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Facebook applications: iFrame x FBML – which one is best?

In the last days my team has been working in its first Facebook application. For convenience, we’ve chosen to develop it using iFrames, but we took this decision without thinking too much about other possible benefits or inconvenients. When approaching the final development phases, we’ve faced some performance bottlenecks that made me doubt about our choice. But after making some research, I’ve found this interesting article that convinced me we took the right path:

Lead Facebook Engineer Recommends Developers Use IFrames for Speed, Convenience

At the end, our real problem was not the iFrame choice itself, rather some bad designed pages that made a lot of unecessary calls to the Facebook API. After correcting this, the performance problems were eased.

UPDATE (April, 2011): Some months after this post was written, I see we really took the good decision, since Facebook has begun to deprecate FBML.

GoogleSharing: protect yourself from Google

Google Sharing
Google Sharing

Ever wondered how much information Google holds about your Internet wanderings? Paranoid about being constantly observed by the 21st century Big Brother?

Then take a break and install GoogleSharing, a Firefox extension that anonymizes your Google searches and navigation, preventing the Mountain View company from tracking your whereabouts.

The extension connects to a kind of proxy server that works by creating a series of random identities to be used by you, in such a way that, every time that you request a piece of information from the Internet behemoth, it’s the random identity data that is sent to Google servers, not yours. The random identity sends to Google a request containing a cookie issued by Google itself and a random User-Agent for one of the various popular Internet browsers. Random identities are used through a proxy, that can be installed in any server. So, anyone can install his own proxy to be accessed by other users.

A last thing: the system is completely transparent to the user and doesn’t interfere in web traffic other than Google’s.

Cool, huh? Indeed. Unfortunately, it seems that the service (still) doesn’t work for Google services that require you to be logged in (e.g., Gmail). But, as somebody said, it’s a small step for man, but a giant leap for mankind in the path of protecting privacy.

GoogleSharing was created by computer security researcher Moxie Marlinspike, and can be downloaded here.

Google Sharing