I liked Joomla and really wanted to get under the hood. Not necessarily covered in oil but proficient enough to take any template and make a really professional web site from it. Now I don't mean to be a naysayer but I bought this book owing to the praiseworthy reviews. I've been hand coding websites for ten years and have even built my own CMS using PHP and MySQL so I'll give my opinion for the sake of those who are about to buy based on what I feel are misleading rave reviews.
First of all, Joomla is a very powerful CMS, so in fairness to the author it would be very difficult to write a book which warranted five stars given the complexity of what this CMS affords one. However, I do agree with, J. W. L. Smits "doctor dream", and should have paid more attention to that review. The book will get you underway competently but when it comes to implementing a template and customizing it for your particular purposes look elsewhere - this book will not be especially helpful. By and large, it is for the novice, it simply is not for the professional. Hopefully a second or third edition will address information organization more clearly especially with regard to the many permutations Joomla offers for navigation. Afterall if your navigation misleads, your audience leaves the page rapidly. I think the editor should have helped Mr. Rahmel more closely, it seems rushed and frought with omission as if it were trying to remain under a certain number of pages. Adding the 'to Professional' onto the title tagline is clearly the publishers effort at entrapping a greater audience - poor form.
I've read the thing cover to cover and it really needs an overhaul in terms of informational hierarchy and content layout. Specifically, what constitutes an article, why does it fall under a certain category and where and what section that in turn lies beneath and why and how do I link an article under a category within a section - the fundamental stuff, I could go on. In summary, buy it if you know nothing about CMS's, for a beginner its a four star read and you'll have a CMS website in no time. For the rest of us, get back online and google the forums and or buy Barrie North's book, 'Joomla, A users Guide'.