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Facebook Apps Facing Delays and Uncertainties 82

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the it-could-happen dept.
NewsCloud writes "After reading about the Facebook platform launch, I spent the next week learning the API and building my application. Facebook's platform has been pretty successful despite complaints of poor documentation, instability and outcries over its application approval process. I've been waiting two weeks for my application to be approved for their directory and had my account disabled (temporarily) after I invited a large number of colleagues. While I'm impressed with the potential of the platform, the experience has made me more concerned about the lack of transparency in privately held social networks and the risks we take as developers when we invest time in a company's platform. Facebook's home page advertises itself as "a social utility that connects you with the people around you." My concern with Facebook is that there's no one regulating the utility."
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Facebook Apps Facing Delays and Uncertainties

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  • by joeldg (518249) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @08:33AM (#19540429) Homepage
    Not sure what is going on with you, but we are not having issues with our facebook app, actually one of our guys was invited to speak a facebook meetup here in the city.
    It sounds like they had concerns about your app being used as a/by a spam-harvester to abuse their network, and frankly I would be also cautious.

  • Not just facebook (Score:5, Insightful)

    by yohanes (644299) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @08:38AM (#19540445) Homepage Journal
    You said:

    the lack of transparency in privately held social networks and the risks we take as developers when we invest time in a company's platform.
    Isn't the situation just the same if you depend to any 3rd party technology (operating systems, languages, platforms, etc) where you don't have a control?
  • by agent dero (680753) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @08:47AM (#19540497) Homepage
    The author of the "article" doesn't seem to get "it" with regards to the platform.

    Firstly, the documentation isn't fantastic, I agree, it's a relatively straight-forward REST api, and wouldn't you know it, the community of developers has been filling in the documentation gaps [facebook.com]

    As for instability, it's been there for the most part, you have to understand that Facebook might lack of the 100% reliability you may think your own code has. Facebook developers aren't perfect, nor is it unusual for things to break when near 25 million active users a day pound on it (at the very least, tiny bugs, image caching collisions i'm looking at you, become big bugs. As a side note, that has to have been the most famous end-table on the planet before they fixed that bug).

    Finally, I've seen the "outcries over its application approval process" and those are silly as well. A very tiny percent of users actually install the application from the directory. My applications have blown up because of making use of the viral tools provided by the platform, invites, news feed postings, etc. Applications like X-Me exploded to well over 100k users before it was even listed (congrats chips), the same went for Graffiti

    No system, especially a third-party system you rely on as a developer is ever perfect, but it's barely been a month since the Facebook Platform, so crying foul is extremely premature. If your only concern is that there's no one regulating the utility, then you should go ask some of those Windows developers how much fun the Longhorn-Vista moving target of a platform has been. It's their API, their platform, their social network, they get to choose what goes on with their "utility."

    I'm sure i'll be marked as a troll, but this just reads like the same gripes at the bottom of the barrel in the FB Developers discussion board for some time now.
    Disclaimer: I was one of the F8 attendees, and have been developing for the platform for almost 2 months now
  • I'm stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Realistic_Dragon (655151) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @08:53AM (#19540539) Homepage
    I really am. It took me a lot of kicks in the head to realize what I was doing was stupid.

    In term of failed platforms, I think I have a long list. I invested time in:

    mIRC script
    NWN1 scripting engine
    Win 95 era Visual Basic
    Access 97 era VBA

    Notice anything in common about these platforms?

    The final kick was Labview. It was a fun language and, as a student, I didn't have to pay for it. Now of course I'm not a student so to update and reuse some nifty things I wrote as a student I would need to pay hundreds for a run time. Not smart.

    Of course it's not useless. A lot of the things I learned have helped when programming in proper languages (C/perl/java/occam etc), and leaning for learning's sake is never a waste. But all of the things I wrote are now useless because someone else owns the platform they run on and I can't get or afford the environment.

    Older and smarter I would have to be getting a healthy wage to write anything in a closed tool. I might be interested in learning DirectX 10 to steal the best ideas, but if I decide I want to do some 3D visualisation I'll do it on openGL thank you. I will also write my tools in the UNIX style, with exposed APIs and designed in the most modular fashion possible, since it makes them far more valuable in the long run.
  • by Cheezlbub (39707) * on Sunday June 17, 2007 @09:01AM (#19540569)
    before all the craplets that people push on unsuspecting facebookers, I really enjoyed the site. It was an excellent work alternative(tm) Now, however, it's just becoming a more cluttered myspace. I'm expecting the facebook people to next open up the possibility to 'personalize' their profile with gaudy poorly written code that crashes web browsers (or maybe just safari, which - to be honest - isn't the most stable inmate in the asylum). So much for being elegant, simple, and unique.
  • by Russ Nelson (33911) <slashdot@russnelson.com> on Sunday June 17, 2007 @09:08AM (#19540641) Homepage

    My concern with Facebook is that there's no one regulating the utility.

    In a free market, the customer regulates. In fact, by raising your concerns, you are doing it right now.
  • by GreenHead (882493) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @09:28AM (#19540737)
    Has anybody actually taken a look at what these applications are doing to facebook in general? The nice thing about facebook, everybody had a simple looking page that was consistently the same. Since the applications have been coming out, everybody pages started looking like utter crap. Gone is the static page that was easy to read, and simple to load. With the ability to add all the apps, facebook is turning into myspace. We all know how giving the ability to do whatever to their space makes the server go nuts, pages are a pain in the ass to look at, not to mention what does to the server. facebook used to be nice. now it's starting to become more like myspace, which makes me cry.
  • Right (Score:3, Insightful)

    by John Hasler (414242) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @11:02AM (#19541401) Homepage
    > My concern with Facebook is that there's no one regulating the utility.

    Because we certainly don't want people going around doing things without permission, do we? An unregulated activity? How shocking!

    Listen. It's a private company operating in an open market. If you don't like their rules take your business elsewhere. Want more "transparency"? Start your own "transparent" network.
  • by beckerist (985855) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @12:07PM (#19541873) Homepage
    ...and the simple fact his application hasn't been approved yet means there's no regulation?

"Never give in. Never give in. Never. Never. Never." -- Winston Churchill

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