oscon – Stay N Alive

Just in Time for F8, O’Reilly’s First Book on Facebook Development Released

fbml_essentials_comp.pngI’m proud to announce that this week, just in time for Facebook F8 and OSCON, my book, FBML Essentials, will be available for purchase in print at most book stores. You can purchase it on Amazon here (be sure to leave a review!). It is scheduled to ship this Thursday, July 24th. You can also check it out online right now via O’Reilly’s Safari book store.

Some of the biggest Facebook bloggers and experts in the industry have also contributed their thoughts. Nick O’Neill, of AllFacebook.com and SocialTimes.com, contributed the Foreword for the book. Rodney Rumford, of FaceReviews.com and Gravitational Media, contributed the Afterword for the book. Justin Smith, of InsideFacebook.com and WaterCooler, was generous enough to provide a quote for the back cover (we’re hoping it made it in – I’m told it has). I’d like to thank them for their contribution.

FBML Essentials is essentially a very simple “nutshell” book that should give you all you need to get started with Facebook development in the FBML tag language, minus the API itself. It covers a howto on creating Apps from start to finish, using simple HTML and FBML to get a simple App off the ground. I go over different quirks with HTML and Javascript in regards to how Facebook parses them. I also cover the way Facebook talks to your servers, and provide a few suggestions on where to host and how to get set up properly and make your App viral. The final one half or so of the book is a thorough reference of almost (Facebook just added 2 more tags last week) every single tag Facebook provides, including examples, sample HTML that Facebook renders, and more. I even cover some unknowns (while maybe not so useful, but fun regardless) such as the tag, and tag. (yes, there are such tags, and as of the writing they work!)

If you are a web developer considering learning Facebook development, this book is a great start, and should point you in the right direction on where to go afterwards. If you’re already a Facebook developer, this book will be a great addition to your book collection, and you should be able to refer back to it often as a reference as you see need.

I imagine with today’s launch of the new Facebook design many may be wondering if the book is already out of date. Actually, I was able to get some of the last minute changes in response to the new design out in just the last 2 weeks, so this book is very up to date – O’Reilly has been wonderful to work with for this project.

Looking to learn how to write software on Facebook? FBML Essentials is a great start – pre-order yours now! Look for me at Facebook’s F8 conference this Wednesday – I’ll be shooting video, qik’ing if possible, and live-blogging where I can. Say hi if you see me around!

Facebook Announces F8 In the Middle of OSCON, Coincidence?

l11204705797_2531.pngJust yesterday, Facebook announced their second F8 conference, to occur July 23, 2008. This Developer-targeted event is said to possibly include some major announcements, including the new Profile redesign, more information about the fbOpen platform, and most significantly, possibly the launch of their E-Commerce platform. What hasn’t been announced or shared however is the odd timing of the event.

The event occurs right smack dab in the middle of O’Reilly’s Open Source Convention, scheduled to occur for about the past year now from July 21 through July 25. This conference is known as an essential “Mecca” for Open Source developers around the globe, and has presentations from such players as Google, MySQL, Sun, Meebo, and even SixApart. Everyone who is a developer (unless you solely develop for Microsoft) or Sysadmin will be at this conference.

As a developer, this is tough news to hear that Facebook will make me choose between OSCON and them. Frankly, I would by default choose OSCON if I were any smart developer, as I would get more. So why isn’t Facebook just joining OSCON and doing an “F8” track there? Do they really want to tick off Open Source developers? You better bet that OpenSocial will have a presence there. If Facebook really wanted to target the Open Source crowd, as they have “claimed” to do with their fbOpen Platform and a few other contributions back to the community, they would try to have a presence at this conference and not interrupt it as they are currently doing. I was actually going to go to OSCON to promote my FBML Essentials book to potential Facebook developers for O’Reilly. Now I’m forced with a decision. I’ve contacted Facebook with no response, and I’m getting a little frustrated as a Social Media developer. Which conference will you choose?