of DotNetNuke! Thank you so much, Mitchel for your support!