Book Review - Flickr Mashups by David Wilkinson
It's hard not to get inundated with all the talk of "Web 2.0" these days... Everything is "Ajax this, mashup that". But what exactly *is* a mashup, and how do you build one? Wrox has started a Mashup series of books, and I got a chance to take a look at Flickr Mashups by David Wilkinson. This is an excellent intro to the concept, focused on the Flickr website for content manipulation.
Contents: Rewriting the Web; Flickr - A Short Tour; Getting Ready to Mash; The Flickr API; Flickr Feeds; Remixing Flickr Using the API; Authenticating with Flickr; Uploading Photos; Remixing Flickr Using Greasemonkey; Working with ImageMagick, Visualizing the News; Searching the Blogosphere; Displaying Your Photos with Google Maps; Caching Your Data; Answers to Exercises; Flickr API Methods; Response Data Structures; Useful Resources; Index
Another thing that is done very well done in this book is an explanation of the Flickr API. A solid, accessible API is critical to successful mashup use, and his explanation of how the Flickr API works is excellent. From getting your own API key to creating SQL feeds of Flickr data, he covers a number of possibilities that should have any photo-happy mashup artist coding in short order. The Flickr site and API are a constant work in progress, so you can't view this as a definitive guide to the package. The only way you can get that is to visit the website. But you'll receive a grounding in the fundamentals here, so you'll be well-equipped to handle the new stuff as it comes out.
Overall, I think this is a great series, and I'm looking forward to reading other Mashup titles. Flickr Mashups got the brain moving in areas I had never thought of, and I can see how this would be a must-read for any coder who can't live without their Flickr subscription...