Oneupweb : Dear Facebook, Why Do You Always Fall Short?

I joined Facebook not long ago so I could develop apps for Oneupweb. I must say, the Graph API and Javascript SKD have worked like a dream thus far. The documentation is well organized and easy to digest. They even have a php SDK to make server side communications easier.

Everything appears to be in place, until you start to dig beyond the surface. Becoming a developer was easy enough, but being added to an app is a different story. I’ll use the classic Oregon Trail video game quotes to illustrate the overall experience.

First, there was a bug which prevented our CEO from adding any developers to the list. It was reported and voted up by well over a thousand users. They eventually fixed it (kind of) and I was finally able to be added.

You have crossed the Kansas River!

Next, upon adding me, Facebook said that it could take a few hours for all of their servers to be updated. No problem, I’ve waited this long, what’s a few more hours?.. days?.. a week? Something doesn’t seem right here. I had no notifications in my profile. No indicators in the developer app. Where’s my invite? As it turns out, there is no indicator in the notifications window for that sort of an invite. I had to click the “See All Notifications” link and scroll to the bottom of the window, where the app was placed in the footer.

You have broken an axle.

Now I’m a developer for the app, but wait, this can’t seem right… why can I delete the CEO? Doesn’t she own the app? I guess not. Why doesn’t Facebook have user levels? There should be a difference between an owner, an admin and a developer.

You have a broken arm.

What’s up with test users? To create a test user, you must have a unique email address, but it seems a little silly to require a real email account for a fake person. Luckily Gmail allows you to do this without actually creating accounts — using my.na.me@gmail.com will automatically forward to myname@gmail.com (periods get stripped).

Find wild fruit.

Now then, test users can only be friends with other test users (makes sense). Test users can use apps (sweet, just what I need). Test users cannot post to another test users wall via an app… how then, am I supposed to test this app in a testing environment if test users can’t do everything real users can?

You have dysentery.

Okay, there’s plenty more I can go on about, but I’m done ranting (for now). To be fair, many things have come together much quicker and easier than expected. The road may be long and bumpy, but I’m confident I’ll reach my destination eventually!

You have died of dysentery.