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Facebook Cookbook: Building Applications to Grow Your Facebook Empire 1st Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0596518172
ISBN-10: 059651817X
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jay Goldman has been providing a human side to technology for over ten years, as both a User Experience Specialist and Visual Designer. His career has been focused on the interaction between people and technology, and his insights have helped to greatly improve products on mobile, web, and desktop platforms, including IBM DB2 and Mozilla Firefox. Jay led Radiant Core's Professional Services Team on a wide variety of award winning engagements across many industries, and is now helping tech startups to change the world as a consultant on products, technology, and design. He has been instrumental in the continued growth of the BarCamp community in Toronto and was one of the co-conductors of the very successful TransitCamp event held in partnership with the Toronto Transit Commission. Jay is the host of Mr. Mobile, a weekly web video from Butterscotch.com covering the latest in mobile technology; you can check them out at http://butterscotch.com/mrmobile. Jay has been published in the Harvard Business Review and is the author of Facebook Cookbook for O'Reilly Media.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 434 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (November 6, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 059651817X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596518172
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,497,984 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kathy Halkin on October 28, 2009
Format: Paperback
Today (October 28, 2009) I have received from Amazon this book and the book FBML Essentials by Jesse Stay.
These two books might have been perfect in an earlier time but today they are utterly useless. The facebook interface has totally changed from what is described in those two books. I am a very experienced programmer (Java, C, C++, Objective C, HTML,PHP, Javascript , CSS and more) but here I am totally lost!
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Format: Paperback
Facebook Cookbook is an excellent reference, covering and consolidating the explosion of publicly available (and often wrong) Wiki documentation. On the whole, it's well worth the Amazon price. However it's worth noting that the book all but presumes you'll be using the Facebook PHP library (which I'm not), and its "recipes" often lean so heavily on that presumption as to become useless to those of us using other APIs (or in my case, none at all). Definitely recommended as a bird's-eye survey of the Facebook Platform and API, but if you're not using PHP, you might find yourself a bit frustrated by how much of it the book contains.
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Format: Paperback
The Facebook Cookbook covers pretty much everything budding Facebook application developers (and designers) need to know to get started with the platform or to expand their existing knowledge - from the ins-and-outs of setting up a development environment, to understanding the FBML, FBJS and FQL markup languages, tips on integrating a myriad of social/community features, optimizing application performance, solving common technical issues and everything in between.

It's a cookbook in every sense - so it's filled with recipes for success. But with great power comes great responsibility. Thankfully the Facebook Cookbook will make being responsible with your great Facebook app ideas that much easier, allowing you to spend more time adding value, not reinventing the wheel.

As a complete newbie to building apps for Facebook, I feel like I now have a solid base on which to build - as well as a new sense of excitement in the potential of the Facebook Platform itself. Jay's writing (along with a number of additional contributors) is both down to earth and easy to read, something that's rare in these sort of technically oriented books, making the book a pleasure to read cover-to-cover and as a great reference. As the owner of quite a number of O'Reilly books, including those from the Cookbook series, this is definitely a favourite and comes highly recommended.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got an app to go build...
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is most reader friendly Facebook development book I have read so far. I own about 5 books on the subject and the case studies (problem, solution, discussion) found in this book have been the most useful by far.
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Format: Paperback
This is the "must-have" book for Facebook application development. Other books I've seen on the subject are essentially primitive step-by-step tutorials that rarely, if ever, go beyond the simplest levels.

"Facebook Cookbook", on the other hand, gets into the real nitty-gritty. It goes into areas that other books don't, such as the use of Amazon Web Services for hosting your Facebook related storage needs, Facebook policies such as how many invitations you can send out a day and the criteria for their acceptibility to the Facebook "police" and so on.

The Problem/Solution approach taken is especially appropriate for a subject like Facebook application development. The Problem is posed, the Solution is suggested and then a Discussion may ensue that provides additional details. It is a very effective approach here.

The author has deliberately limited the range of tools he discusses in order to simplify matters, which is a wise move.

The range of subjects is broad. You can read this book straight through or dip into it as time and needs dictate.

I don't think this should be your only book on Facebook application development, though. One of the other "step-by-step" books should be considered, but you might want to wait a couple of months until new editions have been released to cover the new Facebook user interface.

Jerry
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Format: Paperback
Let me preface this review by stating that I'm not a coder, not a programmer, not even a designer really. I am more of a creative thinker & people person, but I do have some experience with wireframing and user experience design. I wasn't sure how much of Jay's book was going to be over my head when I began, the Facebook platform interested me enough though, so I figured I could tough it out and learn some things along the way.

Now that I've had a chance to read the book cover to cover, I have to say this book is amazing. There were very few instances where I found myself confused, or frantically googling to understand technical terms. Jay has done a terrific job of not getting overly technical and remaining 'reader/user friendly'. The toughest sections to read were a couple of the code examples, but even then, I found myself able to at least grasp what the code was doing thanks to the great explanations offered with each code snippet.

The Facebook Cookbook is engaging, I even laughed out loud a few times at some of the lighter quips and comments made. The most upsetting thing for me as a reader, was to learn that Jay is a dog person, as opposed to the cat person I am! The use of guest cooks who offered some great insights into not only their creative processes, but also how they go about creating a recipe for success was invaluable to me.

The most in depth portion of the book covers the brilliant FBML (Facebook Markup Language). While Jay is quick to suggest another book which documents FBML even more, this section is simply chock full of great insight & information about how Facebook has created their own super powerful version of HTML, which makes the job of any aspiring app developer SO much easier!
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