Update: This wiki has been rewritten to be in line with Yii 1.1.14. Since many of the detailed complexities are now handled by Yii, the article focuses on how the crypt() built-in function works and why it's important to use it correctly.
There are situations in which Active Record will generate nonsense queries from what a nieve Yii user might think is reasonable code. One such situation is a CActiveDataProvider using CDbCriteria to get data from parent and 1:n child table with a condition on the child table.
There are cases that you want more control to your menu
Suppose you want a specific menu with complex css, layout, images.
This wiki is a step-by-step example explaining how the controller, model and the view's CGridView work together. It explains simple things - as well as more complex things that you will anyway quickly have to know. So, even if you don't use dynamic gridviews, take a morning off and thoroughly work through this tutorial. It should save you lots of struggling.