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FBML Essentials

Facebook became the largest worldwide social site in the middle of last year. If their current pace holds they will pass MySpace as number one in the U.S. some time next year. Those numbers have led a number of people to strike out and develop Facebook applications, hoping to grab a piece of that huge audience. One aspect of writing such applications is knowing Facebook Markup Language, which has been described as the icing on the Facebook API cake. FBML Essentials aims to be the resource that provides hopeful app writers with what they need to use FBML successfully.

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Learning Drupal 6 Module Development


I am extremely interested in building user driven sites that allow for scaling up communication and collaboration between individuals that share common goals. There are a number of approaches to this type of problem. Of course, as always – one can pick a platform, language, etc. and start building from scratch. Another option is to choose a framework and build from there. But what intrigues me most, and I am seeing a lot of people take this approach, is to find an existing solution that is extensible and using that as the platform. This means the jump to a working site is immediate. Many of these environments are being built on top of content management software.
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Dojo Using the Dojo JavaScript Library to Build Ajax Applications

The number and functionality of web based applications has exploded recently. Many of these applications rely heavily on AJAX to provide a more desktop-like experience for users. As the number of people using JavaScript grew, libraries were developed to assist with commonly encountered issues. Jim Harmon’s new book “Dojo: Using the Dojo JavaScript Library to Build Ajax Applications” aims to introduce readers to one of those libraries, the Dojo Toolkit.

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Intellectual Property and Open Source

There is not a single person writing code in the US who is not impacted by the countries intellectual property laws. I think that it is safe to say, that not all of them have a strong understanding of just what those laws are, let alone what they mean. At the same time, there are a number of people, who may or may not be qualified, but are more than willing to share opinions and advice. Some take the time to slap a warning label on such input and IANAL is now widely understood. (I Am Not A Lawyer – Because widely does not mean everyone.) Stepping into this gap is programmer become lawyer Van Lindberg with his new book “Intellectual Property and Open Source.” Lindberg has really done something special with this volume. I don’t think I’ve ever read a tech oriented work where I’ve felt so convinced that I was reading something that would become a standard by which others would come to be judged.
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Foundations of Programming – Free Ebook

A few days ago Karl Seguin made available a free e-book, Foundations of Programming. The link will take you to his blog, where there are two different links for downloading the book. It is released under a Creative Commons License.

I haven’t read the book yet, but intend to do so and do a full review. I thought it would be good to point it out now for those that might want to grab it. I do know that Seguin was an MS MVP and the book is MS centric in the technologies described, code samples, etc. This may help you decide if you want to go grab it or not. It looks to deal with rather broad issues that are applicable to other languages, so I’m not saying it is useless if you aren’t using .net or something, but that is the orientation of what I saw skimming quickly over the book.

Joomla! A User’s Guide

It doesn’t seem like it has been 3 years since the Mambo dev team split and a new content management system, Joomla! was born. Over the last few years Joomla has grown to be very popular and has very strong developer and user communities. Joomla is extremely flexible and a wide array of extensions exist that allow the system to provide many different capabilities. In “Joomla! A User’s Guide”, Barrie North provides everything needed to get anyone up and running with a Joomla based site, even if they have little or no experience with creating web sites or applications.

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Groovy Recipes

The Groovy language is relatively new on the scene. I confess that I had not even heard of it until early this year when I came across a Developer Works article about unit testing with Groovy, written in 2004. So I am a little late to the party, but the article did intrigue me and the new addition to the Pragmatic series, “Groovy Recipes” came along at just the right time for me to jump on board. This book is a no-nonsense, solid introduction to groovy. It is specifically written with the experienced Java programmer in mind, but I found it useful even though my Java experience is primarily as a hobbyist. Davis brings his extensive experience with Groovy and Java to the table and has written an excellent primer and reference that is fully worthy of the Pragmatic label.

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Head First JavaScript

“Head First JavaScript” is one of the latest entries in O’Reillys Head First series. Like the other Head First books, it takes a somewhat unique approach in conveying information. The stated intent of the series is to help readers learn and retain material by formatting it in a manner that assists in meeting those goals. This means that the book is full of graphics, exercises and humor. There is also a refreshing note on who will benefit from the book. I’ve pretty much always thought of these sections in books as entertaining, in that I get to see what new way a publisher has found to say, “Everyone should buy this book!”. Head First Javascript actually does a decent job of describing who this book will help, and who it will not help. That alone had me intrigued right from the start.

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