Twitter API: Up and Running

Author: Kevin Makice
Publisher: O'Reilly, 2009
Pages: 414
ISBN: 978-0596154615
Aimed at: Those wanting to work with Twitter
Rating: 3
Pros: A useful short section on the API
Cons: A great deal of padding
Reviewed by: Mike James

For once an O'Reilly book with a cover that looks vaguely relevant. Well I suppose a bird on a Twitter book is relevant! This book is subtitled, "Learn how to build applications with the Twitter API" and if you don't know much about Twitter then the first chapter will fill you in on its history and some idea of why it has become so popular and such a talking point. The next chapter is equally not about the API as it takes you on a tour of existing third party applications - a sort of catalog of what you might do with the API. Then we move on to web programming basics covering about PHP, MySQL and so on - again not really about the API.

While you can justify such a low level introductory chapters it is more difficult to work out why such simple things as setting up your Twitter account and so on are included later in the book. After all, if you are going to write some web applications you should be up to clicking a few fairly obvious buttons. Is this material included just to fill some pages or is the books audience so ill defined?

When we do get to the API, in Chapter 4, it is reasonably well explained although blink and you might miss some of the important ideas. To add to this problem is the fact that the examples all come at the end of the book in rush. All interesting but they might have been better spread out and used to illustrate the ideas.

A book that concentrated on the API and how to use it would be welcome. Until it comes along this book will have to do.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 01 August 2009 )