- Paperback: 388 pages
- Publisher: Packt Publishing Limited (August 25, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1849690723
- ISBN-13: 978-1849690720
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 658 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
Flash Facebook Cookbook Paperback – 25 August 2011
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About the Author
James Ford lives and works in the relatively sedate Midlands of England, and is constantly thankful that he doesn't have to contend with public transport or large volumes of traffic on a regular basis. Occasionally being stuck behind a tractor for several miles is a small price to pay for that! Macromedia Flash 8 represented his first serious interaction with a programming language, an epiphany whereupon his BA in Design for Interactive Media became far more focused on the Programming side of things than the Art (although it turned out okay). He considers himself to be fortunate to have encountered the Flash Platform when he did, as during that time between first contact and today, the Flash Platform has evolved at just the right pace to enable him to keep up with the latest shiny new features. In addition to developing Facebook-integrated Flash Player applications, James has also developed a few AIR applications, built a couple of Apps for iOS and Android devices, helped develop a load of websites, and blogs about all of this on his website: http://www.psyked.co.uk/.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Facebook and Flash (Flex, AIR) are good friends for some time now. For Flash and other web technologies Facebook team created an API. You can start working with the Facebook ActionScript 3 SDK (utilizing Facebook API) easily by reading Flash Facebook Cookbook by James Ford. The book contains over 60 recipes for integrating Flash applications with the Graph API and Facebook. It can also guide you through the Facebook philosophy and process: including the concept of setting everything up, working with Facebook specifics like authentication (using OAuth 2.0 protocol) or permissions, working with Graph API objects, FQL (SQL-like syntax only for retrieving data from Facebook), news feeds, status updates, "Like this" buttons, images and albums, groups, events and places, and even more. You will find there everything you need to start creating useful Flash-Facebook apps.
I had a few problems starting with this book. It seemed that some things were working in a different way on Facebook then described there. The book seemed not to be up-to-date. To make things worse the sample source code organization was hard to follow. I have been founding myself struggling for getting things done sometimes but even though this book helped me to spare lot of time (believe it or not).
The Flash Facebook Cookbook is written by a Flash practicioner, you will find there recipes prepared only in one thing in mind: to get things done effectively and properly. It covers not only processes but also tactics and strategies for doing things right. This is very important as doing it myself I would be forced to review tons of documents, tutorials and web sites which I always try to avoid.
The book contains a number of recipies which can be read separately but for beginners the best approach would be reading the book from the beginning because latter recipies use the earlier ones, building complexity one of the top of another, which makes sense. This book is a very valuable resource for Flash based Facebook integrators.
I have found a few editorial errors like mispelled words or lack of code (e.g. on page 50) but I think it does not matter at all. I "Like this" book in general. It contains lots of useful details and is a big time saver, too :)
Personally I like the cookbook format. I want quick intros with just the information I need and then a short and specific example. That's exactly what this book offers. All of the examples are created using Flex with Flash Builder although they could easily be used in a pure Actionscript application as well.
I'm not much of a Facebook guy. I've had an account for ages but I rarely use it. When I do it's just to post to my wall. I've never even uploaded an image to Facebook. So I'm really a novice when it comes to understanding Facebook itself let alone the API. I was really happy that this book covered the basics and didn't just assume I was a Facebook power user. The first few chapters of this book did a great job of breaking down how the app ecosystem works and how to work with OAuth and Facebook permissions. Things that we totally new to me.
Since I developed quite a few Facebook apps using Flash, it was interesting for me to see what this book had to offer.
I began developing Facebook apps using Flash back in early 2009, when Adobe & Facebook released the Facebook AS3 API.
Back then, the AS3 API worked with the old Facebook REST API and was quite limited and very cumbersome.
The GRAPH API, which was introduced in 2010, brought along many new features which were previously unavailable and the Flash Facebook Cookbook seems to cover everything that the GRAPH API has to offer!
The first few chapters of the book cover the basics of Facebook development and can help developers that are complete strangers to the Facebook platform to take their first steps in becoming Facebook developers.
Later on the book starts to cover more advanced features such as reading / writing data to your feed, accessing photos, retrieving data by using FQL (FQL is database-style approach to loading data from the Facebook API) and even dedicates a chapter to the UI changes required in order to give the application a "Facebook" look & feel.
The cookbook format of the book can easily appeal to both beginners and more advanced developers as it allows the reader to choose the required code snippet according to the task at hand.
All in all, the book is a great resource for developers looking to expand their Flash-based applications & games with the social features that Facebook has to offer.