Plans for the Next Release
As you probably know, Facebook announced some big changes at the
F8 conference. They announced new features that are pretty
interesting and have received a lot of press. They also
announced major simplifications to their APIs.
Simplification is a good thing. And keeping in step with
facebook's changes, the next release of Drupal for Facebook will
be The Simplification Release. Here's some of what's in store
for Drupal for Facebook 3.0.
PHP API are both open source, provide a more consistant interface
than the current ones, and are more likely to be future
compatible. Anyone who follows facebook development knows the
APIs have been in major flux since their inception. Now we have
some hope of stability going forward.
Next, we'll drop support for FBML canvas pages. This is a huge
change, and somewhat ironic in that FBML canvas pages were the
total API available when facebook first announced their platform.
Facebook has now deprecated this approach. This simplifies
things for facebook, as they can view Facebook Connect based apps
and iframe based canvas pages as essentially the same thing. And
guess what, we can view them as essentially the same thing, too.
This will have a huge simplifying effect on Drupal for Facebook.
This does mean that anyone building FBML canvas page apps will
have to do some rethinking, or at the very least re-theming.
It's time to create an iframe theme instead of FBML. It also has
some implications for multiple app support and session
management. With the current scheme, all apps hosted on a single
domain will want to share the same session. So to support
multiple apps will introduce some complexity that was not needed
in the current release. Most Drupal for Facebook sites only host
one app, and hopefully this added complexity will never affect
Another major simplification has to do with initializing the
APIs. The current version of Drupal for Facebook jumps through
some hoops, as anyone who has looked at fb_api_init() knows.
Most of these changes are behind the scenes, but believe me it is
nice to know that many complex lines of code are going away.
After the simplification, we'll add support for new features.
For example the Like widget and others that Facebook announced.
And of course the Open Graph. Stay tuned for details...