Why can't SFX remove Timeline completely like "FB Purity" or "Timeline Remove"?

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These apps use a hack - they make your browser pretend to be IE7, which Facebook doesn't support with Timeline. When Facebook sees IE7 requesting a Timeline page, it serves the old format instead. These seems like a nice little hack, and it does work - mostly. The reasons I don't do this are:

  • At some point, Facebook will update Timeline to work with IE7, and this method will completely stop working
  • When Facebook serves up content for IE7, it delivers a lot of custom CSS code specifically for that browser. Since you are NOT actually using IE7 (only pretending to), you will be delivered the wrong CSS code!
  • The other apps fix this by including a bunch of CSS to override Facebook's CSS, and fix the quirks. However, this causes other problems, and it's very fragile. If Facebook changes any small bit of CSS, major pieces of functionality could stop working.

For these reasons, I think this "IE7 Hack" approach is very fragile and requires constant updates and effort to make it work correctly - and I expect it to randomly stop working at some point. So for now, it seems to work, and if you want to use those apps in addition to SFX, that is fine. But beware of quirks and bugs. I do not plan to implement this IE7 hack at any time.


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