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February 27, 2012

Facebook Introduces Ringmark App Tests For Developers

By Monica Gleberman, Contributing Writer

Facebook (News - Alert), the social networking mega site, is introducing a new browser test suite called Ringmark. Douglas Purdy, the company’s Director of Development Relations said that Ringmark is intended to help developers understand which mobile browsers will support the functionality needed to run their applications.

Many developers create applications and then release them to Facebook. However, shortly after releasing them, they begin to receive emails letting them know users are receiving error messages showing that the application isn’t working correctly in that user’s browser. This was a major problem since there was formerly no way for developers to tell which Internet browser their application might have problems with unless they tested it themselves.  Ringmark solves this problem.

There are currently three rings: the first ring, Ring 0, includes 83 tests, while the second has more than 300. If any of the tests in a ring are not completely successful, the test will stop and will not continue to the next ring. The Ringmark developers then get notification that their application is not yet considered finished.

Facebook’s CTO Brett Taylor made the announcement saying that the new service would work to help enhance Facebook’s performance. Although Facebook users are becoming more private with their personal web pages, users are still actively using applications with more than 60 million people using Facebook apps.

Matt Kelly introduced Ringmark on Facebook’s website. “As part of our work on the mobile web over the past year, we’ve often wished that there had been a test suite for mobile browsers that is comprehensive, fair, and that tests the feature sets that developers really need. We decided to solve this problem and solved our own need. Today, we’re produce to announce Ringmark,” said Kelly.

Kelly said although Ringmark is available for developers today, it is still being developed and should be considered in a beta phase. “Like the web, Ringmark is a work in progress and we appreciate any feedback you have…we encourage you to open on your mobile device, contribute to Ringmark once it’s an open source, and like the Facebook page for updates,” said Kelly.

This new comprehensive set of tests are available for developers for free, and as Kelly said, will constantly be updated over the next few months adding new tests and services for developers.

Edited by Chris Freeburn
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