photo: Annie Mole
Inside Facebook reports that Facebook is to open source their developer platform. A spokesman from Facebook said:
We’re working on an open-source initiative that is meant to help application developers better understand Facebook Platform and more easily build applications, whether it’s by running their own test servers, building tools, or optimizing their applications. As Facebook Platform continues to mature, open-sourcing the infrastructure behind it is a natural step so developers can build richer social applications and share what they’ve learned with the ecosystem. Additional details will be released soon.
I absolutely love the Facebook platform. I recently developed a small application for Facebook. It really isn’t hard at all to develop an application if you know PHP and once you’ve got the PHP environment set up. You need to keep in mind that you can only use a subset of HTML. You can also use FBML which is dead easy. Facebook also has a SQL-like language called FQL which is dead easy if you know SQL and is a really nice way to get data from Facebook.
You can also hook into Facebook Mobile to send and receive SMS text messages for free but for some reason it doesn’t seem to have taken off amongst the larger applications yet.
I’ll write a little more about my experiences with the Facebook platform soon but it’s great news that it’s being open sourced. It certainly gives me a bit more confidence to use the Facebook platform without worrying about having to rewrite everything at a later date if it appears that OpenSocial sites will dominate.