Saturday, 15 March 2008

Print to PDF in OS X and ConceptDraw 7

ConceptDraw 7A good way to get PDF output from pretty much any application is to install a PDF printer driver. Applications can then print as normal, but the document gets distilled to a PDF rather than sent to a printer. If you are on OS X, give CUPS-PDF a whirl.

I did find that the output from CUPS was massive. A file which should have been about 100k was actually 70M. The outputted file gets put into a pre-defined folder on the desktop, there is no option to change it. It's a useful piece of kit, but only as a last resort.

Luckily, the application I was trying to get a PDF from turned out to have its own functionality to do it properly. If you want to export to PDF in ConceptDraw 7, you actually have to go to the print dialog and look in the bottom left hand corner (not in "Export" as you might expect).

Monday, 10 March 2008

Facebook Notification / Request Buckets

FacebookOne of the most common ways for a Facebook application to spread is through users inviting their friends once they have installed it. Unfortunately, this has lead to some pretty dubious practices (i.e. spam) to force people to invite others. The Facebook API team have responded by removing requests from the API, and more recently, allocating a maximum number of requests you may have per user based on how "spammy" your application is.

It uses metrics like how often people choose to "ignore, hide and report notifications as spam". This is an interesting way to suppress spam applications, but there have been reports that things can be difficult early on because a single 'ignore' will be more statistically significant. Based on the metrics, your application gets placed in one of 9 buckets for notifications and 13 buckets for requests, each bucket having a "limit threshold" which is the maximum per user per day. I've put together a table showing these based on a number of forum posts:

Notifications

Notifications BucketLimit Threshold
1Blocked for 1 month
24
35
48
510
615
720
828 (estimated)
935

Requests

Request BucketsLimit Threshold
1Blocked for 1 month (estimate)
22 (estimate)
34
45
58 (estimate)
610
712
815
918
1021
1125
1230
1335