by Joe White
August 22, 2010
I'm sure we've all reveled in the latest update to Facebook's iPhone application - and, especially, the Pull to Refresh UI element created by Tweetie 2 developer, Loren Brichter. Following the release of Tweetie 2, the Pull to Refresh element was open sourced - so that any developer could make use of it in any application. And, since then, it's been cropping up all over the place. Indeed, iPhone owners have been pulling to refresh ever since. However, Facebook's latest implementation of the code caused something of a stir when the app's developer failed to reference the code's original author - almost passing Pull to Refresh off as Facebook's own invention. You can check out the similarities between the original code and Facebook's at the bottom of the article (they're pretty much identical). A couple of days ago, enormego developers published an article, informing us all of Facebook's crime. And, though they weren't bitchy about Facebook's use of the code, they were understandably disgruntled.
Just like all of our open source code (and we've published a lot of it), our intent is always for it to be used to help developers and generally make apps/app store a better place for everyone. We were ecstatic that we might have made Facebook just a little bit better. To find out that they took our code, re-released it as their own, and take credit for it though? That's not cool Facebook. Not cool at all. It also violates our license, which states they need to retain our copyright notice when republishing it.However, since then, Facebook contacted enormego developers and apologized for the mistake. They've now added the correct citation in their source code, meaning everyone's been appeased. I guess that means that this story has a happy ending. However, it also made me think about how code spreads, and how so many apps can benefit from one stroke of genius. Tweetie 2 is now a thing of the past, having morphed into the Twitter for iPhone application - with developer Loren Brichter working there, at the helm. So, if you're reading this, thanks for Pull to Refresh, Loren - it's greatly appreciated! [gallery]