Like all good cookbooks, this one is intended to be pulled off the
shelf and rifled through when you need to know how to embed an MP3 on a
Canvas page (
fb:mp3: see Embedding MP3s), how to look up friend lists using FQL
SELECT flid, name FROM friendlist WHERE owner
= $uid; see Retrieving a User’s Friend Lists), or where to find
inspiration when you’re faced with App Developer block (all around you;
see Finding Inspiration). You’re
welcome to read through it from cover to cover—and I hope you’ll find it
entertaining and worth a few laughs if you do—or to use it as a trusted
reference while you take over the Platform world.
This book is organized into 10 chapters:
A general overview of Facebook, Facebook Platform, and an introduction to the incredible opportunity it represents.
If you don’t have an idea in mind already for an app, this is the chapter for you. Learn about the Platform ecosystem, dig into the integration points and different strategies for using them, and pick up a few techniques for doing app design quickly and with the best possible results.
Time to get started building your first app! This quick chapter will walk you through the classic Hello World first programming example.
This chapter covers the best architectures for Facebook apps, some solid recommendations for database performance, and an overview of the design and user experience of winning applications.
Learn about all the things you need to download, how to add apps to Facebook, the secret trick to setting up a test account, and how to get the lowdown on the latest and greatest from Facebook.
FBML is the magic that makes the Facebook Platform world go ’round. We’ll cover all of the tags, dig into some surprising behaviors you might encounter, and explore some great tricks for building better frontends.
As FBML is to HTML, FQL is to SQL. We’ll take a look at the schema of the various database tables you have access to, and catalog some really useful (and fast) FQL queries you can use in your apps.
Ah, sweet, sweet API. We would be nothing without you! This chapter will show you the real power behind Platform, digging deep into the code that connects everything together. We’ll go through each of the objects and methods you have at your disposal, and I’ll give you some tips and tricks for desktop apps along the way.
Remember: if you build it, they won’t come—without persuasion. Marketing is the art of persuasion, and this chapter goes over some general marketing options for Facebook apps and some great techniques for measuring your success.