Technical IT publishing company Packt, has published Learning Joomla! Extension Development, a book that helps create Joomla! 1.5 extensions with PHP. Written by professional Joomla! Extension Developer Joseph L. LeBlanc, this book gives programmers their first step in customizing and extending the features of Joomla! through custom PHP development. For more information, please visit Packtpub

While Joomla! is packed with features, its greatest quality is that it is extremely extensible, allowing any number of complex applications to be cleanly integrated. Shopping carts, forums, social networking profiles, job boards, and real estate listings are all examples of extensions developers have written for Joomla!. All of these can run off one Joomla! site, while only one database, template, and core need to be maintained. When you build an extension to Joomla!, it will inherit the look and feel of the overall site. Any type of program that can be coded in PHP is a potential component waiting to be written!

The book builds example extensions to create, find, promote, and cross-link restaurant reviews. A component will handle common data items seen across all reviews such as price range, reservations, cuisine type, and location. Visitors will be able to search and sort through the reviews; adding their own criteria to zero in on their dining options for the evening. Modules will highlight new reviews, drawing the attention of frequent visitors. Finally, plugins will pull pieces of the reviews into feature articles and others will integrate them into searches.

As an open source project, Joomla! is free to download. This means that it survives through volunteers and donations from an enthusiastic community. In a move designed to demonstrate their support and to help provide a sustainable source of revenue for the project, Packt is paying Joomla! a percentage of every book sold.

Learning Joomla! Extension Development: Creating Modules, Components, and Plugins with PHP is published by Packt and is out now. For more information, please visit Packtpub