Why I Hate Facebook Connect
In the Facebook Connect Primer I barely scratched the surface about the Facebook Connect service; I fully expected to research more and write about it. I had it all worked out in my head; in this post I wanted to outline how I was able to use the service and outline deeper features and functionality.
Unfortunately, this just wasn't possible because, well, all the documentation I could find on Facebook Connect was terribly outdated and inaccurate. So, instead, I'm going to talk about how painful it was trying to work with the system. Enjoy
I first downloaded the file and extract and setup a development site on my development web server. I work on my Vista machine so it was pretty straightforward.
This was a mistake though. It turns out that development of Facebook Application projects requires an open connection to the Internet. It can not be behind a password screen.
FUCK! You have to work live on the Internet when developing; amateurs...
Anyway, after setting up the project on my computer the first thing I got was a screen full of undefined variable notices from php; the developers didn't take the time to kill notices in the code or throw a call to:
sigh.... have to fix...
Either, open up init.php and add the above code below the first <?php, or do like I did and fix all the errors yourself.
The php notices aside, the first time it's opened in a browser an error screen shows up saying to follow the instructions in lib/config.php.sample
Create a Facebook Application and go to the Connect tab. From here you can setup the callback URLs, upload a new image for the Connect confirmation screen and enter a base domain (this helps for cross domain access).
Of particular interest are these lines from the Terms of Service:
You can only cache user information for up to 24 hours to assist with performance. The only exceptions are those listed in the Facebook Platform Documentation.
However, you must get signoff from us before releasing any formal press releases.
After reading the above, combined with the above frustrations, I decided to walk away from Facebook Connect entirely. This was a HORRIBLE research experience.
That was until recently when I found out about an upcoming project that requires integration with the service. Oh, well. At least I already have some research out of the way...
Facebook Platform Application Guidelines
Facebook Platform Developer Copyright Information (if your application permits file-sharing)
Facebook Platform Documentation
How to Build a Facebook Application
Facebook Application Tools
Getting Started With Facebook Connect
FBConnect - 5 reasons why we dumped it