22 July 2013
Comments: 2

A Facebook implementer’s rant

This morning, I fixed a few minor bugs I’d found in Galaxy Explorer,  and decided to add the Facebook and Twitter API keys so I could do the final test of sharing.

Who knew that setting up this new-fangled Facebook fad could be so difficult?

When I was a lad, we’d carve our Likes onto granite slabs and haul them to the neighbouring village, which was uphill all the way. In both directions.


I wanted to create an account for this website, not myself. Research revealed that I needed to create a page. I don’t have a personal page, but that’s OK, just create a business page they said.

So I did.

Now, to get an app key, I needed to register it as a developer.

So I did.

Finally, I’m told with authority, to click the “Create app” button.

If only such a button had existed!

More research. Turns out that although a page can register as a developer, it can’t apparently create apps. That has to be done from a personal account.

Great. I created a page because I don’t want or need a personal Facebook account, and now I find out that I have to create a personal Facebook account to be able to use a page. What’s the point of allowing someone to create a page without having a personal account?

So I create a personal account. How do I create an app from it? Ah, re-register as a developer.

Oops! I’ve already registered my one and only phone number trying to create an API key from the page, and I’m not allowed to re-use the same phone number on my personal account, or un-register the useless page. Awesome!

As far as I can tell, the only way that I can possibly create an API key is to become an admin for the page, which will then maybe reveal the “Create App” button if I visit it from my personal account.

Log out of my personal account, log back into the page, go to manage users, add an admin user.

Oops! You can’t add a user unless they’ve liked the page.

Silly me. Log out of the page, back in to the personal account. Find the page, like it. Log out. Back into the page.

Ah, there’s my Like. Click on my name, and what-do-you-know, there’s an “Add Administrat” button next to it. Click it, and I’m taken to the member list… and I’m not asked for a password, and my personal account is not on the list.

Didn’t work. Do it manually. Type my personal Facebook account into one of the new admin user boxes, click save.

Oops! “Not a valid email address”.

Type in a random email address? No problem, Facebook happily sends off the admin request to someone who has no Facebook page.

OK, so Facebook users can’t be administrators on Facebook pages. Makes lots of sense.

At this point, I’m stumped. I can’t waste any more time on this. I’ve just deleted the Facebook page, and I’m going to attempt to recreate it from the personal page I made.

However, I cannot re-register as a developer for a few days because Facebook won’t let me use my own phone number twice. I have to wait for it to reset.

The short story is, I can’t release Galaxy Explorer because I can’t finish Facebook setup.

If this goes on for more than a few days, then I’m just going to strip Facebook out and forget it.

Yeah, I should have started a couple of days ago. I didn’t think it could possibly be this bad.

At least the trouble I had with ChartBoost turned out to be ChartBoost bug, and nothing to do with my code.

I bet this isn’t even a bug – this is probably the way Facebook works…if, as a new user, you happen to not do things in the suggested order.

I swear, it was easier back-in-the-day, hauling those granite slabs around.

  • Hernen

    Hi Neil! That’s one of the many reasons why I avoid F***book. I hope it won’t take too long until the final realease of Galaxy Explorer. Have you started rewriting ExEx yet? Some new planets have just been added the last two days. Greetings Hernen

    • http://apps.burlock.org Neil B

      I just checked, and my phone number can now be used, so I’m back to working on getting Galaxy Explorer out.
      Galaxy Explorer was intended to be a test of how to rewrite Exoplanet Explorer. I think it’s worked out well enough that I can actually do the rewrite based entirely on this code, which will save a huge amount of time. Though I won’t officially start work on the rewrite for a few weeks yet. I need to get some data from GalEx about how compatible it’s graphics shaders are with a random selection of Android devices.