Where is Clarity

Oct 6, 2008 at 9:40 PM
I see a lot of discussion regarding fixing code and workarounds for existing code issues, but Clarity has been absent for a month now - I may be mistaken about that but the latest drop was 9 Sep and unless I'm mistaken all the workarounds/fixes are in the discussions and not making it into the actual code.  Can someone from Clarity or that is actually a developer on this project provide us with some sort of status update?
Oct 6, 2008 at 9:52 PM
Wow, you've got code from September?  The last I can find is from 8th August.
Oct 7, 2008 at 1:18 AM
The latest code under the Source Code tab is from 9 Sep.  The RC was from Aug. 

Clarity launched their new website, and it seemed to be having some issues when I looked at it, so that may have been pulling resources away.  Still, it'd be nice to know what the status of the project is, or if they are just dropping it since it's been a full month now since they've posted any changes.
Oct 8, 2008 at 9:09 AM
I 3rd this, it would be  good to get a status update / some indication on what clarity's intentions for the project were in the coming months
Oct 9, 2008 at 2:09 PM
I 4th this :)

It would be really nice to find out exactly what is the future of the toolkit - will MS sponsor further work by clarity on this? Will it be supported by clarity? or will it be left to 'us' to maintain
Coordinator
Oct 9, 2008 at 3:57 PM

I’m sorry I’ve been a bit absent recently.  Other project work has taken a priority and I haven’t been able to dedicate much time to this project. 

We're in the final stages of solidifying the licensing of the Product since Linq 2 xsd has a more restrictive license than the MSPL license that the FB toolkit ships with.  Once that is settled, we can promote the latest drop of code up to Release

I understand that we still have a few bugs out there with the toolkit as a result of the new facebook profile, I hope to spend a bit of my free time to take a look at these issues. 

One of our hopes with this new release is to allow us to better react to these changes from Facebook and hopefully allow you guys a bit more ease in making changes to this toolkit.  Please send me a message if you’d like to be involved in making these changes.  I’ll be happy to add you as a developer to the project.

Regards,
Peter

Oct 9, 2008 at 4:07 PM
Thank you for heads up Peter.

But, could you answer my questions about who, if anyone sponsors the development of this toolkit?

you said you will do this in your 'free time' so it suggest that MS is effectively out. Are we on our own?

If that is the case, what this means for me, is effectly no more .net development for FB. All integration points will have to be in PHP...
Coordinator
Oct 9, 2008 at 5:36 PM

A goal of the latest round of work was to empower the community to become involved in the ongoing work on this toolkit to integrate with the ever-changing facebook api. The work that was sponsored by Microsoft in the last round was aimed at making this toolkit easier to use out-of-the-box and also lessen the barrier to entry to anyone implementing new changes to the toolkit. 

This project is deliberately hosted on Codeplex as an open source project.  We made a conscious effort to try not to host it either on Clarity's or Mircosoft’s web site.  You guys aren’t out there on your own in the dark.  I am still willing to be involved myself in this open-source project.  I hope others are also willing to step up to the plate and make this a kick-ass toolkit.

 

Oct 9, 2008 at 5:51 PM

well, .net developers don't make a good open source community... those who choose MS, do so because they want supported set of tools and are willing to pay the price for it.

.NET facebook developers are very hard to find so if this is not a supported toolkit, then our only choice is to have a person on the team/in house who understands it so that we can respond to facebook's changes...expensive and risky... makes it a hard sell.

I personally would love to be involved but I run a team and cannot afford the time to dive deeply into this.

So from business point of view (and you will get that point of view more and more as serious applications are developed/ integrated with facebook), its a very hard sell to use it. It makes more sense, to use it to integrate very shallowly (perhaps just login) and do any deeper integration with facebook supported php toolkit - php facebook developers are cheap and plentiful...  That is unfortunately the recommendation I will probably make… we’ll see I guess.

its too bad really, MS pumped so much $ into facebook I would think they would sponsor a good toolkit…

 

PS – My company would pay for a supported, maintained toolkit.

Oct 9, 2008 at 7:27 PM
The response is appreciated Peter, but is there any projected timeline?

You mentioned that one of the reasons for the current holdup was in the licensing differences with the linq to xsd (which I'm assuming may also be due to it being in an alpha release) and that once that was resolved, the latest drop would be promoted to release.  That's a little confusing.  Are you saying that the Sep 9th drop will be labeled "release" or that there is some other code drop that we do not have access to?  If so, that would seem to indicate that this isn't truly an open source project and would make it hard for some to 'step up' as you put it.  Also, if the release stage of the linq to xsd library is part of the blame, are we stuck waiting until it's fully released from MS?

I'm not trying to be argumentative but I'm also confused regarding some of your language.  It seems to indicate that there is some level of support/sponsorhip from Clarity and/or MS but then shows that it's just you in your free time, and in truth that we are out on our own. It makes it seem as though the effort was just to punt, and label it as open-source as a way to avoid continued development/support from a company perspective - which is completely feasible if MS opted not to stay behind it, but that's all information we'd like to know, so that we can determine if this is a course we'd like to continue on...  Given the timeframe experienced thus far and lack of real information, it would be extremely hard to justify using the FDT from a business perspective.

Given that there is no framework available for .Net developers to use against the Facebook API, and the choices made in using linq and to rearchitect rather than shoot for simply fixing base functionality first, it's really vital that we have some sort of concrete information and timeline, otherwise a lot of us have just completely wasted our time on the FDT and in waiting until now rather than exploring other languages/options.
Oct 10, 2008 at 9:05 AM
Thanks for the input Peter, it's very much appreciated. Keep us updated as to how it all goes.
Oct 16, 2008 at 12:29 AM
Thanks for the update Peter.

However, the assumption by folks who are using this is that it would at least be functionally complete with the new Facebook API. Beyond that, I can see turning it over to the community for further work.

The fact that it was backed by Microsoft and you guys made folks more likely to use it. The comments here seem to back down from that.

An official statement of direction on the home page would be helpful here.

Pete
Oct 17, 2008 at 2:59 AM
I completely agree with gregbalajewicz comments.  Our company is willing to pay for this as well if it means we will get a well supported and regularly updated toolkit.

Please keep us updated.

Thanks,
 -a
Oct 18, 2008 at 8:17 PM
It's understandable that there is other work that is a priority, but for development to completely cease during the FB transition should have sent alarm bells going all over this codeplex group rather than just accepting it as 'one of those things'.  One thing that would help people contribute is at least some response to API questions (particularly where quirks have been identified) by developers who know what is expected of the API... then we can at least have some idea of what some gotchas may be in implementing a fix.

Without feedback, the only way I can see people being able to make solid contributions is to start again by completely reverse-engineering FB's API to understand it, but obviously people have already done that, yet there appear to be no mentors...

I do appreciate this API, I am using it in my app, but the struggle to get it up and running was unbelievable - and I am staying far and away from many of the 'features' in this API due to fear of the can of worms that could be opened.  And I'm not just whinging, I am actually spending a lot of my spare time trying to piece together a working sample application for other users to develop from, using fixes that myself and other users discover along the way.