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With Daniel Schaffer (author of the .Net Facebook API Client) I’ve put together a Stack Overflow-type website for Facebook developer help called fbExchange.Net. It’s intended to build as a knowledge base and to be focussed more on tech than the official Facebook developer forum’s discussion format. (So hopefully the forum will be the place for “Is the Platform down?” or “What do you think of the new design?” type questions, and fbExchange.Net can be the site for “How do I…?” questions.)
For anyone who’s not familiar with the Stack Exchange model, you gain reputation by asking (good) questions, and answering them such that other people vote for your answers. For freelance developers and consultants having a high reputation can even help to bring work in. While the site’s in an early stage (“bootstrap mode”) it’s easier to gain points too, so there’s some benefit in getting in there now (hint, hint).
It’s intended to be dev-centred, but there’s no reason why it can’t cover most of the practicalities of “how do I set up a Facebook Page” etc, so feel free to create questions you know the answer to and even answer them yourself. The great thing about the system is that since it’s community moderated, and questions are tagged rather than put into categories, then the definition of “what can I ask?” is fairly broad.
Better late than never (perhaps), these are the last of the photos from my trip to Athens late in 2008. Facebook has been starving the blog of updates for a long time and I’ve all but lost the capability to think of anything to say that’s longer than 140 characters.
For anyone keeping track, this post is a follow-on from the previous trip to Aegina.
The Acropolis is definitely the centrepiece of Athens and you catch glimpses of it from numerous streets and allleyways. It’s saved from being completely swamped by the sprawl of Athens around it by virtue of the huge rock it sits on:
The Acropolis as it looks from the approaching road:
On the way up to the Acropolis you catch glimpses of the most famous of the buildings there, the Parthenon. It’s “one of those buildings” that has to be on every architecture student’s pilgrimage route at some point:
The entrance to the Acropolis complex, which does a good job of only offering you partial views of the temples above:
And here’s the same view, but with Ann providing scale. (Hands up if you thought the doorway was really that big):
A view of the temple of Hierocles, and the surrounds of Athens, that you get from the entrance:
The steps leading up to the temples. “Steep” was a word that came to mind:
The Propylea in the Acropolis itself:
Ann enjoying the obligatory scaffolding:
The Propylea, with scaffolding. They always know when I’m visiting somewhere and scaffold it up specially. I’d be disappointed if it was any other way:
The Parthenon gets cranes as well as scaffolding. Although this is otherwise a pretty classic view, and we were lucky enough for it to be fairly empty – the benefits of a fairly early morning in December (when it was still warm):
Some pieces of Parthenon frieze that they leave around the place until they can work out how to put the 3D jigsaw back together again:
More Erechtheum. Athens definitely excelled at blue skies too:
From inside the Erechtheum looking out. I bet the original builders never thought “this is going to look great when it falls down”, but it does:
The Erectheum entrance porch:
An arty shot of an Erechtheum column:
The ceiling of the Erechtheum porch:
The Erechtheum as a whole:
The east side of the Parthenon itself:
And the whole east front of the Parthenon:
Some of the frieze sculptures that us Brits decided weren’t worth carrying back to the British Museum. (Travel hint: don’t make that joke in Greece. They don’t like it.)
Some more Parthenon:
You can see some of the wall sections of the Parthenon behind the columns. It seems strange to think of it being a solid box inside now that we’re used to seeing it as ruins:
More frieze sculptures:
Turn the scaffolding up to 11:
The classic shot (albeit with scaffolding still):
The hill outside the Acropolis where some famous Christain bloke did some preaching. (Apparently his name was Paul, but no idea what his surname was.) It’s well dangerous up there, as you can see by Ann being frozen with fear:
A tree that had managed to grow itself out of the rocks:
And this is how the Acropolis looks at night. It’s worth finding a cafe or restaurant with a view for a few hours at least:
From Facebook today:
We’re writing to inform you of a Facebook Platform policy violation within your application, Six Degrees.
Our terms and policies are in place to ensure that Facebook Platform serves users well, allows applications to thrive, and provides a great experience for all involved. Unfortunately, we have determined that your application does not meet our terms and policies.
Specifically, your application contains “Store my friend list” and “Keep up-to-date” functionalities that imply storing data in violation of our policies on this behavior. Whether you obtain user permission or not, applications may not store data obtained from Facebook for longer than 24 hours per section I.6.1 of our Platform Guidelines (http://wiki.developers.facebook.com/index.php/Platform_Guidelines). This includes friend connections between two users, as mentioned on http://wiki.developers.facebook.com/index.php/Storable_Data .
We request that you stop storing this data. As friend connections are crucial to your application’s functionality, we recommend that you prompt users to grant the offline_access permission and then query their friend list dynamically as required. For more information, please see http://wiki.developers.facebook.com/index.php/Extended_permission .
Additionally, it appears that your application pre-fills text fields in the Settings section with user data, including but not limited to first name, last name, and gender. Data obtained and stored through these means of pre-filling is still in violation of our data policies, as explained in section I.14.2 of our Platform Guidelines. We request that you stop pre-filling these fields with user data.
Finally, your application publishes a one-line Feed story when users authorize it. These stories read ” has logged into the Six Degrees application” and are in violation of section II.5.1 of our Platform Guidelines. We request that you remove them from your application.
We trust and expect that all applications managed by you and your team meet our terms and policies, so we appreciate in advance that you proactively ensure that this is the case in the future.
Please make these requested changes by 1:00pm Pacific Time Thursday, 25 June 2009. When you have done so, please let us know by replying to this email.
We realize that this is a short timeframe, but it is important for the sake of our users and other developers that this issue is resolved quickly. If you cannot resolve this by the above deadline, your application may be subject to additional enforcement actions, including but not limited to being disabled.
Facebook are accepting “expressions of interest” from developers for the beta test of their payments platform. I wrote a bit more about it on Inside Facebook: Facebook Taking Signups for Developers Interested in Testing its Credit Payment System.
I just can’t stop watching this:
These little videos are great. Showing the life of “Little Sydney” by some really clever techniques. And they just look good. For best results go to the site – they’re much better larger.