Book review: Building Online Communities with Drupal, phpBB, and WordPress

Book review: Building Online Communities with Drupal, phpBB, and WordPress


Three books in one, covering popular community building softwareThree books in one, covering popular community building software

Increasingly, the World Wide Web is not about static information pages, nor even dynamic web applications, but the process of creating and maintaining communities and collaborative efforts. Three of the most popular tools for developing such sites are presented in this new book from Apress.

This book is really three small books bound into one volume, as each software package is dealt with in a separate part of the book, apparently by separate authors

The contents

This book is really three small books bound into one volume, as each software package is dealt with in a separate part of the book, apparently by separate authors. Each section is a fairly straightforward “how to” on installing and configuring the software on a Linux/Apache web server running PHP. The Drupal section is the largest, as it is the most comprehensive package, but you’ll find all you need to set up a site based on any of these three packages. In addition to basic configuration, the book covers how to customize the look of your site, which is an important capability from a site designer’s point of view.

Who’s this book for?

If you are looking to create a online community for any project of interest to you, and you are dedicated enough to manage a server for it, this book is probably for you. These are among the most popular free software tools for creating communities that are available today.

Relevance to free software

All of the software in this book is free software, as are the operating systems in the examples.

Pros

This book will get you up and running pretty fast and it covers most of the things you’d expect to need for a fairly complete site, regardless of which of the three packages you choose. Since the parts of the book are rather parallel, it also serves as a good comparison analysis, allowing you to choose which package you want.

Cons

One thing the book does not address is how to use these tools together. From the title you might think that that would be the objective, but they are treated pretty much independently. So perhaps the book ought to use “or” in the title instead of “and”.

Title Building Online Communities with Drupal, phpBB, and WordPress
Authors Robert T. Douglass, Mike Little, Jared W. Smith
Publisher Apress
ISBN 1590595629
Year 2005
Pages 560
CD included No
FS Oriented 10/10
Over all score 8/10

In short

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Comments

Anonymous visitor's picture
Submitted by Anonymous visitor (not verified) on

Thanks for the review. I've seen this book around and have been curious about it (not actually seen it in a book store yet, so I've not been able to flip though it).

It seems to me to be an odd combination of subjects. I would do my research online to decide which package I would want to use, then buy a book that covers just the CMS I choose.

Is this book really that useful?

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Doug
Technical Subjects

Author information

Terry Hancock's picture

Biography

Terry Hancock is co-owner and technical officer of Anansi Spaceworks. Currently he is working on a free-culture animated series project about space development, called Lunatics as well helping out with the Morevna Project.