For quite some time now I’ve been dreaming about getting into the Facebook Platform (API, Markup Language, etc) but haven’t had good enough reasons to do so. One good friend of mine Timothy gave me those reasons not so long ago and guess what! I came up with my very first Facebook App! It’s still in the sandbox, don’t rush searching for it in the applications database. I’m not going to share any code as it’s all clumsy but I do want to share some screenshots and my first experience with the Facebook API.
One very interesting thing about the API is the testing console, where you could run any Facebook API methods, very useful for debugging. Interface design is very catchy too, with the new Facebook Markup Language and the FBML testing console, so quick and robust! Pepole are still asking for form elements extensions though, such as the checkbox or option – it seems that they come out buggy as fb:editor-custom.
Anyways, the first thing that came into my mind is adding a Twitter Tags tab to a profile or fan page, so I used the Foller.me API and within a few hours I managed to get a fully working (or not) canvas application tab. I’m surprised by how well-written the Facebook PHP Client Library is. All the methods are explained in the code comments and do exactly what they’re expected to. The Facebook Markup Language takes care of application settings, private areas (app configuration, etc) and everything else. The overall Facebook Developers Documentation is okay, I’ll give that an 8 out of 10 and I like them running the MediaWiki software ;) Here are some screenshots of my application:
Still not sure where this is going but Timothy had some great ideas about custom Facebook Apps. I guess a release of the Twitter Tags application would be handy for some profiles (or at least for some more experience), so I might push that forward in the near future and file an “add to facebook database” request to go public. After that we’ll aim for something bigger.