The Yii Book

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question that's not answered below, you can submit it via the feedback page.

What am I buying exactly?

Good question! There are two ways of looking at this. On the one hand, you're buying an electronic version of "The Yii Book" by Larry Ullman, in English. You will be able to download as many copies of the book as you want in these electronic formats: PDF, ePub, and mobi. All are DRM-free.
Moreover, when updates of the book are published, you'll be able to download those, too, at no additional cost, until December 31, 2016. This includes all updates...

  • While I complete the second version of the book (for Yii 2)
  • When I fix any minor or major issue in the book at any point in time

Another way of looking at this is that you're rewarding Larry for whatever benefit he's given you over the years. This could be:

However you look at it, the money you spend today is much appreciated.

Is the book available in other languages?

Not yet. I have been contacted by many people interested in translating the book into other languages. I will start pursuing that once the book is close to being finished (the Yii 2 version). If you're interested in doing a translation, or interested in buying a translation, let me know.

Is the book available for sale in print format?

Initially, the book is only available in electronic formats: PDF, ePub, and mobi. Once the book is finished (the Yii 2 version), I do plan on selling print versions. If you feel strongly about this option, let me know.

What Digital Rights Management (DRM) is used?

None. Nada. Zip. Zilch. NULL. And I would really appreciate it if you returned that courtesy by not giving away the book, posting it on file sharing sites, and so forth. This book is a lot of work for no guaranteed money; please don't undercut me because I choose not to treat everyone like a potential criminal by instituting an annoying DRM system.

Is the book available for sale at Amazon?

Not currently. I may make it available through Amazon in the future. I'm not sure. I will say there are two big problems with selling the book through Amazon. One is that I get cheated, money-wise: Amazon takes a huge percentage of the list price. A second problem is that Amazon would be a separate system, so a purchase there wouldn't register here. That means that if you were to buy the Kindle version of the book at Amazon, you couldn't freely download the PDF version from my site, or any extras. But if you feel strongly about this option, let me know.

Is the book available for sale as an Apple iBook?

Not currently. I may make it available as an Apple iBook in the future. I'm not sure. I suspect the same problems exist as with Amazon (see the above question). But if you feel strongly about this option, let me know.

Can I buy just a specific chapter?

I may offer that functionality in time, but haven't developed it yet. If you feel strongly about this option, let me know.

Are you going to make the book available in any other formats?

I'm not sure. It was always my plan to make a decent percentage publicly available in HTML format (in part for search engine purposes), but I haven't made any decisions about that yet. If you feel strongly about this option, or the book being available in any other formats, let me know.

When do you expect the entire book to be finished?

That's the million dollar question. My original hope was to have the book completed by the end of February of 2013, which didn't come close to happening. It just turns out to be much more work than I expected (not the writing part, but the other aspects of the process). The final version of the first edition (for Yii 1) is finally (finally!) complete. Now I'm updating the book for Yii 2. I'm currently hoping to have it done, well, as soon as possible. There's really no point in providing specific hopeful dates anymore. I do sincerely apologize for the delays but trust that I'm doing my best.

Can I get a copy of what you're working on now, without waiting for the next official release?

Thanks for the interest and I apologize for the delay. Unfortunately, I really cannot do this. Trying to provide any individual with an early copy is not fair to the other readers. It's also a decent amount of extra work for me (it's not as simple as sending you the file), and that extra work would delay my work on the rest of the book, which would also not be fair to everyone else. If you need help with an issue right now, you can always use the Yii or my support forums.

What version of Yii does the book cover?

The current version of the book covers Yii 1. Now that Yii 2 is out, and the first edition of the book is done, I'm updating the book for Yii 2. People that have purchased the Yii 1 version of the book will get the Yii 2 version for free.

Why isn't this site built in Yii?

Very astute of you to notice and ask! The simple answer is: use of Yii (or any framework) wasn't warranted. This site has only a few public pages; a framework would have been overkill. Don't get me wrong: I love the Yii framework and use it regularly for Web sites, but I don't believe you should always use a framework on every project. In the initial, beta version of the Web site, I didn't even created any administrative pages!

Can't I find all of this information in the Yii documentation or online?

Ah...yes. It is true that some, if not much, of the information in the book is freely available in the Yii documentation or elsewhere online. It's also true every word in "Don Quixote" is already in the dictionary (well, a Spanish dictionary). What books, among other things, are context and consistency.

How much of the book's content is new? How much of it is the same as on

You may be familiar with my popular "Learning the Yii Framework" series of blog posts I've written. You may have also seen some of the other posts I've written about Yii. When I started this book, I did begin by importing all of my existing content, and making note of the comments I've received. That constituted about 20,000 words, out of a projected 160,000. So, at most, one-eigth of the content previously existed, but even that is being updated and rewritten for the book, including new examples.

What do I need? What do I need to know?

The book does assume complete comfort with HTML, PHP, MySQL, and SQL. If you're not already strong with PHP, MySQL, and SQL in particular, I'd recommend you consider my "PHP and MySQL for Dynamic Web Sites: Visual QuickPro Guide" book. Comfort with object-oriented programming in PHP is not assumed, but will be helpful. The same goes for decent comfort with JavaScript. If you feel like you'd be well served by learning more JavaScript, might I recommend my "Modern JavaScript: Develop and Design" book.

Can I use Yii with my hosting company?

Maybe. Probably yes. So long as your hosting company provides PHP 5.1 or greater and a MySQL database, you should be okay for Yii 1; Yii 2 requires PHP 5.4 or greater. However, the first steps in creating a new Yii project start with a command-line interface, which you may not have. That being said, I recommend everyone install PHP and MySQL on his or her own computer and develop sites there, before making them live.

Can I get the book for free?

Um, no. I understand that some people are in economic, political, or geographic situations that makes buying the book difficult. Although I am very sympathetic to these situations, I cannot give the book away for free. For one reason, projects like this is how I make money, and I happen to need money (to pay bills, to take care of my family, etc.). For another, it's not fair to those people that are paying for the book if I were to give it to other people for free.

What is your return policy?

No returns are allowed. This is a strict policy, yes, but keep in mind I can't get the book back from you after returning your money. In other words, what's to stop people from buying and downloading the book, then getting their money back? This does mean it's a bit of a leap of faith on your part (buying the book with the hope/assumption it will be worth it), but that only seems fair as I took a leap of faith in writing it (with the hope/assumption people will buy it). Also, we're only talking $25 here, at the minimum. If you're unsure about the quality of my writing, perhaps you should check out my "Learning the Yii Framework" series before making a decision. If you're unsure about the quality of the book, check out the "reviews" I've seen so far. If you're still unsure, then you probably ought not to buy the book.

How do I register?

You register (i.e., create an account) by BUYING a book.