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Twitter API: Up and Running: Learn How to Build Applications with the Twitter API [Paperback]

Kevin Makice

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Book Description

April 3 2009 0596154615 978-0596154615 1

This groundbreaking book provides you with the skills and resources necessary to build web applications for Twitter. Perfect for new and casual programmers intrigued by the world of microblogging, Twitter API: Up and Running carefully explains how each part of Twitter's API works, with detailed examples that show you how to assemble those building blocks into practical and fun web applications. You'll also get a complete look at Twitter culture and learn how it has inspired programmers to build hundreds of tools and applications. With this book, you will:

  • Explore every component of a Twitter application and learn how the API responds
  • Get the PHP and MySQL code necessary to build your own applications, with explanations of how these ingredients work
  • Learn from real-world Twitter applications created just for this book
  • Discover the most interesting and useful Twitter programs--and get ideas for creating your own--with the book's Twitter application directory

Twitter offers a new way to connect with people on the Internet, and Twitter API: Up and Running takes you right to the heart of this technology.

"Twitter API: Up and Running is a friendly, accessible introduction to the Twitter API. Even beginning web developers can have a working Twitter project before they know it. Sit down with this for a weekend and you're on your way to Twitter API mastery."--Alex Payne, Twitter API Lead

"Twitter API: Up and Running is a very comprehensive and useful resource--any developer will feel the urge to code a Twitter-related application right after finishing the book!"--The Lollicode team, creators of Twitscoop

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Product Description

About the Author

Kevin Makice is currently a Ph.D. student at the Indiana University School of Informatics, the first such doctoral program in the nation. His research interests center around local use of technology and the application of relational psychology to complexity and design. Prior to completing his Masters of Science in Human-Computer Interaction in 2006, Kevin was the primary Internet programmer for TicketsNow, a clearinghouse for sports, theatre, and entertainment tickets available in the secondary market. Along with three others, he won the CHI 2005 student competition by designing a concept for ad-hoc volunteering system for elderly residents in assisted-living centers. Past research includes political wikis, tangible interfaces for children's games, machinima, and network analysis of ball movement in basketball. Much of his blogging and academic efforts over the past year has focused on exploring Twitter as a means of community building.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but could be better June 27 2009
By Mark J. Szymanski - Published on
This book provides a nice overview of the Twitter API with a few examples, but the organization of the book could make learning a little more engaging. There is a lot of up-front description of the disparate features, with no working examples presented until the latter chapters of the book.

I'm also not sure if the author had a clear idea of the intended audience. It seems odd that there are things like detailed walkthroughs of how to set up a Twitter account, but no thorough discussion of data parsing.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book on working with the Twitter API April 19 2009
By calvinnme - Published on
Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service where users send and receive very small text-based posts. The short length of these messages and the simplicity of the service causes the message traffic to be labeled descriptively as tweets. However, even a very simple messaging service requires programming these days, and that is where this very accessible book comes in.

This book is an introduction to build web applications via the Twitter API. This book has three main parts: an overview of the Twitter social issues; background information on the languages and environment you need to create your applications; and finally code for sample applications that will get you started. Anyone familiar with computer programming and web applications should be able to just read the PHP scripts used to create the sample applications and understand how the underlying syntax works.

The reader needs a basic understanding of how applications are built and hosted on the Web. However, strangely enough, you don't need to be a professional programmer. The XHTML, CSS, PHP, and MySQL code necessary for building the example applications will be provided and explained.

Chapter 1, "Hello Twitter", is not your usual intro chapter on a basic Hello Twitter program. Instead it is a chapter on the culture and social aspects of Twitter. Anyone can pick up this chapter and understand what Twitter is and where it is coming from in a social and historical context.

Chapter 2, "Twitter Applications", reviews third-party Twitter apps. The purpose, however, is not to present you with a directory of the world's best Twitter applications. Instead, the purpose of this list is to show you some of the things that can be done with a web application using the Twitter API. These applications may provide some inspiration for your own projects.

Chapter 3, "Web Programming Basics", provides an overview of the basic knowledge and tools needed to create the applications described later in the book. Although the Twitter API can be used to create desktop and mobile applications as well, this book focuses on the web platform built with PHP and MySQL.

Chapter 4, "Meet the Twitter API", introduces you to the building blocks for your future application - the ways that you can send commands in Twitter. This chapter describes these specific request methods available through the Twitter API. Each section, presents one of the 40 existing API methods and explain what is needed to get data from Twitter using that method. These 40 methods are grouped into seven categories: Publishing, Information Stream, Follow Network, Communication, Member Account, API Administration, and Search.

Chapter 5, "Meet the Output", takes a close look at the information Twitter sends to you in response to your requests for data. It goes hand in hand with the previous chapter on commands.

Chapter 6, "Application Setup", shows what you might find under the hood of those Twitter applications mentioned in chapter two by having you build one of your own. In this chapter, you prepare your web environment to run a suite of sample web applications built to illustrate different interactions with the API. The setup includes establishing a Twitter account, creating tables in a MySQL database, and making a directory for included files. Chapters 7 and 8 contain descriptions of the applications and automated tasks

Chapter 7, "Sample Applications", is where you examine the sample web applications that can serve as a base for your own projects. There are seven of them that all illustrate a different aspect of the use of the Twitter API. Detailed code is included.

Chapter 8, "Automated Tasks", examines the code that performs the behind-the-scenes operations that give the tools their functionality. As in the previous chapter, the descriptions of the code in this chapter build on each other. The first application will be discussed in more detail than the later ones because they share a lot of code structure and logic.

The appendix provides a basic look at the Twitter API, listing the method path, whether it requires authentication, if it is charged against your rate limit, the HTTP method type, and any required and optional parameters.

This first book (as far as I know) on the Twitter API is a very good one, and highly recommended for those of you who are interested in writing your own applications.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Hodgepodge Aug. 15 2009
By Mike Schilli - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The author did a pretty good job of explaining the Twitter API, some basic Web programming techniques (PHP, CSS), a whirlwind tour of current and past Twitter-related websites and some more or less useful sample applications.

However, the editor at O'Reilly should have talked the author into whipping the book into better shape before publishing it. First, in a book that has more than 400 pages on a pretty simple API, one would at least expect a section that explains how Twitter actually works. A sample flow of messages, responses, direct messages with illustrating screen shots. A bit of history maybe? Was Twitter like that from the beginning? What changed? When? Also, the publisher should have looked at the index and said: "Dude, this is okay for an auto-generated index, but if you want people to actually use the book to find something, put some more effort into it". Again, not the authors fault, that's the editor's responsibility.

I'm giving 4 stars because the author's writing is solid, but, man, a big minus point for O'Reilly to let this slip into the open without stricter review.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Older style book, but OK July 14 2013
By Jason Perretta - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book wasn't new or up to date. But, the concept is the same. Though, I may be buying an updated edition soon.
3.0 out of 5 stars Is this book still relevant? Nov. 26 2012
By Swordfish - Published on
I'm about to do some twitter integration, but with all the press about Twitter's pivot and API changes + this book being published in 2009 I wonder how much of this book's content is still applicable.

Any thoughts from current owners?

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