Facebook Graph API limitations

I have created a Facebook app for the flea market Facebook groups in my area. (Feel free to take a look at //loppis.blekinge.it/)

To read and manage posts I use the Facebook Graph API, but there are a number of limitations:

  • My application supports deleting posts, but Facebook does not allow applications to delete a photo
  • Real-time Updates do not include support for groups (so I have to poll)
  • Reading the Group feed and and using the since and until parameters do not guarantee that you find all posts in a high-traffic group, not even when using the previous and next links in the feed

Update Maybe I should start using FQL to query the Group feed?

Gmail as Mail Reader in GNOME

Simply install GNOME Gmail in your Linux distro and change the Mail Reader in System -> Preferences -> Preferred Applications:

If you use Ubuntu Maverick Meerkat (10.10) or earlier you need to download the GNOME Gmail .deb but in Natty Narwhal (11.04) you can install it directly from the unsupported universe repository.

Blogging, sharing, status updates, everywhere?

I’ve realized a long time ago that my personal web diary in in Swedish – 2good.nu – has been obsoleted by my Facebook account. Same with the diary for our first-born child. I didn’t even start a blog for our second child.

This is quite OK, as my home-made web diary software – even rewritten in Zend Framework – will never have the same features as Facebook. There are no comments, photo uploads, likes, mentions of friends, etc, that the existing social networks already implement.

Of course I also have a Twitter account, @davideriksson, that complements this blog with mostly English-language updates regarding software development and related topics. I actually use Google Buzz for sharing some stuff with friends, and it is also connected to my Twitter account.

I never use my Orkut account so let’s ignore that. Should I mention my LinkedIn account? By its nature it is almost purely for my professional relations.

Now comes Google+ and I will give it a try as soon as they accept the invitation I have. Should I spend/waste my time on yet another social network, connected to more or less the same people?

What I want is to publish stuff (blog posts, links, photos, videos, status updates) in one place, and have it reach the desired target group (or Social Cicle, in Google+ speak). Something like Diaspora sounds like a good idea, but it is not click-and-play and does it integrate with the other social networks mentioned previously? I’m not so sure.

Ideally I publish something on Facebook and it ends up in the corresponding social circles in Google+, and the other way around.

Another solution would to be that I publish everything from my personal site, and it pushes it to the corresponding systems. Maybe I have to implement photo upload after all? And build an Android client? No, I should not have to.

A better solution would be that a single social network is my “main” one and it provides an API that I can use to share data to other social networks. Maybe Google+ is that social network, but it does not have a public API yet. I still have to build stuff, but integrating systems is much more fun than implementing photo upload… 🙂

To see what others publish I realize that I still need to connect to each social network, but I’m probably curious enough!

Stop forum spam!

I run a Swedish site about energy drinks, along with a Swedish forum for energy drink collectors. In a tie between phpBB and Simple Machines (SMF) I chose the latter as forum software.

Since I opened the forum there has been more and forum spam attempts. Actually there have been very few spam posts, and no spam personal messages that I know of, but several spammers did register only to add links for SEO purposes in their user profile. (Note to self: set rel=”nofollow” on links in user profiles?)

The first counter-measure I added was reCAPTCHA for SMF and it has saved me quite a bit of work.

When that was not enough I found an SMF plugin for the Stop Forum Spam API. Unlike Akismet that – AFAIK – goes for the content of the spam, Stop Forum Spam simply stores IP address, user names and e-mail addresses that have been used for forum spam. When a spammer try to register on my forum they get a message (in Swedish) that an extra security check is needed, and instructions to e-mail the webmaster (that’s me). I have loads of registration attempts in the forum log, but no e-mails to webmaster… 🙂

I realize that it is not realistic to get rid of all spammers, but I’m pretty close now!

Maverick Meerkat joys

In retrospect, I really don’t understand why I didn’t upgrade my primary laptop (Thinpad T60p with ATI graphics) earlier, as the Spotify issue was resolved a long time ago.

Maverick feels a bit faster than Lucid, so I’m really happy.

Maverick Meerkat disappointments

Ubuntu 10.10, with codename Maverick Meerkat, was released on 10 October 2010. So far it has only made me disappointed.

First of all, when I have the USB cable for my LG L1510SF touch screen, X crashes in xf86findOption. I have submitted bug reports via Apport, see Launchpad bug #657895.

Second, Spotify crashes on certain mouse events with the newer Qt version. More information:

Don’t upgrade if you want any of the above to work!

ZYB closing

For a couple of years I’ve been using ZYB to backup my mobile phone book online. They got bought by Vodafone and now they’re closing:

On 31 July, ZYB will be closing. Please go to www.360.com to register and backup your phone there. We thank all of our customers for their support!

Spotify 0.4 in WINE: “File is an unsupported format”

I bought Serengeti‘s album Standing Steady on MP3 from Bengans and wanted to play it in Spotify as “Local Files”. It worked perfectly in MS Windows, but on Ubuntu I got “File is an unsupported format”. WTF?

Spotify acknowledges this:

Spotify uses the system-supplied MP3 decoder on all platforms, and during our limited testing we found the Wine decoder to be excessively unstable on quite a few MP3 files, including some from our purchase partners. We are therefore blocking codecs with the identifier “WINE-MPEG3″ until the Wine system works satisfactorily.

One workaround I found involved recompiling or binary-patching WINE. Not so fun.

The official support forum contained a solution based around installing Windows Media Player 10. I have downloaded and installed it now according to the instructions, but already the playback froze once. Well, Spotify isn’t perfectly reliable in WINE anyway, so this is probably Good Enough.

ThinkPad X40 with Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx)

I’m writing this from Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) on my “travel” laptop, a venerable ThinkPad X40. There were two things I needed to fix to make it work:

The Intel Corporation 82852/855GM Integrated Graphics Device [PCI 8086:3582] needed Workaround A: Re-enable KMS found on Lucidi8xxFreezes to start X.

My Huawei E620 USB Modem [USB 12d1:1446/12d1:1001] for mobile broadband worked after removing the /etc/udev/rules.d/15-huawei-e1551.rules file I used to get the same device working in Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala).