Google brews mashier OpenSocial language

For all your Web 2.0 ills - except people and Facebook


Google I/O A decision on whether to press ahead with a re-usable architecture from Google to simplify the development of applications spanning multiple social networks is due in the next few days.

Members of Google's OpenSocial project are next week expected to vote on a proposal for a new template language that'll be used to build tags for use with OpenSocial. OpenSocial defines common APIs for applications across multiple sites using JavaScript and XML.

Google told its I/O conference Thursday tags will assist in development of applications that pull in data and feeds from different social networks such as MySpace and contacts-database-in-the-sky LinkedIn. It'll also lock down Web 2.0 apps against cross-site scripting (XXS), the company claimed.

Google's hope is for a core set of between five and 10 tags to eventually be devised and that these will be used to measure compliance of developers' applications with the OpenSocial specification. The search giant expects a community of non-core tags to also evolve.

Explaining the tags, Google OpenSocial developer Evan Gilbert said they could specify the position of a picture in a social network page or a user's account data could be displayed when somebody reading the page mouses over the picture.

Tags will, according to Gilbert who proposed the templates idea, reduce the amount of code needed for development, and will see HTML rendered by the social network rather than the browser. In a demo 18 lines of HTML were shrunk to six after they'd been run through a tag. Tags will also speed performance, by offering sever-side optimizations that batch-up requests to the server instead of issuing them individually.

As to security, Gilbert promised tags would be completely free of XXS problems. That is unless - of course - "developers work explicitly around XXS protections". Oh, yeah - that old thing: people doing stuff with the technology the inventor hadn't intended.

XXS is a huge swinging door in Web 2.0 applications that nobody seems willing to acknowledge is wide open at evangelical events like Google's two-day I/O conference.

It's also not clear when this programming manna will descend from Heaven.

This being the Google community - where things emerge organically and software is in permanent beta - there's nothing so fascist as an OpenSocial roadmap. Also, a "yes" vote would only open the door to the next phase - building the language. A spec and implementation are expected on, or after, June 9.

David Glazer, Google's director of engineering, told I/O the plan had been for inclusion in OpenSocial 0.8 but that specification is now finished - if the implementation is not actually stable. Glazer told Reg Dev the language could appear in 0.9.

Meanwhile, it seems the Apache Software Foundation's Shindig incubator project, building an open source social network architecture based on OpenSocial, will use version 8.0 of the API. Shindig is almost completely manned by Google engineers. Glazer said Shindig is "more than half-way" towards compliance with OpenSocial 0.8.

Google product manager Dan Peterson predicted social networks would continue to use version 0.7 of OpenSocial for a while, unless they want RESTful API development right away. RESTful APIs were featured in version 8.0. Those who do want REST will move to the new OpenSocial during the next few months, he said.

Those committed to OpenSocial include AOL which this week announced it's going to adopt OpenSocial on myAOL.com. AOL joins LinkedIn, MySpace and Marc Andreessen's Ning among a mish-mash-up of others committed to OpenSocial.

Missing from this hit list is teen social networking sensation Facebook, which has been sparring with Google over the ability of the search giant's Friend Connect service to suck out its users' details.®

Similar topics

Broader topics


Other stories you might like

  • Assange can go to UK Supreme Court (again) to fend off US extradition bid

    Top Brit judges may consider whether an American prison is just too much

    Julian Assange has won a technical victory in his ongoing battle against extradition from the UK to the United States, buying him a few more months in the relative safety of Her Majesty's Prison Belmarsh.

    Today at London's High Court, the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales Lord Burnett approved a question on a technical point of law, having refused Assange immediate permission to appeal to the UK Supreme Court. The WikiLeaker's lawyers had asked for formal permission to pose this legal conundrum about Assange's likely treatment in US prisons to the Supreme Court:

    Continue reading
  • They see us Cinnamon Rolling, they're rating: GeckoLinux incorporates kernel 5.16 with familiar installation experience

    A nice, clean community distro that works well

    Most distros haven't got to 5.15 yet, but openSUSE's downstream project GeckoLinux boasts 5.16 of the Linux kernel and the latest Cinnamon desktop environment.

    Some of the big-name distros have lots of downstream projects. Debian has been around for decades so has umpteen, including Ubuntu, which has dozens of its own, including Linux Mint, which is arguably more popular a desktop than its parent. Some have only a few, such as Fedora. As far as we know, openSUSE has just the one – GeckoLinux.

    The SUSE-sponsored community distro has two main editions, the stable Leap, which has a slow-moving release cycle synched with the commercial SUSE Linux Enterprise; and Tumbleweed, its rolling-release distro, which gets substantial updates pretty much every day. GeckoLinux does its own editions of both: its remix of Leap is called "GeckoLinux Static", and its remix of Tumbleweed is called "GeckoLinux Rolling".

    Continue reading
  • Running Windows 10? Microsoft is preparing to fire up the update engines

    Winter Windows Is Coming

    It's coming. Microsoft is preparing to start shoveling the latest version of Windows 10 down the throats of refuseniks still clinging to older incarnations.

    The Windows Update team gave the heads-up through its Twitter orifice last week. Windows 10 2004 was already on its last gasp, have had support terminated in December. 20H2, on the other hand, should be good to go until May this year.

    Continue reading
  • Throw away your Ethernet cables* because MediaTek says Wi-Fi 7 will replace them

    *Don't do this

    MediaTek claims to have given the world's first live demo of Wi-Fi 7, and said that the upcoming wireless technology will be able to challenge wired Ethernet for high-bandwidth applications, once available.

    The fabless Taiwanese chip firm said it is currently showcasing two Wi-Fi 7 demos to key customers and industry collaborators, in order to demonstrate the technology's super-fast speeds and low latency transmission.

    Based on the IEEE 802.11be standard, the draft version of which was published last year, Wi-Fi 7 is expected to provide speeds several times faster than Wi-Fi 6 kit, offering connections of at least 30Gbps and possibly up to 40Gbps.

    Continue reading
  • Windows box won't boot? SystemRescue 9 may help

    An ISO image you can burn or drop onto a USB key

    The latest version of an old friend of the jobbing support bod has delivered a new kernel to help with fixing Microsoft's finest.

    It used to be called the System Rescue CD, but who uses CDs any more? Enter SystemRescue, an ISO image that you can burn, or just drop onto your Ventoy USB key, and which may help you to fix a borked Windows box. Or a borked Linux box, come to that.

    SystemRescue 9 includes Linux kernel 5.15 and a minimal Xfce 4.16 desktop (which isn't loaded by default). There is a modest selection of GUI tools: Firefox, VNC and RDP clients and servers, and various connectivity tools – SSH, FTP, IRC. There's also some security-related stuff such as Yubikey setup, KeePass, token management, and so on. The main course is a bunch of the usual Linux tools for partitioning, formatting, copying, and imaging disks. You can check SMART status, mount LVM volumes, rsync files, and other handy stuff.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022