Review: Joomla 4! Masterclass by Luca Marzo
At the Joomla Community Magazine, we love it when people write books about Joomla (and maybe even more when these people are our own team members!). In this month’s issue, Laura Gordon reviews Joomla! 4 Masterclass: A practitioner's guide to building rich and modern websites using the brand-new features of Joomla 4 by Luca Marzo.
There are technical books that are a ‘sit down and read’, there are tech books that you can teach a class from, and then there are books that can be a mixture of both. I have been using Joomla since 2006. I have taught classes virtually, in person at conferences from Introduction to Joomla to more advanced Joomla concepts. I manage over 120 Joomla websites at a State University and I have been maintaining Joomla websites for private clients since 2005. I have taken and passed the Joomla 3 administrator exam back in 2017. I feel it’s important to understand my background when putting together a review for any Joomla book.
There is always room to learn, and to learn more. This Masterclass book takes you through each element of the Joomla Content management system, step by step. You do not need to know older versions of Joomla in order to get some use out of this book. The book is broken down into easy to understand elements of each ‘piece’ of the Joomla content management system. Once in a chapter you are given the factual elements of that ‘piece’ of Joomla. Then most importantly you are taken through an example so you can build upon what you are learning.
Technical learning requires ‘doing’. In the technical world it is not possible to just ‘read and understand’. You have to do, you have to make mistakes and press buttons you weren’t sure that you could press. My top recommendation when reading this book, is to work alongside Luca as he guides you through each element. This is the best way to really understand it and ‘get Joomla’. This is important even if you have used Joomla before.
Personally, although I know about workflows and I have seen demos of it before, I really liked Luca’s explanation on how to put them in action. I still learned more than what I had known before.
My only ‘constructive criticism’ would be for the sample exercises. My brain works better if instead of creating ‘my module’, ‘my article’, it would be a more ‘lifelike example’. So if you are going to build a Joomla site and use his book, build something. A pretend Hair Salon, Aquarium, Museum, something that has some basic content that you can build, and use as your own base example. A Hair Salon has services, staff, hours, location, directions and information about the salon, which gives you a simple chance to build out on categories, articles, modules, menus and even permissions if you gave a ‘staff member’ the ability to update their own bio for example.
In Summary, if you haven’t learned how to use Joomla 4 yet, get this book. If you have used Joomla 3 for years and think: I don’t need to ‘learn any more’, you are mistaken; get this book. Take the time, the more you understand how a system works the better your websites can become, the better you will become as either a developer or even as a customer. If you don’t actually ‘build the site’, but you hire someone else to build it for you, this book can show you what you can achieve with Joomla. The best client is a well informed client and one who understands what a system is capable of.
Book Author: Luca Marzo
Book Link: Joomla! 4 Masterclass