Language: Facebook API
IDE(s): TextWrangler with MAMP
(From Facebook’s Facebook page)
“Founded in 2004, Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.”
Letting us connect with friends and family and all of the other sharing and caring doesn’t pay the bills.
Facebook makes money by selling the attention of its users. If that’s a problem for you, don’t get an account.
That’s pretty much all I have to say about that.
First I need to get Facebook to recognize me as a developer. I select Register as a Developer from the Apps menu on http://developers.facebook.com (after logging in with my Facebook account). I’m asked to re-enter my Facebook password.
I agree to Facebook’s policies.
I’m asked to confirm my registration by entering a code that will be sent to my phone by either a text message or a phone call. Facebook seems to be unable to text to my phone for some reason, so I picked Send via Phone Call. In a few moments, my phone rang and a friendly automated voice told me my code.
Finally I was successfully enrolled as a Facebook developer. I haven’t written a lick of code yet but I still feel like I’ve accomplished something.
Now I need to get an ID and secret token for my app. These identify my software to Facebook so they can manage what I can and can’t do and also keeps other developers from pretending to be me. (Twitter and other social networking services have similar methods.)
I created a page called fb_test.html and saved it in my MAMP local site folder. I inserted a bit of code to add a Like button on the page, loaded it up and it worked!
So far, so good. Now I’d like to send a message to Facebook from my page. I replaced the Like button code with the code for a Send button. A quick page reload later and voila:
Now to compose a message to myself:
Meanwhile, over on my Facebook account:
Overall, it was a very pleasant experience. Granted, I wasn’t doing anything complicated, but I appreciated the hand-holding. Sample code was easy to find and worked first time. The documentation was readily available and easy to browse.
I almost hate to say it, but this was probably the most pleasant developer experience I’ve had to date. Whatever your opinion of Facebook, and everyone’s got an opinion, I can’t fault them here.