It's wintertime (at least here in the Southern Hemisphere), so the ideal time for reading a good book by the fire – or at the beach for the lucky ones north of the equator. And of course it's hard to find a more thrilling topic than SilverStripe!
Packt Publishing has just released a new book for everybody interested in the topic: SilverStripe 2.4 – Module Extensions, Themes, and Widgets, written by Philipp Krenn. Philipp has been involved with SilverStripe for a while, starting with building our first database abstraction layer during Google Summer of Code 2007.
The book covers everything you need to create a website (or web application) in SilverStripe 2.4, with clear step-by-step instructions. The author guides through the development of a typical restaurant website, and shows ways to customise your installation with templates, widgets and modules. Every chapter has a "pop quiz" section where readers can test what they've learned so far (no worries, the answers are in the back).
Philipp asked some prolific SilverStripe community members to step in as book reviewers, namely Aaron Carlino ("UncleCheese"), Sigurd Magnusson and myself. We did our best to support Philipp in his heroic efforts (writing a book is hard work!), and are very pleased with the results. By the way, the publisher is still looking for reviewers.
If you are wondering whether you should buy this book, or rather the "old" SilverStripe book published by Wiley in 2009, our answer is perhaps not surprising: You can get value out of both! The Wiley edition is now slightly outdated, as it targets SilverStripe 2.3 – the vast majority of instructions are still valid, though. Both books overlap in their topics, but also have exclusive content. As an example, the Packt book tells you about partial caching and popular modules like DataObjectManager, while the Wiley book goes more into detail on unit testing and setting up RestfulServer.
Overall, it's a testament to an active community and healthy ecosystem to have multiple books about our software out there. In addition to the recently relaunched doc.silverstripe.org, and exciting community efforts like ssbits.com, we're happy to see more documentation choices for new SilverStripe developers.