All of Facebook's upcoming Oct 1 changes to authentication and it's new Timeline are requiring that we update NewsCloud to support their new libraries. So, we have some big changes coming to the codebase this next week:
1) NewsCloud will soon support the Ruby OmniAuth gem allowing users to login with a variety of services that you as the publisher can choose. We still think there is great value in sticking to well-authenticated identity services like Facebook, but Twitter and Google can work well. Name and password is also an option. We've heard a lot of requests for this - so hopefully you'll be excited by this!
2) Likes in NewsCloud will now be optionally tied to native Facebook Like's. This will insure that when people like stuff on your community site, it will appear in the user's Timeline.
3) We're temporarily discontinuing support for Facebook canvas Applications inside Facebook. In other words, http://apps.facebook.com/yourapp will not be supported whereas http://yourapp.com Facebook Connect website will be. There are a few reasons for this. One is that Facebook Canvas Apps now require SSL certificates - which is a good thing, but costs extra for our clients and partners and are more difficult to manage in a shared hosting environment. The other is that Facebook isn't providing any advantage to application developers anymore for running inside the canvas - all it does is allow Facebook to make money off your site traffic. We think that given the OmniAuth integration of other services, NewsCloud is currently best run as an independent web community site with multiple services. Learn more about the difference between Facebook applications and Facebook Connect websites.
We've always kept NewsCloud as a free, open source platform that works with a variety of services (not just proprietary to Facebook) but we're now contemplating deeper moves away from Facebook-dependence - so that our interactive community features can be used more widely by a variety of adopters.
So, follow us on @newscloud for updates as these changes go live on github!