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Re: fb: URIs?

From: Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 2010 22:39:50 +0100
Message-ID: <eb19f3361002161339v6f6b69a8l94d484ead6199573@mail.gmail.com>
To: uri@w3.org
Cc: David Recordon <davidrecordon@facebook.com>
On Mon, Feb 15, 2010 at 1:38 PM, Daniel R. Tobias <dan@tobias.name> wrote:
> I just noticed that the iPhone Facebook app, when you enable its
> recently-added feature to sync your Facebook friends with your iPhone
> contacts, inserts URIs for each person of the form:
>
> fb://profile/771025267
>
> When you click on such a URI from the iPhone contact section, it
> brings up the person's Facebook info via the Facebook app.
>
> I presume this is a nonstandard, unregistered URI scheme; has any
> attempt been made to register it?
>
> It also appears to abuse the double slash, since what follows doesn't
> seem to be any sort of "authority".
>
> When the contacts are further synced to other programs and systems (I
> have mine automatically syncing in quite a few directions to various
> things both on my PC and on the net), you end up with nonfunctional
> links in most of the places, as no programs that I know of outside
> the iPhone support this scheme; the "use HTTP for everything" crowd
> sometimes has a point.

I got in touch with David Recordon at Facebook (cc:'d). His response
copied below with permission.

Dan

> Hey Dan,
> Asked an engineer on our mobile team and here's what he said.
>
> --David
>
> > The origin of those URLs was entirely pragmatic. The iPhone app handles showing
> > different parts of its UI with an internal URL handler that deals with exactly these URLs.
> > When we developed the sync feature, it was natural to simply allow external callers to
> > direct "fb" URLs to the app, and use the same internal handling mechanism that had
> >  been there all along.
> >
> > These URLs were never designed to be used, or useful, outside of the iPhone.
> >
> > The app is actually capable of handling www URLs (so for example
> > "http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=4" causes the same thing to happen as
> >  "fb://profile/4"), but we couldn't use those for the sync feature because there is no way
> >  to tell the system to direct just that specific set of http URLs to the app.
> >
> > Long story short, we (certainly I, anyway) have no intentions to make "fb" a real
> >  URL scheme. It just arose out of convenience.
Received on Tuesday, 16 February 2010 21:40:24 GMT

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