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Facebook Cookbook by Jay Goldman

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Discussion Boards Made Simple

Problem

I’d love to have a discussion board in my app, but it’s so much work to build one from scratch, and I’m not sure how easy it would be to convert an existing board to run inside of Facebook. What to do?

Solution

Facebook released the fb:board tag into a full public beta on December 7, 2007, so it can now be used in any application. This tag will render a full discussion board within your app and handle all of the subpages and additional functionality required to run the board. The simplest form is:

<fb:board xid="my_quick_and_easy_board" />

which will give you something like Figure 6-36.

The simplest form of fb:board

Figure 6-36. The simplest form of fb:board

Note

You might consider using a Wall post–type comments system instead of a discussion board, depending on whether you want a conversation or more of a one-way message board. See Giving Users a Voice: Wall Posts in Your App. Note that the implementation of both tags is almost identical, so you might have a striking sense of déja vu if you’ve already read that recipe.

Discussion

The xid parameter needs to be unique, so go nuts and make up something that no one else will have thought of. You’re limited to alphanumeric characters (Aa–Zz, 0–9), hyphens (-), and underscores (_). You’ll see why it needs to be unique once you have the board on your page and you can see the URLs it uses for internal pages, which all point back to the same ...

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