Saturday, 17 April 2010

Tennis Mania, so much potential but too many problems

hmm, I was really happy when I found the tennis mania application on facebook, I know.... sad, mainly because it has a really simple but addictive tennis game that works over the web and is free. Cool. I thought this is good for a laugh cos I'm a tennis fan and have been looking for a tennis game on the web.

What's better is that it's built around a community of 50k+. Challenging others and competing in tournaments is what it offers and I've been enjoying building my player up and playing. the downside is that i've just seen too many things wrong with it. Potentially seriously wrong like this error message

Fatal error: Uncaught exception 'FacebookRestClientException' with message 'Feed action request limit reached' in /home/tennisus/public_html/fb/class_facebook/facebookapi_php5_restlib.php:3017 Stack trace: #0 /home/tennisus/public_html/fb/class_facebook/facebookapi_php5_restlib.php(857): FacebookRestClient->call_method('', Array) #1 /home/tennisus/public_html/fb/readstr.php(24): FacebookRestClient->stream_publish('is playing tenn...') #2 /home/tennisus/public_html/fb/index_live.php(11): require_once('/home/tennisus/...') #3 /home/tennisus/public_html/fb/index.php(9): include_once('/home/tennisus/...') #4 {main} thrown in /home/tennisus/public_html/fb/class_facebook/facebookapi_php5_restlib.php on line3017
As a software developer I can say that this is a seriously bad thing to let a user see.  I've just seen these kinds of errors one too many times from tennis mania. That's one problem but there are more. So what's a blogger to do? Write a blog about it and see if I can get them to listen. So here I go.

The next problem is spamming. Yep, I tried playing today and I couldn't until I allowed tennis mania to publish on my profile at any time without asking. I tried pressing no about 10 times until I realised I wasn't allowed to play until I allowed it access. I thought, 'fine, I'll just go into facebook and remove access'. So after I allowed access I played a couple of times. My wife then bitched that every single time I played a game, something like 10 games in 6 minutes, ok I was a bit bored, it appeared on my profile so she had to hide it. So tennis mania spammed my wall and annoyed my friends, consequently I've removed its access to my wall. But now I can't play tennis mania again.

hmmm. I'm stuck. I'm not going to allow it to spam my wall so if I can't play then I can't play. That's life. I really want to play but they've lost a user. I just don't know who to speak to, to get this fixed. Problem is that  it's made me wonder about how the aplication is made. I've put up with a lot of  problems with it because it's the only tennis game app on facebook but errors as serious as those I'm describing make me question what's going on underneath. The number of software and privacy errors I've seen indicates much more serious software and privacy issues underneath so I've started to wonder if they want access to my profile in order to sell my details. That may seem a stretch but the point is they've lost my trust. As a developer I know that seeing this type of error is indicative of poor and lazy programming. to see it as often as I have indicates this is endemic. If they're as slack with this then I wonder what else they're slack with. So my trust has gone and so has my faith that they're being honest with me.

Shame I'll just have to find another app. There are plenty. None of them are about tennis though. Boo.

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