Thursday, 20 September 2012

Development Update

I've continued developing over the past week, just trying to get a solid base to build my application on.

Connecting to Facebook in a way to get data is proving to be a little tricky. I've discovered that I cannot get the information directly from a users profile page, like I wanted to, as it is a breach of Facebook's terms and conditions. They will allow you to use automated data retrieval if you obtain prior written consent, but that is a little unrealistic for this project.

I've also implemented a PropertiesRetrieval class to return settings from a .properties file. Considering extensibility and the probably need to store a Facebook application id and secret key, it would be inefficient and ridiculous to have the required settings hard coded into the application. The externally configurable settings can now be set in the .properties file and the program will retrieve them when required.

The difficulty lies in that I'd like my application to be purely client-side. A lot of the support for developers on Facebook seem to focus on server-side applications and servlets. So it is difficult to find relevant information. I have had a play with a servlet implementation but it's not suitable for my needs.

I've found a java class called Scribe with lots of classes and methods for retrieving data from social media sites. I'm in the process of testing their demo implementation, but it looks promising!

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