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Assemble the Social Web with Zembly

 
Book Review Team
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Authors: Gail Anderson, Paul Anderson, Todd Fast, Chris Webster
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Reviewed by: Jeanne Boyarsky
Rating: 5 horseshoes

"Assemble the Social Web with Zembly" is the official book for Zembly. It shows how to use Zembly for Facebook/iPhone/flickr/Zillow/Dapper. Parts of the book read a bit like a commercial. For example chapter one spends eleven pages giving roughly the information you would get at a free conference talk. Then it gets more informative.

The introduction says the audience is people who either know or are willing to learn JavaScript. They do give references for those who don't know it yet. I had some difficultly with the intended audience. A good part of the book is step by step - almost as if the audience is new to the web (here's how to edit your profile, here's how to add a contact, etc.) Then periodically the book shows reams of JavaScript code. Something I'm not fond of in a coding book let alone a more general one.

A few places refer to features that are in beta or may change before release. Despite the disclaimer, this seems out of place in a book.

I did like how the book didn't assume you've built widgets before. The list of Facebook integration points was particularly interesting. I also really liked the activity diagram in the iPhone chapter.

The book had it's moments that I liked and didn't like. Overall I was neutral on it.
 
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