Disclosure: I am not being paid for this review, but Packt Publishing did offer me the book for free in exchange for my review. I also work for Sencha Inc. I intend for this review to remain impartial, but be be your own judge.
What I Liked
I definitely liked that the book was aimed at beginners. Sencha’s products have a steep learning curve (despite our best efforts to offer guides and support), so books like this go a long way in helping our community!
I also liked how the authors introduced topics like SASS/Compass, Sencha.io Src, and other bits. The explanations were concise, and the examples were just enough to capture the imagination of the reader.
The authors also peppered the book with good advice. One example was event delegation (which helps save memory and improve performance).
Finally, I loved that the authors built a full-feature app in Chapter 8. It’s the kind of example that should really help people apply the knowledge learned throughout the rest of the book!
What I Didn’t Like
My first criticism is that the book discusses Sencha Touch 1.x – only because ST 2.x was released very recently. This fact immediately lowers the value of the book, as there are major differences between versions.
Although I liked that the book was aimed at beginners, I didn’t like that the authors spent time explaining how to download and use an FTP client (in chapter 2). That’s just wasting paper in my opinion… beginner or not, it’s not appropriate for a technical book as some level of knowledge has to be expected.
I also EMPHATICALLY disagree with the authors’ tip in Chapter 4 to use an “id” config on all components (so you can use Ext.getCmp(). DO NOT DO THIS. Stop telling people to do this. It is a really, really bad idea and causes a million run-time bugs when developers are not careful. The Ext.ComponentQuery class and its methods are a much better solution.
And unless I missed it, the authors failed to mention that Sencha Touch Charts are not free for commercial use. Although the cost isn’t all that expensive, that’s a big deal to a lot of developers.
I hope the authors take the time to update the book (soon) for Sencha Touch 2.x because it’s a great starting point for the framework. While more advanced developers familiar with Sencha Touch won’t get much out of it, I definitely think it’s a book worth recommending.