Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Using the Facebook API and Contemplating Seppuku

A lot of our TapLynx and related work requires us to get RSS or Atom version of content. For classical blog platforms this is a pretty easy thing. Even if the authors do not have RSS explicitly enabled, platforms like Drupal and WordPress have nice, RESTful ways to get a feed from the blog postings.

Then there's Twitter and Facebook. Facebook has been the worst recently as they keep changing how they want requests formulated. Until recently anyone who could formulate a request correctly could get a Facebook wall as a JSON feed as long as the content was public. Recently, an oAuth token became required even for "public" data. Granted, this is becoming a more common event. Unfortunately, we either weren't watching the right Forum posts or it wasn't announced when the change happened. So, we found out about the change after customers started to complain that the applications were broken.

Things are working for us now, but the documentation isn't totally clear and the system is likely to change again. It makes us nervous.

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