In both cases, I wanted to write up the issue brought forward, but I wanted to get Facebook's side of the story as well. I contacted the company and was pointed to lengthy responses from Douglas Purdy, Facebook's director of developer relations. In short, he offered his apologies, cleared up some confusion, and promised Facebook still cares about developers. Is that true? You be the judge.
In frustration, Schnitzer defined Facebook's typical issue response flow as follows:
"I wish this was an isolated incident, but nearly every experience I've had with the Facebook platform is equally unsatisfying," Schnizter wrote. "Bugs are closed or simply ignored. Of the issues which get a response, nearly always the first round is 'need a repro case' even though the bug is *clearly* spelled out in the description. Do I need to drive down to Palo Alto and type it in on your keyboard?"
Here's how Purdy responded to Schnitzer's complaints:
The second issue (Python SDK) is about how Facebook previously maintained the python-sdk project on GitHub, but then suddenly deleted the public repository. The author, Lincoln Quirk, notes that the problem with deleting a repository off GitHub is that it affects lots of people who specify GitHub repositories in their requirements.txt files, a Python Pip feature which lets you list dependencies for your code, to be auto-installed from the Internet when needed. Quirk had Facebook's python-sdk repository in his requirements file, but since it's now gone, he can't install its dependencies.
The bug report on Facebook Developers refers to the company's "90-day Breaking Change policy" but the Facebook employee who classified it as "By Design" seems to ignore this fact. Quirk did, however, find that someone is maintaining the code at github.com/pythonforfacebook/facebook-sdk. He then also discovered that Facebook did announce they were discontinuing it, but that the note was buried in a different bug report on Facebook Developers.
Here's how Purdy responded to Quirk's complaints:
It seems Facebook is not so much throwing unnecessary obstacles at developers as it has a serious communication problem. The company is still young, so it is understandably making tons of changes on a frequent basis. Facebook's developers should definitely be the ones posting about these events, but they need some better training, in my opinion.