Cookie Session Store for Facebook Applications

October 24, 2007     

I was recently recruited to build a facebook application on top of an existing Rails codebase running on edge. Having been on edge with my previous project for at least 6 months, I’ve gotten used to all the Rails 2.0 goodness.

One of my favorite features is the cookie session store which is a huge slam dunk for scalability and general maintainenance—that is to say, no maintenance.

Unfortunately facebook does not store cookies (as far as I can tell), and there is really no documentation of this to speak of out there on the web. If you are using the cookie session store, nothing blows up, you just don’t have a session. It’s pretty obvious when you think about it, but I spent a couple hours figuring out why my flash messages weren’t coming through. If this post saves one person 20 minutes, then it was time well spent.

Zach says…
October 24, 2007 at 7:11AM

On a related note, Web Kit implemented HTML 5 client-side SQL databases:


Evan says…
October 24, 2007 at 8:46AM

I had this same problem when I first started working on Facebook apps. It’s very mysterious at first, since the session is so critical for Facebook.

Gabe da Silveira says…
October 24, 2007 at 9:42AM

It’s surprising how inactive rfacebook is, and how many bugs I’m running into. When I get some free time I’m planning on submitting a bunch of patches back. I’m guessing everyone is so busy trying to get their apps out there quickly they don’t have time to blog, much less contribute to any of the projects. Facebooker looks awesome, but there’s basically no updates or any usage notes for the last 2 months.

Evan says…
October 24, 2007 at 10:13AM

Yeah, I’m a project member on Rfacebook, but I haven’t done much aside from an initial patch and some some advice to Matt. My Facebook project for a client is stalled until the end of October at the earliest. Facebooker also looks good—maybe better.

Unfortunately, working on an API wrapper is not a very rewarding kind of project.

Arik says…
October 27, 2007 at 10:57PM

WebKit did not implement HTML 5 anything. They implemented their own version of SQL client-side database storage. Which was a irresponsible move by the webkit team. This new development doesn’t make them any better than Internet Explorer and their proprietary pretend-standard features. Shame.

Zach says…
November 2, 2007 at 3:09AM

The HTML 5 working draft does cover client-side SQL databases, and it is a working spec that isn’t stable. There isn’t a standard yet. Webkit is the development tree of a browser platform, exactly the kind of place where real exploration can and should take place.

Kyle Drake says…
February 7, 2008 at 9:21AM

It saved me 20. Thanks. I’m just disabling sessions for this case since I won’t be using it anyways.