Junal on the run

PHP Web 2.0 Mashaup Projects – A book for today and tomorrow! (Book Review)

Posted on: January 27, 2008

I had a good habit of reading when I was in high school. When I became a college student, unfortunately my habit of reading faded. Simply I just lost my patience over lengthy and boring books. maybe I became a boring reader for them. But a good book must have few things such as good content, easy to read and understand, teaches me as a teacher, and I should feel interaction with the author. If the book is a technical book it must tell me or teach me what I exactly want.

I would like to give a big thanks to Shu-Wai Chow who has presented all web developers an excellent book. I have found my interests back after reading this book. Other day I was telling my friends that now days a developer can develop an excellent web application just by using web services! My friend was agreed with me. There are few types of web services available such as SOUP(almost dead), REST and XML-RPC.

This book that I’m talking about carries all information about above mentioned web services. Author wrote everything clearly and im sure it doesn’t matter if you are an expert or a newbie – this book touches all levels!

This is a perfect Mashup projects with a combination of all available web services. So lets go through each chapter of this book to get a bit more clear idea about it.

PHP Web 2.0 Mashup Projects

Chapter 01: Introduction to Mashups – This book started with a great introduction. A clear and simple idea about Web 2.0 and Mashups. Nothing much on this chapter but I guess all necessary information that is required to understand about the book is given here. This is actually an idea what you are going to read in this book. Personally, I was excited to read next chapter.

Chapter 02: Buy it on Amazon – This chapter is actually a complete application example to use Amazon Service. It takes an UPC symbols and looks them up on Amazon.com, two types of protocol XML-RPC and REST have been used in this example. I love the way Author described everything. Very simple and examples are really needy. It doesn’t just help you to be connected with Amazon but I guess it gives clear idea about these web services.

Chapter 03: Make Your Own Search Engine: Ah! What a chapter! Every time I finished one page I was eager to see what was written next page! This is complete tutorials to make your own Search Engine using Google, MSN and Yahoo web service. One of the most important topic was SOAP, I think it’s really complex thing in web service protocols. But one thing I really missed that author might give a little bit more screen shots. After all, this chapter is simply awesome.

Chapter 04: Your Own Video Jukebox: I liked the way author wrote a step by step process. Of course you should start reading from the first chapters – this is well integrated. This chapter is about audio/music and video. How to make your own jukebox using YouTube and Last.fm web services. Both of them use REST web service and if you followed previous chapters you shouldn’t have any problem to use REST service. And I found this chapter was easier to understand.

Chapter 05: Traffic Incident via SMS: This is an example of SMS service to mobile users. This tutorial shows how to get content from California Highway through Short Messaging service. Well, comparatively this chapter a bit complex. But it should be understandable if you follow previous chapters carefully. And im sure we have lots of things (specially how SMS service can be given) to learn from this chapter. This chapter also gives and idea about PHP’s new extension called PHP DOM Extension.

Chapter 06: London Tube Photos: I guess this last chapter was a gift from the author. Quite lengthy but not boring at all. This chapter is about how to use Google Map (of course with example) from London Tube Station. When a station icon is clicked, it searches Flckr for photos of station and displays them on the map. Wow- quite nice thing eh. But one thing u can do as a reader, you can skip some parts of this chapter such as description on Ajax, Json and some other things if you are an expert on them.

That’s it!

I really loved this book. At least it brought my interests back and I believe this is very needy book for developers. This is the book for today and tomorrow.

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