Having downloaded and installed Joomla without incident, I played around with the administration pages enough to get a feel of what was going on: there were templates that had places to put sections, which contained various categories, that contained content. After convincing myself Joomla! was exactly what I wanted, there were three tasks I wanted to get into immediately. 1) Removing the example junk from the page (e.g., "powered by Joomla!" and its banners). 2) Customize my own templates. 3) Inject some of my own PHP. Given that I'm familiar with Linux, Apache, MySQL, HTML/XML/XSLT/CSS, and PHP, all I needed was some simple documentation to show me where to start and how the architects laid out the system so that I could make modules that were Joomla! friendly.
This book totally failed to live up to the task.
There's something slightly off about the author's command of the English language. Word choices don't seem quite right, the analogies are obtuse and unnecessarily complicated, he gets overly excited about non-issues, and there's inconsistency between diagrams and corresponding code. (e.g, a picture will show something as a "section", but the HTML will show it as a "part" -- very confusing when it's unclear if this code is related to that picture).
The book does a half-way decent job of walking through each menu item, which is an extensive feature list. Problem is, the book is already dated, and the descriptions aren't that much more detailed than the text hints provided on Joomla! pages themselves.
The section that talks about creating templates instead presents a horrible and incomplete example of basic HTML, no where getting to what you need to know to make an actual template. Right at the point where PHP calls are needed to inject content or behavior, the book glosses over details, providing not so much as a function reference. In short, you're flying blind.
The section on modules and writing PHP is just as bad, if not more so incomplete. You're pointed a list of modules other people have written, but given very little instructions other than to fill out the forms when presented after installation.
I was really under impressed with this book.
After going through the whole book, I realized there wasn't a thing covered that I hadn't figured out in 15 minutes of casual playing with the software.
There's much more that's needed other than a bunch of screen shots. This book simply doesn't deliver. Try another title.