Facebook Promises to Break Things Only Four Times a Year

The world's largest social network gets a bad rap for changes to its Facebook API. Developers complain that their apps break and even called it the most broken API in a survey. Yet the company has worked to change that and today vowed to only announce "breaking changes" every quarter. You'll only need to scramble to fix your app four times per year.

The news was given top billing in Facebook's the latest announcement post:

In 2011, we committed to a 90 day breaking change policy, which provided developers with 90 or more days to update their apps. Today, we are excited to announce that we're going to start bundling breaking changes on a quarterly basis.

In the past, a developer impacted by multiple breaking changes may have needed to update their apps each month. Going forward, changes will be announced at the same time each quarter to make it easier for you to plan for changes and build higher quality apps.

The "operation developer love" posts began in 2011 as a way to communicate better with developers. Each post includes breaking changes, bug reports, bug fixes and sometimes new features. Now that the breaking changes are down to quarterly, expect those lists to get pretty long. Already some months were full of breaking changes.

Adam DuVander -- Adam heads developer relations at Orchestrate, a database-as-a-service company. He's spent many years analyzing APIs and developer tools. Previously he worked at SendGrid, edited ProgrammableWeb and wrote for Wired and Webmonkey. Adam is also the author of mapping API cookbook Map Scripting 101.

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