About the Author
Joseph Kwan has been a professional programmer for 12 years. He has thorough understanding of all major web technologies including HTML, XML, CSS, XSL, PHP, ASP, .NET, JS, AJAX, Apache, MySQL, MSSQL etc, on both Linux and Windows system. In the past 5 years or so, he has specialized himself in Joomla!/Virtuemart. Besides customizing/building many Joomla! components and modules, Joseph is also considered one of the few Virtuemart experts who know the system from front to back. He is highly regarded in the Virtuemart community and is renowned for building robust and quality extensions to Joomla!/Virtuemart. Joseph is also very active in the forum. He works from Burnaby, BC Canada.
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful.
By Amazon Customer
Now if you are debating on whether to use Virtuemart as your open source Ecommerce solution I will give you my two cents on that. We use Magento at our workplace and it's pretty good. But we've had to run a separate company website with Wordpress because Magento just doesn't have the CMS for multi-user information. I've played around with both the Wordpress and Drupal plugins and they're both okay. Wordpress is easy but isn't as good as Virtuemart. Drupal is an absolute beast to put together. Not for beginners. I actually found Joomla/Virtuemart when reading through Joomla from Novice to Advanced. There was once chapter on Virtuemart and that's all it took for me to get hooked.
Here's my shortlist for people who want to create an Open Source E-commerce website and know nothing about webdesign:
1.HTML, XHTML and CSS by Elizabeth Castro (the basics)
2.GIMP from Novice to Professional by Akkana Peck (graphics)
3. Inkscape 0.48 Essentials for Web Designers (best book out there on Inkscape - fun!)
4. Joomla! E-Commerce with VirtueMart by Suhreed Sarkar
5. This one.
You should probably get a half decent intro to Joomla as well and you can skip steps if you already know them.
0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
just the front end
By W Boudville
The text does not discuss all of VirtueMart, but confines itself to only those points related to the front end; ie. what the website visitor directly can see when shopping. The so-called default theme shows a large number of settings that you can readily tweak. These impact points like whether an item for sale is out of stock, whether the customer can write a review of a purchased item, your return policy [usually vital for many commerce sites], and which shopping areas [web pages] of the site need to use https for security, since pages that just use http traverse the Internet as plaintext and can thus be trivially read by any intermediate machine. There are many more items than this, as evidenced by the numerous screen captures in the text, but the previous ones give you some of the flavour of what is available.
4 major template groups are then explained. A lot of the value of the narrative comes in how the functions are described in an understandable manner, and the PHP files that perform each function are listed. This lets you wade through the morass of many PHP files and understand in depth, if you need to, how the functions are implemented. From the programmer's standpoint, it can save much time in providing a top-down guide to the source code. I am guessing from my own experience with open source code, that the text's guide is far superior to what is provided in the in situ documentation.
Perhaps the more advanced section of the book is where it delves into how you can write your own theme, in place of the default theme. The coding here is more advanced and can be more intricate than earlier, if you had gone into changing template group PHP files. Making a theme involves an understanding of object oriented programming, because that it how the Joomla coders set up the code structure. No big deal if you already have done OO in languages like Java or C++. Whereas any earlier programming in a PHP file might typically have meant that you could ignore OO concepts. While PHP certainly allows OO, the smaller scale effort where you focus on one or 2 PHP files, and the often short lengths of those files meant that you could often have ignored any explicit OO issues.
0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
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Get Control Over the Complexities of VirtueMart Theming
If you already know how to use VirtueMart pretty well, this is a great book for learning how to get control over the look of things, but it is not the best choice if you are just starting out. (A good choice that I have read and personally recommend is Joomla! E-Commerce with VirtueMart by Packt publishing.)
This book concentrates on modifying the look of your VirtueMart component. You can learn how to modify the way the product listing appears as well as the product details by modifying the templates and pages. It can get kind of complex because there are so many associated files, but the book does a good job of walking you through the process. You also learn about changing the look of the various checkout pages and shipping, final confirmation and thank you pages.
Most designers will want to have full control over VirtueMart to keep a consistent look throughout their site. The sample project walks you through the entire VirtueMart theming process so that you can actually learn by doing. The publisher also has a site where you can download all of the code files used in the book that you can check your work against (or so you don't have to type everything in by hand!).