Review: Data Source Handbook by Peter Warden (O'Reilly)

When a post about the Data Source Handbook came through my RSS reader today I was excited. I’ve used quite a few webservices, and follow programmableweb closely, so a book about APIs is exactly what I was interested in reading. Later in the evening I caved and bought the ebook version - I should have looked more closely. At 39 pages I would consider the $7.50 I paid (thanks retailmenot) to be more than the book is worth.

The Data Source Handbook is not substantive, and shares little more than a single request to each of the services it covers, and where to signup for an api key. While Peter Warden has obviously spent quite a bit of time using the different services, as evidenced by, the level of detail just didn’t impress me.

The book is organised by the categories of the different webservices; Websites, People by Email, People by Name, People by Account, Search Terms, Locations, Companies, IP Addresses, and Products(Books, Films, Music, etc).

Of the 54 APIs covered, I’d used about half already. Which wouldn’t be a problem if the coverage of these APIs had any depth.

All in all, if you’re looking for an advanced and substantive book on APIs…this isn’t it.