The new Facebook Graph API announced at f8 represents a revolution in the way that Facebook applications will be developed from here on in. You want to get a list of a users’ friends? No longer will you need to weed through the PHP documentation to try to figure out which API to call, and which parameters to pass. Now, all you need to do is make a simple RESTful HTTP call, and get a nicely formatted JSON response in return. How do you format the REST call? Pretty simple, I’m guessing that after you do 2 or 3 of these it will become second nature, and you won’t even need to look at the documentation.
So how will this affect FriendRunner? My initial thoughts is that it will affect FriendRunner in a positive way. All of the original API will still be in force, so nothing there will change. What will change it that FriendRunner will need to support all of the REST API calls at https://graph.facebook.com. But that won’t be so hard because it’s simply getting at the same data that we already provide, just in a different way. But even if it is hard, that’s okay – we subscribe to the “Why does Rice play Texas” philosophy.
Since the RESTful API is language agnostic, the FriendRunner support can be written any way we want, and not necessarily in PHP. This makes us very happy.
Stay tuned to get more information about when we’ll have the new API coded up and ready. In the meantime, all of the investment you’ve made in wriing Facebook apps the old way is secure, and your apps will continue to work. And FriendRunner will continue to be available for testing them.