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Facebook Platform News 12/8/09

December 9, 2009ByPete Bratach

With this week's code push we've released the Dashboard API and the family FQL table, updated some API calls so they work without session keys, and soon will start returning English-only strings for three fields in the user FQL table.

Breaking Change for non-English Applications Querying user FQL Table

In order to significantly improve the performance of certain FQL queries, in 60 days we will return only English strings for the relationship_status, gender, and affiliations.status fields in the user FQL table.

The performance gains far outweigh the value of translating the strings in the query because these fields contain static lists of constants. After 60 days, queries on these fields will return English strings only. If you specified a language other than English as your application's native language or use the Translations application to indicate your application is available in another language, and you query one of those fields on the user FQL table, you'll need to update your code so it can handle the English values of these fields.

Here are the values for each field:

  • relationship_status, which can be 'Single', 'In a Relationship', 'In an Open Relationship', 'Married', 'Engaged', 'It's Complicated' and 'Widowed'
  • gender, which can be 'Male' or 'Female'
  • affiliations, which can be 'Undergrad', 'Alumnus/Alumna', 'Faculty', 'Staff', or 'Grad Student'

For example, If your application is in Spanish and it has logic to check if a user is single, you should change your code within the next 60 days to look like this:

if ($result == "single" || 
    $result == "soltero" || 
    $result == "soltera")  {
    $status = single; 

Dashboard API

The Dashboard API is now available for testing, to prepare you for the upcoming launch of the Application and Games Dashboards. Use the Dashboard API to integrate your application into the Application Dashboard or Games Dashboards, which will help users discover and engage with your applications.

Note that there is no sandbox for you to test the API; however the calls are live and you can set dashboard information and retrieve it. Keep an eye on this blog and the dashboard roadmap for more detailed information, including when we'll release the dashboards.

New family FQL Table

Get information about a user's family relationships (relatives, their names, relationships, birthdays, and user IDs) from the new family FQL table. This table makes it much simpler and more straightforward to retrieve family data for a user instead of querying the user table.

While we're keeping the family field in the user FQL table, the new table is more useful since you can query for specific relationships, which you can't do on the user table.

Getting Group Information without a Session

You can query the group FQL table without a session key, which returns data about a group that is publicly available; that is, the query only returns a group that the logged-in user can see. If you don't pass the logged-in user's ID, the query only returns open groups.

Fixed events.invite without a Session Key

We fixed an issue with events.invite so you can now call the method without a session key.

Stay Informed

Remember to check the Developer Roadmap so you can have advanced notice of what we're releasing for Facebook Platform. We also publish a weekly article that lists each week's code check-ins that impact Facebook Platform.

We hope you start using these features and we welcome your feedback on the Developer Forum.

Pete, a writer on the Platform team, likes to start spreading the news.