symfony 1.3 Book by Tim Bowler & Wojciech Bancer

Symfony 1.3 Web Application Development is the latest book on the symfony PHP web framework and the first not written by the authors of the framework.

This allows the authors to adopt a more pragmatic style that favors 3rd party plugins. This is a good thing because IMHO the most important thing about a framework is it’s library of extensions.

The book also has a nice blend of information available in the already available symfony book, cookbook, and book length tutorials using the techniques that a actual development team would use.

Unfortunately this book was pushed out before symfony 1.3 was finished, and apparently before a sufficiently detail oriented proofer could go through the book. Luckily the issues are primarily non-technical and mostly limited to the first few chapters and should not deter you from purchasing the book.

The most notable technical issue I have with the book is the use of a XML schema instead of a YAML one, this actually works fine, it’s just a non-standard way of doing it. Also sometimes it feels like the authors did a search for 1.2 and replaced it with 1.3, again this is not that big a deal because the differences between the versions are mostly not relevant to beginner or intermediate symfony developers.

So would I recommend this book? Yes, especially if PAKT comes out with a second revision with better editing. This book provides valuable real world examples and accessible detail that eases the difficult learning curve of symfony development.