The “Advanced” tab in Better Facebook’s Options may seem overwhelming or complex. Or maybe you’ve never even ventured into that tab because you don’t feel you are “Advanced” enough to risk it! But fear not, because this post will demystify some of the options you will find there…
Option: “Clean out data for individual posts after 14 days (per post) to save space in preferences”
Better Facebook remembers which posts have been read after you mark them as read. It stores some data about each post so it knows what to hide each time you refresh, and how many comments it had last time you looked at it.
As you can imagine, this data builds up over time and makes your preferences grow. This has the potential to slow down Better Facebook because it has to scan through a lot more data.
By default, Better Facebook keeps this data for 14 days. This should be enough time for most users to have “read” posts scroll out of their news feed. But if you have a slower-scrolling news feed, you may find that “read” posts show back up in your feed after 2 weeks! If that is the case, you may want to increase this number. Personally, I have it set to 30 and I never have problems. You can experiment with this value to see what works best for you. Old data is cleaned out once a day, automatically.
Option: “Show changes after installing a new version”
After a new version is installed, a yellow message popup wizard will show you the changes that have been made in the new version. In the interest of giving the user as much control as possible, I allow you to disable these messages. Though I do not suggest it, because you might miss important notes about changes!
Option: “Check for script updates every 3 hours”
Whenever I release anew version of Better Facebook, I post a message to the Better Facebook Page. But you should also get a yellow update notice with a green “Install” button that takes you directly to the Better Facebook web site and automatically starts installing the update.
The default delay between checking for updates is 3 hours, which means you may have to wait a while to get the update. To check more frequently you can lower this number but it also means that more requests will be made to check for new versions. The trade-off is up to you!
Option: “Also check for BETA updates”
I often fix bugs quickly, and I constantly work on new features. I often make BETA updates and make them available for testing to the Better Facebook Development Page. If you would like to stay on the bleeding edge (and possibly risk some bugs) you can check this option.
Option: “Check for important Better Facebook messages every 30 minutes”
When Facebook is having problems, or when I occasionally have the need to inform Better Facebook users of some important information, I have the ability to add a message to the Better Facebook server and have it show up in a yellow box to all users.
By default, this check will only happen every 30 minutes. You can check more frequently if you wish to get notices right away, or you can disable it to never see the important messages at all. I would recommend against unchecking it.
Option: “Show the Help message for new posts to the Better Facebook Page”
When you visit the Better Facebook Page and are running Better Facebook, it checks for important messages and displays them under the post box. This is where I can inform users about known issues or other important information so they don’t have to make a post about it.
If you wish to never see this information, you can uncheck this option.
Option: “Allow posts by Better Facebook to retain html formatting”
This was an experiment by me that I still haven’t begun using. The goal is to insert HTML formatting such as bold, italics, images, etc. into posts from the Better Facebook Page. This would allow me to provide more engaging content and possibly updates that are easier to read.
So far, I haven’t used this feature because I’m not sure I like it. If and when I do, you would be able to disable it here. See? There are some options in Better Facebook that are so advanced that even the creator doesn’t use them!
I hope this little overview of some of the Advanced options in Better Facebook is useful. Do not fear the Advanced options. They are there to give you full control!