I’m about half done with this, and just wanted to give an update to those people I know who are awaiting it.

I’m ditching the multiple-plugin thing. Too many complaints and too much confusion. Also, the plugin directory and updaters don’t support it well. So 1.0 will have a checkbox area where you can select the pieces you want instead.

It’s using the new Javascript SDK. All this stuff is currently working great.

Login works. Register needs some more work.

Automatic publishing now works for both Fan Pages and Applications! I just worked out how to make Application posts through the Graph API properly. Manual publishing isn’t quite there yet.

Widgets are largely unchanged, but will all be rolled into one sub-module.

Fan box got replaced by the Like box, which is the same thing with a different name. So I’m going to keep calling it the Fan Box in the interface.

The bookmark widget is going away, because it doesn’t work properly anymore anyway.

New widgets for the Facebook Social Plugins are working.

Like and Share will remain unchanged, although the Like now uses the XFBML to do its thing. Doesn’t really make a whole heck of a lot of difference, though.

Comments pull-back from Facebook is possible. I know how to do it. I’m debating whether or not to turn them into “full-fledged” comments or just display them separately.

Comments push *to* Facebook is also possible. Meaning that if somebody leaves a comment using FB and clicks the share checkbox, it will send it to Facebook (no popup) and also include the text of their comment (or an excerpt, at least). This is not done yet, but it’s actually quite easy to add now.

All dependence on the FB-Connect library will be gone. Ditto for their PHP library. I’m writing this with pure calls to the Graph API and XFBML. PHP 5 is still required, and there’s still an activation check for that.

One last thing: Upgrading from old versions to the new one will be a hassle. Things will just stop working properly when you upgrade. Can’t be helped. So I recommend deactivating SFC and all sub-plugins entirely before upgrading, then reactivating it afterwards. There will be a note to this effect on the WP plugins screen.

Shortlink:

48 Comments

  1. Sounds Awesome! Can’t wait.

  2. Sounds great! Some improvements coming to a plugin that was already great! Thank you for this Otto!
    Did you fix yourself a deadline for that new version? Will you need beta testers before to release?
    Do not hesitate to let us know!

  3. Great! Looking forward to it! Trying to integrate the current version but I think I might just wait for 1.0. Thanks!

  4. Sounds Great. Thanks for this. I have a number of sites wanting the comment pull back. Would it be too difficult to have an option to display as full fledged comments or separately?

    If you need any beta testers, just let me know, i’d be happy to help out.

    • Displaying them separately is actually very easy.

      Making them into full-fledged comments is hard because people don’t really expect their comments on FB to translate to comments on some other site. Also, replies to those comments might not get noticed easily, etc.

      At this point, I’m leaning towards just making them display differently, like trackbacks or pingbacks, or making a special tag you can use to add them elsewhere entirely, without a reply feature and linking them back to Facebook.

      It’s a bit of a conundrum to figure out how to do it in a way that provides the least surprise for the user.

  5. Updates:

    Login actually works now. Works on multisite too, as long as the domain name of your login screen matches the domain name of your website. Meaning that if you use Domain Mapping, you have to have the Remote Login and Redirect administration pages options turned off. There is no workaround for this, it just has to be that way for the Facebook cookie handling to work.

    Added a neat feature that shows an FB icon next to your name in the admin header if you’re connected via FB. I’ll be adding something similar to Simple Twitter Connect too.

    Commenting is coming along. I’m rethinking the permissions handling, so your users will only need to grant the proper permissions for what they’re doing. For example, when you leave a comment, it asks the user for email, website, and publish permissions (in case they want to share the post).

    Comments will use the user’s listed website instead of FB profile, if they have one.

    No more popup for the share box after leaving a comment. That was always kinda hacky. Now it just posts to the user’s profile in the background if they select to share the comment. Includes some of the comment text too. The link on FB will go back to the comment instead of the post, as per FB’s guidelines. This is unfinished and needs more work though.

    The publish screen makes granting permissions much simpler. One button instead of three. The feedback as to whether it can publish or not is much clearer. Green lines mean it’s ready. Red lines means it’s not. You’ll understand it instantly. :)

    ALL of the publishing works. Tested. Done. It can publish to your profile, your application wall, or your Fan Page wall. Automatically or manually. And the “user” that it posts as will be appropriate in all cases.

    I’m not using any PHP libraries to talk to Facebook. These are harder to use than just talking to the Graph API directly with the WP HTTP API.. I’ll make a technical post about how this works shortly.

    Comments pull-back will only work from either the Fan Page or the Application Wall publish, and then only if you use the automatic publisher to publish to those spaces. Manual publish will NOT work with this. Sorry, no way around this. The way this works is that the automatic publish gets back the ID of the post it makes on Facebook, then I can use that to go get any comments left on that post. I *can* get comments left on a Profile auto-published post, but this makes little sense. And I doubt your friends would want to have their private comments to you displayed on your website. Whereas comments made on page walls are more public and expected for people to see them.

    I’m considering making the Register into a one-click operation (since that’s what most people seem to expect), but I don’t know how to deal with the resulting username, since WP doesn’t allow people to change their usernames. Suggestions would be appreciated.

    • One difference I’ve noticed between regular WP and Multiuser/BuddyPress enabled WP, is that the latter doesn’t allow spaces in usernames, while the former does. I think the concept of a normalized username (all spaces, dashes, underscores, etc removed) derived automatically from the Facebook username might be an option to consider. Is that doable?

  6. - Is this problem : http://wordpress.org/support/topic/plugin-simple-twitter-connect-woah-oauth-error-tried-everything?replies=2 solved ?
    – Can we use directly the t.co shortener ?

    Any idea of the possible release date of this 2 amazing plugins ?
    thanks,

  7. Sounds great!

    Iam running one of my WP sites as a pure web app. Do you have any hints on how i could modify your plugin if i would like to go all mobile with it?

  8. Great progress news. Can’t wait for final release. Two thumbs up for you Otto! ;-)

  9. Otto, I believe the author of this plugin (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/fp/) is using your code for SFC v1.0…

  10. Hey Otto,
    Awesome news to hear about 1.0. I’m still astounded by how much effort you’ve put into making this happen. Development isn’t easy. You’ve seriously created the best Facebook and Twitter integration tools out there for WordPress.

    But I do have one tiny request. The comment module has some CSS styling and text formatting surrounding it. For instance it says “Hi John Smith!” and “You are connected with your Facebook account.”. Each time I update your plugin, I go in and modify that module to use the native CSS styling for my blog and format the text styling too. Is there any way you could turn the styling into text fields in the options page? So that people using it won’t need to restyle the look each time?

    If that’s a burden or will cause other issues I’m overlooking, ignore this. :)

    P.S. I’ve also noticed that the like button that you make here: http://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/plugins/like is more customizable than the settings available in the SFC options page. Anyway to possibly replicate those options?

    • All those options are replicated. Look at the sfc-like.php file. You can manually add sfc_like_button() to your theme and include an array of arguments to it.

      As for the styling, why not just add the relevant rules to your theme’s stylesheet, then use !important to override the default rules I put in there?

      • Hey otto!

        thanks for the response. I’ll look through sfc-like to see what arguments I can pass into it.

        For the styling I didn’t even know that the !important css technique existed. But i do now! However, I’m assuming I’ll still need to change the text wrapping around the login name. For instance, If I’m logged in it currently says:

        Hi Sahas Katta!
        You are connected with your Facebook account. Logout

        I generally have it say only this:
        Sahas Katta (Logout)

        I also make the preview image smaller by tweaking your code each time.

        Any awesome suggestions to get around those modifications as well?

  11. This plug (and the Twitter one) would be better if it allowed for a singular application to be used for all sites. Site Admin would set the application then all other options like autopublishing, links, login, etc would be controlled by the blog admins.

    • Facebook and Twitter Applications are tied to a URL (or domain name). So you can’t have a single Application for a whole group of sites *IF* you use multiple second-level-domains.

      However, if you do use a single domain (example.com) and have subdomains under that (blog.example.com), then it’s possible to set these plugins up to use a single application. You have to create the application at the second level domain, then you can force the four top settings with define’s in the wp-config.php file. Just define SFC_API_KEY, SFC_APP_SECRET, SFC_APP_ID, and optionally SFC_FANPAGE. Similar defines exist in the STC plugin.

      When you use the define methods, those values will be hardcoded and not subject to change by individual blog authors. The fields that are pre-defined won’t even get displayed.

  12. Is it possible to post to FaceBook Groups with this plugin. If not do you have any suggestions?

  13. Hey Otto, Your plugin is the best. Keep up the good work and can’t wait till 1.0! Seriously thanks a million!

  14. Otto you have been so much help with this plugin. Is there any chance that we will get photo album integration. This would allow me to drop Shashin & how much I am using Picasa. Keep up the good work.

  15. Keep up the good work :) very impressed, been using it since the start, and it gets better and better. Cant wait for the automatic post to Facebook! So much better than the popup window.

  16. Hey otto,

    I’m using your development version on my live site. i just enabled it and i’m manually insert codes for the sharebutton, the like button and recommendations. all work fine.

    Might i suggest a feature to specify which categories of posts should be auto-published.

  17. Are you using 1.0 code on this website or the old version? This site ticks all the boxes so however I can replicate this functionality I would gladly buy you a pint! Just logged in via FB and it was perfectly smooth.

  18. hey otto,

    dev version breaks wordpress shortcodes.

    thanks.

  19. Regarding your new-sfc version of plugin, is it possible to make the publish module to post on all (user profile/application/fanpage) walls?

    • Damn, that would be an awesome feature! Just would need an easy interface to let each author enable or disable it.

      Maybe even the feature to choose auto publish of articles by them, by category, etc.

      • yeah, that thought came across my mind as that would become an extra advantage on a multi sites setup, especially with Social Networking in mind (BuddyPress). Can you imagine the advantages of it? You post your update to you own Fan page, Apps wall, and your profile.. your friends see your updates and like/share it.. the same happend at the apps/fanpage wall, WOW! I don’t know how to describe or explain it.. just use your imagination… hahaha

  20. Hey Otto, just wondering if there was an ETA on 1.0? thanks! Much appreciated.

  21. Hi Otto,

    Amazing pluggin, I have been researching how to execute things like this from scratch on basic non db sites recently but these plugins, taking it to the next level… amazing stuff.

    A few ideas and/or suggestions for you 1.0 version…

    -One click registration (I read your post about usernames my recommendation would be to just drag out Facebooks usernames where ever possible)

    -In the comments area I’d like to see like buttons and personal comment & like counters for the user.. eg. A user Posts a comment, 5 users like it, it displays to the logged in user ‘You have made 1 comment and 5 likes’ … like what disqus comment service does.

    Last request, is it possible to integrate the Facebook tagging system into photos on thewebsite.com … THis would be extremely useful and great for sharing… To protect Facebook security then perhaps the system only display taggin results if a user is logged in to thewebsite.com community?

    Keep up the good work

    Thanks,

    Billy

  22. Otto, thanks for a great plugin–eagerly awaiting the next official release. In the meantime we’ve installed FBC version 0.999 on a WP 3.0.1 site and we’re using just the Publish feature. It works great except for one thing–the image FB pulls in on the post excerpt is not the image we want to use. We are not using the “featured image” on posts. Most posts have no images attached to them at all. In place of these the plugin is consistently pulling in one of the social networking icons in the template footer–not a good image to use!

    I looked at the plugin code and spotted the “sfc_image_exclude” class. I added that class to all the relevant images in the blog template, but it is not excluding those images like I expected.

    Is there a way to control the image pulled in with the published excerpt, or even eliminate it altogether?

    thanks!

    • That’s not a class, that’s a filter. You can use it to add classes to exclude.

      Let’s say you wanted it to exclude any image with a “social” class. You could add this code to your theme’s functions.php file:

      function exclude_social_class($classes) {
        $classes[] = 'social';
        return $classes;
      }
      add_filter('sfc_img_exclude','exclude_social_class');
      

      Also, the plugin doesn’t look at your “blog template”. It looks at your post content. It *only* looks at the post content. So if you’re getting some other image there, than you probably have some kind of plugin adding that image to your post content. Meaning that instead of trying to add a class to the images, you need to figure out what classes those images already have and exclude them.

  23. Any possible release date guess?
    Will it support buddypress integration?
    Or is it support buddypress atm? Couldnt see it supports buddypress in anywhere.
    Thanks for all your works :)

  24. Hey Otto,
    Just a possible bug report. A very popular WP plugin is Google XML Sitemaps. It appears as though it has some odd conflict with the current stable version of SFC. Don’t know who’s at fault, but just a heads up in case you choose to look into it.

    P.S. It could just be a coincidence. But another person reported it in the WP forums as well.

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