Print 8 comment(s) - last by phxfreddy.. on May 27 at 11:27 PM

The Open Source Movement looks ready to score a big victory with the addition of Facebook to its fold

MySpace recently made news when it announced that it was breaking with its tradition and "bringing down the garden walls", allowing its user information to be shared.  It also pledged to adopt open APIs and authentication interfaces.  Of course, Facebook has already long had limited versions of such measures in place.  Now Facebook is looking to keep up with its larger competitor, MySpace by open sourcing its application code.

According to news site TechCrunch, Facebook is planning to release the source code for its entire application platform.  The move, according to the report, will be announced within a few days.

Facebook declined to comment on the reports.

The Application Platform from Facebook just celebrated its one year anniversary.  It has been very popular due to strong user support for the varied and creative applications, funded in part by Facebook developer grants.  However, some developers have defected to OpenSocial, another social platform.  OpenSocial was created by Google and spun off as a non-profit and is an open source standard that any social network participating can use.  MySpace, Bebo, and others are all on board. 

Facebook in a way already opened its platform up prior to MySpace when it cut a deal with Bebo to allow Facebook applications to work in Bebo.  However, without the adoption of the open platform, it now has fallen behind MySpace in terms of compatibility.  It also took a major hit in terms of its reputation for openness when it banned a user temporarily for exporting his friends list for use with other networks.

Earlier this month Facebook announced "Facebook Connect" another open effort which sought to make it easier for user to connect their accounts with other sites such as Digg.  The news came within days of MySpace’s announcement and Google's announcement of its new "Friend Connect" service

While it appears that Facebook is preparing to make another leap towards more openness, many question whether the site will truly open source its code or perhaps just make it more "extensible" through new partnerships or developments.  As one of the hottest web properties Facebook is in a position of leadership of sorts, so it should be interesting to see what kind of example it sets.

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More headaches
By Scorpion on 5/27/2008 11:42:09 AM , Rating: 5
There are already a plethora of unnecessary, annoying, poorly designed, and invasive Facebook apps. All we need is for the source to be released so that they can cause more headaches by invading our systems even more! I do support Open Source, in many areas, but I have a feeling that this one is going to come with a lot of growing pains. I wont be installing any apps in the near future. This feels like an open invitation for every bad intentioned programmer to make some gimmicky Facebook app that's going to do who knows what to my information and/or computer.

RE: More headaches
By Polynikes on 5/27/2008 11:51:46 AM , Rating: 2
I can see all kinds of trouble coming out of this.

RE: More headaches
By phxfreddy on 5/27/2008 11:27:07 PM , Rating: 2
I can see your point about FaceButt. It is annoying and if they open source it we will likely be cornered and cornholed by some method or another.

RE: More headaches
By omnicronx on 5/27/2008 12:03:32 PM , Rating: 2
Its not like code is running on your computer, as far as I know, its always going to be limited to the access your browser has on your computer. Sure if you are still using IE6 you may have a problem, but would a 'hacker' not have to surcomvent the browser in order to do harm. Also doesnt facebook have to approve new apps?

Just because its open source does not mean anyone can add a new app to their site without going through the proper channels. If facebook starts approving apps that allow an intruder to have access to your computer, they may see a classaction suit on their doorstep after not too long.

RE: More headaches
By Smartless on 5/27/2008 3:34:42 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry I'm not much of programmer but they have this aquarium app that if you want to be able to use "Shiny" fishes you have to go 3rd party website and download their stuff. Every security program on my computer lit up even when I tried dumbing it down. That kinda got me nervous to some of the 3rd party apps. I think its still going after my browser but that's one way that it could happen right?

RE: More headaches
By Dorz on 5/27/2008 12:06:15 PM , Rating: 2
Well if you think your details are already safe on Faceache then I suggest you read this item from the BBC:

RE: More headaches
By abzillah on 5/27/2008 3:17:29 PM , Rating: 2
I got tired of facebook and left it.

How many bugs/day
By five40 on 5/27/2008 12:18:40 PM , Rating: 2
I'm guessing that there will be at least 1 security bug per day for the first couple weeks. If they had security issues with a simple photo app while they where closed source I can only imagine the problems they'll have when they go open source.

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