Do you have an idea for a Facebook application? With FBML Essentials, you'll learn how to build it quickly using the Facebook Markup Language (FBML) and other easy-to-use tools in the site's framework. If you can develop a website with HTML, writing a Facebook application with the help of this book will be a breeze.
Of course, Facebook is not just another website. Any applications you write for it will have a potential audience of 16 million dedicated users. It's not just another social networking site, either. Under the surface, Facebook is pretty sophisticated, with a development toolkit that includes it's own modified version of HTML -- FBML -- to customize the look and feel of your Facebook applications.
With FBML Essentials, you not only learn how to get started with this toolkit, you also get a complete reference on every FBML tag Facebook has ever written, with examples of how each tag works and advice on the best ways to use these tags in your code.
This book includes:
A walkthrough of a sample Facebook application
Specific chapters on tags -- authorization tags, logic tags, user/group tags, profile-specific tags, and more
Messaging and alerts using FBML
Creating forms with FBML
Notifications and requests
Dynamic FBML attributes, including MockAJAX
How to test your FBML code
If you want to try your hand at writing a Facebook application, you have a willing audience, an easy-to-use toolkit, and the perfect guide to get you started. FBML Essentials will help you take your idea from conception to working application in no time.
Jesse Stay runs his own Social Media consulting and development business, and has consulted for some of the top 100 applications on Facebook. Within just 2 months, he successfully sold his first Facebook application that he wrote in just a week. He is the author of I'm on Facebook -- Now What???, a book targeted towards helping individuals and business owners better manage their lives through Facebook. You can follow him on his blog, http://www.jessestay.com.
The animal on the cover of FBML Essentials is a white-throated dipper (Cinclus cinclus), an aquatic songbird found throughout Europe, the UK, and the Middle East. It is especially common in Britain and Ireland. Around seven inches long, the dipper is round, squat, and short-tailed. Adult white-throated dippers have dark plumage and a prominent white breast, with a reddish band above a black belly. Young dippers are gray and lack the reddish band.
Dippers live near fast-flowing streams and rivers, and they swim underwater to hunt for small fish and shrimps. Some people believe that the bird walks along the bottom of a river, using its wings and strong feet to keep itself submerged, but by most accounts the dipper swims, using its wings to "fly" underwater. Like other waterfowl, the dipper has a translucent eyelid called a nictitating membrane that protects its eye when it dives. Oils produced from a gland above its tail keep the dipper warm and make its feathers nearlywaterproof.
The dipper's nest is made from straw and moss, about the size and shape of a soccer ball. This nest is usually built into the hollow of a rock, in a crevice under a bridge or stone wall, or on an overhanging branch. When the bird is perched on dry land, it makes a unique bobbing motion by bending and straightening its knees and cocking its tail. The dipper gets its name from this habit of bobbing, not from its water diving. No one knows for certain why the bird dips in this way, but biologists believe the behavior is somehow linked to the dipper's rushing-water environment.
The cover image is from the Dover Pictorial Archive. The cover font is Adobe ITC Garamond. The text font is Linotype Birka; the heading font is Adobe Myriad Condensed; and the code font is LucasFont's TheSansMonoCondensed.
The product does cover the core of the FBML - albeit, poorly. The author seemed to have gotten busy with actually providing some useful information at the start of the book, and then, about 1/4th of the way through, became quite lazy and then 1/2 through, he sloth it onto just using what was already on Face Books site.
For O'Reilly books, this is a disappointment. I bought it over a year ago and looked for an update as the FBML has change quite a bit... nothing.
Bottom Line No, I would not recommend this to a friend
I've no idea how the first reviewer managed to 'map' the outdated settings to the new interface as over half the fields no longer exist and the code that actually runs the entire 'Hello World' example has been deprecated! I smell an O'Reilly employee!
Avoid this book like the plague and buy something more up to date. Have to give it one star as this review tool won't allow zero.
Bottom Line No, I would not recommend this to a friend
Facebook has changed its Application Settings interface, so the first part of this book, a step-by-step guide to creating a simple FBML application, can be confusing. But after a bit of struggle, I found that I could map the author's settings to the current interface. The second part of the book, the actual FBML reference, is GREAT! The author explains everything in a way that a novice like me could understand, and often shows how some given FBML markup renders into HTML. I found that once I made it into this section, I made a lot of progress. I think once the publisher updates the book, it will be an excellent way to jump into FB programming. Until then, I'd still recommend it, because it's better than anything else I've seen on the Web or in print.
Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend