Facebook Updates Its JavaScript SDK

Developer & Design

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Last week's Operation Developer Love was a little disappointing as it contained no updates. At least it meant that there was nothing bad happening under the hood on Facebook and no major changes that developers needed to worry about. That all changes this week with Facebook announcing one major update to the platform.

Over the next few weeks, Facebook will be rolling out changes to the JavaScript SDK. This is to "limit the publicly exposed interface." The first step in this process will be "removing access to all internal properties and to methods prefixed with _." It's all part of the company's grand scheme to improve the SDK.

To that end, the company says that applying patches to the FB object will no longer work. You also can no longer directly manipulate properties like FB._https. Some developers rely on accessing those internal properties to make apps work though, but Facebook wants you to stop. They even compiled a handy list of publicly available methods that developers can instead use. Of course, you can still use methods that aren't part of the public API, but Facebook says that those methods can be changed or removed without notice.

There are some new breaking changes this week that will go into effect on June 6. The first is the removal of FBML apps as they will no longer work on the platform. If your app uses FBML, migrate over to the new JavaScript SDK before June 6. Another change is that apps connecting to Facebook's XMPP service will have to start using STARTTLS encryption. Unencrypted connections will be rejected starting June 6 so get to encrypting.

As for the bug report, there were 174 bugs reported with 48 of them being fixed. Twenty-seven bugs were reproducible and accepted so they should be fixed by next week.