Facebook, YouTube Empower Developers

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2009-09-17 Print this article Print

Web 2.0 giants Facebook and Google continue to offer developers new ways to experiment with and improve application development on their platforms.

Web 2.0 giants Facebook and Google continue to offer developers new ways to experiment with and improve application development on their platforms.

Facebook has launched Facebook Prototypes, a platform where Facebook engineers can showcase internal projects they are working on that have not yet been accepted as projects the company will offer to users.

"We're encouraged to work on projects that inspire us and build on new ideas, but not all of these features and improvements wind up launching on the site," Lee Byron, a Facebook product designer, said in a Sept. 15 blog post. "In some instances, they're not quite ready for prime time, are a bit esoteric or don't quite fit. Now, for all the products that wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity to see the light of day, we're introducing Facebook Prototypes."

Added Byron:

"Facebook Prototypes let us share the experimentation going on inside the walls of Facebook with the rest of the world. You'll be able to test any of the products and features we launch as Facebook Prototypes and then provide feedback directly to those of us who built them. To access Prototypes, visit the Application Directory and filter by 'Prototypes.' From there, you can activate or download any of the Prototypes listed.

"For instance, during a recent Hackathon-an all-night coding event that gives us a chance to build projects we just don't have time to pursue during regular hours-I worked on an application called Desktop Notifications, for Mac OS X. The application helps you keep up to date with what's happening on Facebook."

Byron continued in the post, "Other prototypes include a Recent Comments Filter, which allows you to sort your News Feed by items on which your friends have recently commented; Photo Tag Search, which enables you to find photos by the people who are tagged in them; and Enhanced Events Emails, which allows you to add a Facebook Event directly to your personal calendar in Google, Microsoft Outlook and many other calendar products with just one click."

Meanwhile, Google's YouTube has delivered a new reporting dashboard for developers. In a Sept. 16 blog post, Kuan Yong, a member of the YouTube APIs and Tools Team, said:

"Getting your YouTube Web or client application up and running is only half the battle. We know that you'll also want to monitor your application to see how it's performing. Our new Developer Dashboard shows you at a glance the number of API requests, playbacks, uploads and errors that your app is generating. You can visualize the data using our interactive chart or download a file to process the data offline. To use the dashboard, you'll need to provide a developer key in your API requests and then pass the media URLs from the API responses to the standard embedded player or the chromeless player." 

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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