I must admit that Twitter is a subject that intrigues me, just like all of these social service media do.  But this book is more than just about Twitter; it’s also about Twitter’s architecture and the use of REST-based applications and services that can be exposed through other means than just twitter (WCF, for example).  It’s about making web requests and responses using HttpWebRequest and HttpWebResponse.  It’s about Oath authentication requests which are utilized by Google and other services.  So the concepts you will learn in this book go beyond twitter.

Content

The book is packed with a lot of content about the services Twitter offers.  It’s clear that Daniel has a lot of knowledge on the subject.  He packs the book with API references, code he’s written to simplify and make requests from Twitter, and other important information.

The book’s chapters are laid out relatively well.  The chapters do flow in a relative order that works, moving from overview, to API references, to working with the raw data and the various API’s, and finally ending up with the advanced topics of performance, functionality, data push/pull, and cross platform applications.

I find a lot of value in the service references in the book.  This makes a great reference to refer back to when using the Twitter service.  The book also has a wonderful reference of error codes that twitter uses to return to the caller, as it isn’t straightforward to typical HTTP requests.  The information on OAuth, as it is a pain to get setup correctly, is priceless too.

The book also covers the type of information (the properties within each object) that may be returned from a given object.  Some of these properties change depending on the type of data being queried.  For instance, date formats change depending on the API you are using, and so you have to be careful and handle this appropriately.

At the end, he also includes information about the custom API he wrote for Twitter (making Twitter more simple to use).  His API is pretty fluent and easy to use, and has much online support (google TweetSharp for more information).

I think the book could use a few more .NET examples to reinforce the lessons learned.  For instance, after all the API references, it would have been helpful to have another .NET code example of how to use one of the API methods, just to reinforce the chapter’s content.

Writing Style

Daniel is very knowledgeable about the subject, and you can tell from his writing.  One of his strengths is his ability to lay out a solution to the challenges of Twitter.  If you don’t like to work with the low-level details in Twitter, you may have a hard time following the book; that is the kind of book this is, after all, because that is simply how Twitter works.

I feel that some times, the book tells you how to solve a problem, and not properly explain what the problem is.  This isn’t always the case, but certain areas of the book left me wondering why, instead of just getting code to resolve the problem.

Conclusion

Great book, worth the read, but know what you are getting into.  This book gets into the detailed aspects you need to be aware of, which is those low-level error code, OAuth authentication, web requests and processing XML/JSON data, etc.