The Yii Book, an Update

August 13, 2012

I’m just now putting the wraps on the third edition of my “PHP Advanced: Visual QuickPro Guide” book, this one titled “PHP Advanced and Object-Oriented Programming: Visual QuickPro Guide“. That book will come out in late September, and I’m quite pleased with how it turned out (and hope you will be, too).

With that book almost done, this marks the first time in a long, long, long time (i.e., years) in which I am not facing a deadline. While I’m always doing some things here and there for clients, the books are the projects that have deadlines and around which other work has to be scheduled. With no book contracts currently signed, and therefore with no deadlines, I can now—finally—turn my attention to my book on the Yii framework. Here’s what you can expect…

The Very Preliminary TOC

Hopefully by the end of the month, I’ll have a solid, preliminary table of contents (TOC) created. I have a rough sense of what the TOC will look like, but I’ll want it to be fairly well set in stone before I begin writing, much more so than on most books. Why? As I’m going to be making the book available for sale as I write it, I can’t really expect readers to buy it without a good sense of what they’ll be getting.

The general structure will likely be:

  • Part 1: Getting Started
  • Part 2: Core Concepts
  • Part 3: Advanced Concepts
  • Part 4: Example Applications

The first part will be a lot of the content already on this blog: intro to MVC, maybe an intro to OOP in PHP, the “Learning the Yii Framework” content, etc. I would expect everyone would read this part once. And, to be clear, it’d all be updated for Yii2 and edited to fit within the context of the book.

The second part goes into the core concepts in great detail and would be a good reference down the line.

The third part goes into more advanced concepts, which not everyone would need right away (e.g., creating extensions, using alternative Model classes instead of Active Record, etc.).

The fourth part will create a couple of example applications (or parts thereof): CMS, e-commerce, etc.

That’s what I’m initially thinking. I will be putting a lot of thought into it and taking into account all of the feedback I’ve thus far received. Any feedback and suggestions are most welcome.

So, by the end of the month, I hope to have the TOC complete and posted for feedback.

The Book’s Material

As previously mentioned, the book will be written specifically for Yii 2, due out in alpha version soon. Qiang Xue, the creator of Yii, and Alex Makarov, author of the popular Yii 1.1 Application Development Cookbook (Packt Publishing), have both generously offered their assistance as technical editors for the book. This is a great honor and will make the book that much better.

Buying the Book

In September, I’ll start writing the book itself. As I said, I plan on making the book available for sale as I write it. Qiang, Alex, and I are developing a site through which the book can be sold. Initially, you will only be able to buy the entire book. When you make a purchase, you will be able to download the completed book to that point. As I post new chapters and updates, you will be able to re-download the most current version of the book. Buying the book once will allow you to always and freely download the most current version of the book until the time when I would write a formal second edition (not sure when, or if, that will ever be).

The book will initially be able in common electronic formats: PDF, epub, and perhaps mobi.

Many details are still to be determined and some things will change in time (e.g., eventually people will be able to purchase individual chapters). In short, the goal is to make the book as easy to purchase as possible, as quickly as possible.

Going Forward

That’s where things stand today. The Yii book and the site for selling it are my main priorities for the rest of the year. My hope is that Part 1 of the book would be done in September; Part 2 in October, and the remaining parts through the rest of the year.

If you have any questions or comments, please share them. Thanks in advance and thanks for your interest in the book!