27 Apr

Facebook buys Parse :-/

Interesting — Facebook Buys Parse To Offer Mobile Development Tools As Its First Paid B2B Service (via TC).

First congrats to Parse, for the monetization event.

I have been a Parse.com fan for a while and even wrote a few months ago an article on using Parse on Android that was published at IBM DeveloperWorks.

Indeed, the Parse API is pretty cool — a very well thought out/organized API with platform/OS-specific bindings, and a very cool “cloud code”.

One of the things I liked about Parse was its independence from the “rest”. But this independence is now gone.

From the developer’s perspective, I have mix feelings about this acquisition — the only apps I want to run against or have dependencies to the Facebook back-end are Facebook apps, and nothing else. As a consequence, my use of Parse will not be limited mainly to such.

There is an alternative to Parse: Apigee, another back-end as a service/cloud API company I am a fan of. They have an API similar to Parse; not as sophisticated, but I believe it will get there. Apigee was a speaker at Android Dev Austin a few months back and I can see how Apigee will continue to evolve. As a matter of fact, this acquisition of Parse by Facebook is probably a good thing for Apigee. (Note to self: write an article on Apigee’s APIs).


17 Aug

Facebook Developers World HACK – Austin

Facebook Developers World HACK visits Austin Texas on August 23, 2012!

For more information and registration, visit their HACK – Austin website:

At Facebook Developers World HACK, you’ll hear from Facebook engineers who will walk you through developing great apps that are social by design. World HACK gives you a chance to collaborate with your peers and speak one-on-one with Facebook engineers. Then, put your skills to work and spend the day hacking with us. We’ll be awarding prizes for apps with the best Facebook integrations!

We’ll cover topics like:
* Facebook APIs
* Mobile SDKs
* Open Graph

We’ll be giving out prizes to teams or individuals that use our APIs to best effect. Plan to spend the evening hours with us — this day long event will be capped off with dinner, demos and awards! Space is limited, so register now to secure your spot.

See you there!


18 Dec

The beauty of data visualization

View high-res (3.8MB) (Facebook)

Created by Paul Butler, an intern on Facebook’s data infrastructure engineering team, he writes:

“Visualizing data is like photography. Instead of starting with a blank canvas, you manipulate the lens used to present the data from a certain angle.”

I really like the way the above was articulated. And what a gorgeous visualization of Facebook’s interactions data. Such a powerful visualization, an example that a picture is truly worth a thousand words. And while the data has been manipulated (meaning it is biased) there is so much good information that can be told from this:

  • High-tech, open regions; such as Europe, USA, India, parts of South America, Israel, Japan and Oceania;
  • High-tech, closed regions, such as China — wow, totally dark; it is pretty sad;
  • Africa overall, still not as connected as the rest of the world due to a combination of isolated regions, and low technology penetration (due to economic and political issues). Same with parts of South America;
  • Low density population regions such as right in the middle of Australia or Alaska or the Amazon;
  • Regions with oppressive and closed governments such as China and Cuba and Iran and close by regions, all dark;
  • Relationships between regions and cities;
  • How human interactions shape the state of the world!

Very cool, exciting stuff…

I would love to see a chart like this one, but from the mobile perspective; to visualize how mobile is driving human connections around the world.

You can read more at Facebook’s Visualizing Friendships.


15 Dec

Article: Introduction to Facebook SDK for Android

Write Facebook apps for the Android platform with the Facebook Android SDK…

You can incorporate Facebook functionality into your own applications. From the mobile perspective, the Facebook Platform supports APIs for mobile web applications, and mobile SDKs for native mobile applications for the iPhone, iPad, and Android platforms. In this article, explore the Facebook Platform APIs and the Facebook SDK for Android, the SDK released by the Facebook mobile team.

See my article Introduction to Facebook APIs (IBM developerWorks) which introduces the Facebook SDK for Android.