Review: Veda Williams – Plone 3 Theming
I got a review copy of Veda Williams book “Plone 3 Theming“, which I have now finally read. I was positively surprised about the depth and detail of the book, it contains information not only on skinning, but explanations of how the Zope Component Architecture works, and how to override a portlet view. That means the book is useful all the way up until you start actually developing new products yourself. It also means that Packt Publishing has covered the Plone development spectrum, with Practical Plone 3 as an introduction into using and managing Plone, Plone 3 Theming to cover how to start making modifications, and finally Professional Plone Development when it’s time to go hardcore. Practical Plone 3 and Plone 3 theming also works to teach a beginning developer those skills needed to really grasp Professional Plone Development, which is a tersely written book that doesn’t explain much, but relies on code examples to teach you what you need. Efficient, but not easy.
There is a big caveat emptor with Veda Williams Plone 3 Theming, though. Recently in the Plone world, a new technique for theming sites known as Deliverance or XDV has started to get popular. Using Deliverance is a completely different technique and mindset from the old way of theming a Plone site, and although Plone 3 Theming has a chapter on this, it’s very brief. That’s understandable because it’s a new technique where people haven’t yet discovered all the pitfalls and best procedures, but it does mean that of you are handed a new project today, and need to theme that site, this book may not be what you are looking for.
However, the depth of detail and clear explanations in Veda Villiams books means that it’s going to work well for anybody who have an ongoing Plone 3 project or need to take over an Plone 3 site that is in production and needs to know how to theme that site. I also think it’s a good book for somebody who has read “Practical Plone 3” and wants to know more of what is going on behind the scenes of Plone, but find Martin Aspelis book too hardcore.