Parse.com install is broken; silently requires Facebook SDK

…and the last working version of Parse.com’s SDK isn’t listed on their website any more.

So … if you see this (which you probably will, on any non-trivial project):

Undefined symbols for architecture i386:
“_FBTokenInformationExpirationDateKey”, referenced from:

…then you MUST download and install the Facebook API into your iOS / Xcode project. Especially if you’re not actually using Facebook!

Why?

Parse.com for iOS is currently setup so that you CANNOT use ANY LIBRARIES AT ALL, unless you ALSO use the Facebook library. Oops.

A little bit of naive linking by the Parse.com engineers. C-linking is a PITA to get right, so I don’t blame them.

More problems

1. Facebook won’t let you download their API / library any more.

Instead you have to “install an application” on your system that spews to random places on your machine (where? Well … the app won’t tell you, but on the Facebook website they say it all goes in ~/Documents) – and you’re not allowed to change them.

Wrong place, wrong installer (shouldn’t be hard-coded, shouldn’t “hide” the location). And a pain to deal with, when all that was needed or wanted was a simple ZIP file…

2. Facebook’s latest SDK requires iOS 6 to even compile it – even if you’re not using iOS 6. No-one should be hard-coding to iOS 6, though – so I’m surprised that FB is targetting it as default. iOS 5 is the main target version of iOS for now.

3. Once you find a 6 SDK, you have to add a bunch of extra frameworks which don’t exist except on iOS 6, and set them to “Optional” in the “Project Settings > Build Phases > Link with Libraries” phase.

Details are on the FB iOS Getting Started page, although they’re pretty hard to find (they’re hidden inside a drop-down with an unrelated title).

(incidentally: the FB iOS install page has always been way too long, so I suspect someone decided to “tidy it up” by hiding 95% of it. I think a better solution would have been to remove all the cruft, and fix the install process :))

…anyway, once you get past all that, things go smoothly. NB: when I wrote this, I was on a hack-day at Facebook’s offices, and it took 30 minutes to get Parse’s API installed, because of the above problems. It would have been even longer if I’d not used Facebook in the past, and knew how to navigate their install page.

One thought on “Parse.com install is broken; silently requires Facebook SDK

  1. Clark Thomas

    Just two years after acquisition Facebook decided to shut down Parse. More than 500 thousand apps will need to be migrated by end of 2016. Please use http://www.back4app.com if you are looking for a fast and reliable alternative for Parse.com.

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