Matt Kruse

Me hawaii
creator and developer of Social Fixer ( ), a popular browser extension that customizes Facebook

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mattkruse87 karma

Well, it's obviously the biggest challenge in the project. Facebook's code is insane. Not just the fact that they change design and layout so frequently, but their underlying code is a mangled, obfuscated mess of callbacks and asynchronous loading. What is perhaps most challenging is that they are constantly testing features and changes, so not everyone sees the same thing. So I may fix something on my account, but find that it fails for 5% of users, and I don't know why. Then it turns out that they are actually seeing a different feature than me. That makes it nearly impossible to create features that work for everyone, consistently, all the time.

I've brainstormed a lot of ways to help ease this pain, but so far not much has worked. I've resorted to giving users the ability to easily scrape their screen and post the HTML for me to examine. It's not perfect, but at least then I can see what they see.

mattkruse57 karma

Definitely deliberate. I think it's to minimize code size and also to prevent tampering and finding of security holes. It's pretty common to obfuscate javascript.

mattkruse40 karma

Well, they can try, but they will fail. There is nothing they can do to prevent me from running a script in MY browser when using THEIR site. It's just outside the scope of their influence. They can't even detect that it's running.

It does seem like they do their best to lock it down as tight as possible. There are a number of hoops I have to jump through. They send custom headers that can break extensions, prevent any of their pages from being loaded in an iframe, etc. They throw new things at me every few months.

mattkruse37 karma

Favorite: Maybe photo sharing. It's incredibly convenient, and we've never really seen anything like it. It's so easy to see pics from family and friends, and I love that.

Least Favorite: Too many to list! :) I don't like how locked down they are, providing very little customization. I also don't like their security and privacy options. I want more control. For example, I want to be able to turn off comments on posts. I don't want my "Likes" to be broadcast to all my friends in the ticker. I don't want Facebook hiding posts from me. All that. I wish they had a more open API and I could build a custom client that avoided all that mess.

mattkruse30 karma

lol. Not currently, no. My wife has done a great job of that 3 times already ;)

mattkruse28 karma

Thanks! Yes, I do feel appreciated. When people like posts, comment, and share links, I genuinely appreciate it more than you may realize. My goal is not really to have people think I am awesome, but to have others respect and be excited by my ideas, and share a similar passion for what is possible.

mattkruse21 karma

True. but users can't see that it was me who did it, like "hey dude, I acknowledged what you said! Righteous!"

mattkruse21 karma

I think it is an early model of the future of Social Networks.
Think back to AOL, Compuserve, etc. They were isolated networks where you could only email and exchange with people on the same network. That's how Social is today. Eventually, that model has to break down. Just like those networks did. Eventually, they hooked up to the internet, and people had the freedom to choose how they connected and what services they values.

This will be the future of social networks. At some point you will be able to choose your "Social Provider" site, create an account with them, and be able to share things back and forth with friends on other social providers. Just like email - you pick the service you like best for features and convenience, but you can email anyone you want.

This is kind of the model of Diaspora. I think it's a good start, but it is surely just the first version of a long evolution of ideas to come, and Diaspora itself will not be "it" in 10 years.

mattkruse20 karma

Those are kind of personal questions, aren't they?


I don't watch TV at all. Well, except for SNL when I actually catch it.

I have never been to any kind of *con

I have one tattoo on my shoulder.

mattkruse20 karma

They gain because by limiting exposure, they can then get people to PAY to reach all their friends and fans.

Classic strategy: Artificially limit supply, then provide the "solution" at a price. When you control the whole thing, you can do that.

I really, really, really don't like it.