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Facebook Cookbook by Jay Goldman

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Chapter 5. Setting Up Your Environment

The difference between churning out beautiful code and pounding your head against the wall can often come down to getting your environment configured properly. This chapter covers some of the things you need to do to become a Facebook developer, and also some of the things you should really check out to make your life a whole lot easier.

Creating a Test Account

Problem

I want to test my application as another user who isn’t a developer, but the Facebook ToS prevent me from creating accounts that aren’t linked to my real identity. What’s a poor developer to do?

Solution

The Facebook team realized that they were caught in a vicious cycle in which developers were creating fake accounts for testing and the Facebook police were disabling them as fakes, thereby upsetting the developers who then created more accounts, thereby making more work for the police, etc., etc., ad infinitum. Facebook put an end to the problem by giving us the ability to mark an account as a “test account,” which has most of the privileges of a real account but with the notable exception of not being able to see “real” Facebook users or owning Platform applications.

Making a test account is really easy: just create a new Facebook account and then go to http://www.facebook.com/developers/become_test_account.php while you’re logged into it. You’ll be shown a confirmation page (Figure 5-1) that reiterates that any applications owned by this account will be disabled, and you’re one ...

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