Developer's Guide to Social Programming

Author: Mark D. Hawker
Publisher: Addison Wesley
Pages: 336
ISBN: 978-0321680778
Aimed at: Developers interested in Google Friend Connect, Facebook and Twitter
Rating: 4.5
Pros: Useful as reference
Cons: Overlong listings, some poor explanations
Reviewed by: Mike James

if you are interested in creating something that works with Twitter, Facebook or Google Friend Connect is this a useful book?

Author: Mark D. Hawker
Publisher: Addison Wesley, 2010
Pages: 336
ISBN: 978-0321680778
Aimed at: Developers interested in Twitter, Facebook and Google Friend Connect
Rating: 4.5
Pros: Useful as reference
Cons: Overlong listings, some poor explanations
Reviewed by: Mike James

if you are interested in creating something that works with Twitter, Facebook or Google Friend Connect is this a useful book?

 

What is social programming? The answer is mostly contained in the subtitle to this book "Building Social Context Using Facebook, Google Friend Connect, and the Twitter API".

Essentially this is a book about programming the Facebook, Google Friend connect and Twitter API. Of course there are other APIs to social websites but arguably Facebook and Twitter are the two big ones.

 

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The book covers each of the services in turn following a pattern of an introductory chapter followed by something deeper. Part I is on Twitter and covers the basics, authentication, and extending Twitter.

Part II is on Facebook and consists of four chapters working their way up from the basics to authentication, applications and the Facebook Javascript library.

Part III is on Google Friend Connect and here is where it got more interesting as far as I was concerned. I'd missed out on what Google Friend Connect was all about and this section alerted me to the fact that I might be missing a good idea. Unlike other social sites Google Friend Connect gives you the ability to add social networking to a site that isn't basically about social networking. You can more or less import the features of the Friend community that you want - get them to sign up to your site or newsletter and add widgets that provide a social experience. As a developer you can also create your own widgets and plugins. What I can't seem to find out is how successful the whole idea is - how many sites are using it and what effect does it have. Given it has been around since 2008 it should have a higher profile by now. The book provides an overview of Google Friend Connect and explains how to handle authentication and developing gadgets.

The final section is a "put it all together" collection. The first chapter uses Codeigniter to build a microblogging tool and the second is about integrating all three of the social sites covered by the book.

This is a fairly slim book dealing with APIs that aren't exactly rocket science, but it does do a good job of making you aware of what is possible and what you should use to achieve particular results. Occasionally the listings are too long and occasionally the explanations aren't quite up to it but overall it's an easy-to-read book. Of course it's not for the beginner as it assumes that you write PHP and Javascript.

Should you buy the book? Only if you are interested in creating something that works with Twitter, Facebook or Google Friend Connect or preferably all three. If this is the case then this is certainly worth getting hold of simply because it will save you time by collecting the relevant ideas into one place.


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HTML5 Guidelines for Web Developers

Author: Klaus Förster & Bernd Öggl
Publisher: Addison-Wesley
Pages: 320
ISBN: 978-0321772749
Aimed at: JavaScript developers
Rating: 4
Pros: Good solid introduction to new features
Cons: Lacks real-world applicability
Reviewed by: Ian Elliot

This book includes "Developer" in the title, so is it targe [ ... ]



Kodu for Kids

Author: James Floyd Kelly
Publisher: Que
Pages: 528
ISBN: 978-0789750761
Audience: New users of Kodu
Rating: 4
Reviewer: Sue Gee

The subtitle "The Official Guide to Creating Your Own Video Games" gives the clue you may need to knowing what this book is about.


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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 14 September 2010 )
 
 

   
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