Friday Dec 19, 2008

Project SocialSite milestone 3

The Project SocialSite team is pleased to announce a new milestone build, Project SocialSite Milestone 3 (download it here). With this build we are essentially feature complete for a first release and so for the next couple of months we will focus on fixing bugs, measuring and improving performance and making SocialSite ready for production.

We've made a lot of progress, but remember: this build is intended for TESTING ONLY! Do not use it in production as it has not been thoroughly tested and is known to be insecure. Here are the more serious of our known issues.

I should also point out that we've got some new nice new docs to go along with the new build:


Tuesday Nov 25, 2008

OpenSocial is 1 and reach is 600 million users at 20 sites

OpenSocial's 1st birthday bash was last week and it sounds like it went very well. I wish I could have been there. Google's Dan Peterson posted a nice summary of the event, with pictures, slides, videos of the presentations and some great adoption numbers for the up-and-coming Social Networking standard:

  • More than 315 million app installs
  • More than 85 million daily canvas page views
  • More than 7,500 applications
  • More than 20 live containers

Pretty impressive, especially considering OpenSocial is not even version 1.0 yet. Here's a chart that shows adoption over the past year, and some well deserved party favors:

With SocialSite, we hope to add to those numbers. Stay tuned...

Friday Nov 21, 2008

SocialSite's Flexible Relationship model

After the big announcement last week and the blog-silence this week, you might we wonder if we're still around. Well, we are and we're as busy as can be. We're working away on automatic profile creation, better theme support, new gadget directory and a couple of new efforts that we're not ready to talk about yet.

And, we haven't been totally silent this week either. You just have to know where to look. Just the other day I blogged the details of the SocialSite relationship model on my person blog, and explained how you can configure SocialSite to behave like various popular Social Networking services.

Friday Nov 07, 2008

SocialSite on Tomcat

The Project SocialSite team is part of the GlassFish organization, so you can probably guess our preferred Servlet engine. And, unfortunately, we've been so busy with the development of our core Social Networking features that we haven't had much time to try SocialSite on other platforms (or even to move from GlassFish v2 to the brand new v3 Prelude release).

But, since SocialSite is basically just a Java EE webapp, it should run on Tomcat and other platforms. Sun's Sandeep Soni has proven that point and provided what looks to be a complete set of instructions for getting SocialSite up-and-running on Tomcat. Sandeep: thanks for the write-up!

Thursday Nov 06, 2008

OpenSocial v0.9 kick-off

Work on the next revision of the OpenSocial spec is underway the proposed schedule is below. You've got until tomorrow to get your ideas in.

Proposed Timeline:
  • Topic ideas due 11/7
  • Proposals & technical discussions end 11/21
  • Draft created by 12/4
  • Full draft review from 12/5 to 12/12
  • Final publication 12/15

If you're insterested, then check out the 0.9 Proposals Spreadsheet that lists the proposals slated for discussion. And get involved in the OpenSocial and Gadgets Specification Discussion in the OpenSocial Group. Here on the SocialSite team we're working on getting two additions in: Bobby's Messaging changes and adding Paging Support for Activities.

Here are links to the discussion threads for the proposals we've made for OpenSocial v0.9 (you may need to join the group before you view these):

A little more about SocialSite milestone 2

Here are some more details about SocailSite milestone 2 (M2). The major new features that we've been working for M2 are Flexible Relationship, support for Gadget Themes and Gadget White-Listing. We've also been continuing to perfect our REST, RPC and JavaScript APIs.

Another thing you'll find in the M2 build is the first-cut of our new Dashboard Gadget, which is the place where a SocialSite user can respond to friend and group membership requests, search the social graph and more. As I mentioned yesterday, it's written using JavaScript, Open Social Templates and YUI components. Here are some screen-shots. The first shot shows the Activities tab, which can display your activities, your fiends activities and those of your groups.

The second shot shows the people tab, which can display/search all people in the network, filter by your friends, filter by your groups and enables you to request relationships, send messages and invite people to join your groups.

With M2, SocialSite is basically feature complete, but we've still got a lot of work to do to perfect our Widgets and Web Services. Some of the Gadget UIs and the Admin Console look pretty rough from a UI perspective. We'll be working on improving those, adding a nice Gadget Directory and improving Widget theming for our next milestone, which is scheduled for early December.

You can download the M2 build from our Downloads Page.

Wednesday Nov 05, 2008

Project SocialSite milestone 2 work complete

I'm going to blame the blog silence on hard work ;-) We're just now finishing what we're calling Project SocialSite milestone 2, which includes Flexible Relationships, a new Dashboard Widget, basic support for Gadget themes and Gadget white/black listing. The new Dashboard is implemented with Open Social Templates and YUI components. I'll post more tomorrow once I've updated some docs and captured some nice screen-shots.

Wednesday Oct 29, 2008

LinkedIn Apps: Powered by OpenSocial

More OpenSocial adoption news today: LinkedIn has also launched OpenSocial support with a Application Directory of nine applications including TripIp, Huddle, Wordpress and Slideshare. Here's what TechCrunch has to say about it:

Jason Kincaid of TechCrunch: LinkedIn has launched its new OpenSocial-based application platform called InApps - an answer to the platforms found on social networks like Facebook and MySpace, but without the clutter and “junk” apps that plague those sites. Unlike most other social networks, LinkedIn apps must go through an approval process before they will go live on the store, and all apps must be deemed “professional” in purpose to appear on the business-oriented social network. [Read on for application mini-reviews and more...]

And by the way, we're building Gadget white-listing into Project SocialSite, so you can implement the same sort of Gadget approval process for a SocialSite powered Social Network.

Tuesday Oct 28, 2008

Yahoo! rolls out YAP, Y!OS, OpenSocial and more

Yahoo announced the Yahoo Application Platform this week (that's a mini-screenshot of the app editor on the right) and, as we've been saying in our SocialSite briefings and presentations, "social is part of the platform." Yahoo is providing multiple social APIs including OpenSocial. Here's the OpenSocial support announcement on the OpenSocial API blog:

Sam Pullara, Vice President, Yahoo! Application Platform: "This is just the beginning for YAP and OpenSocial. As a founding member of the OpenSocial Foundation, Yahoo! is committed to supporting the complete OpenSocial specification and is working with the community to expand the specification to include OSML and OpenSocial templates. In addition, we are currently implementing a Shindig-based OpenSocial container which will allow us to provide full support for the OpenSocial REST Protocols and thus for Portable Contacts."

We're always glad to hear about OpenSocial adoption, the more live containers and apps the better from the SocialSite point of view. The same goes for Shindig.

Sam Pullara also mentions working with the community on OSML and OpenSocial templates and that's good news too. I've been working with templates for a couple of weeks now, using the implementation that's part of Shindig but not yet part of the OpenSocial spec. They're a vast improvement over the way we write gadgets now, from both productivity and maintainability points of view.

Related links:

Tuesday Oct 21, 2008

SocialSite REST API not so RESTful

So says Roy Fielding, the author of the paper that defined REpresentational State Transfer (REST). And the same goes for the OpenSocial REST API, which is the basis for the SocialSite REST APIs. Here's part of his comment about OpenSocial:

Roy Fielding: The OpenSocial RESTful protocol is not RESTful. It could be made so with some relatively small changes, but right now it is just wrapping RPC results in common Web media types.

There are lots of advantages to being RESTful and we certainly want both the OpenSocial and the SocialSite REST APIs to live up to their names, so I'm glad to hear the changes are "relatively small." Now we just need to figure out what those changes are. I asked Roy to elaborate and I also started a thread (Google Groups login required) on the topic in the OpenSocial spec discussion group.

Happy Birthday to OpenSocial!

Photo by Jessica Driver
Dan Petersen, OpenSocial API blog: Hard to believe, but OpenSocial is just a few weeks shy of being a full year old! To celebrate, we're getting together to look back on the great progress we've all made in the past year and to discuss where we should take OpenSocial next. And of course, we'll eat birthday cake!

In addition to cake the event (details here) will include updates from developers, spec discussions and opportunities for hacking. The event will be held at 10AM on Thursday, November 13, 2008 at the MySpace office in San Francisco, CA. I can't make it myself, but hopefully some of the SocialSite team can attend.

Friday Oct 17, 2008

SocialSite's OpenSocial extensions, part 2

Today, I've got another post in my series on SocialSite's OpenSocial extensions. The article is titled SocialSite's OpenSocial extensions, part 2: Web Services (continued) and it covers the new Web Services APIs we've added for Gadget management, Messages and Search.

Wednesday Oct 15, 2008

SocialSite's OpenSocial extensions

As you may already know, to enable full read/write access to the Social Graph for the Project SocialSite Widgets and Web Services, we're extending the standard OpenSocial APIs. This week, I've started a series of blog posts to describe the extensions we are making. Part 1 covers SocialSite's OpenSocial extensions: Web Services.

Monday Oct 13, 2008

OpenSocial live across Ning's 500,000 networks

Via the OpenSocial APIs blog, here's some good news for OpenSocial. OpenSocial v0.7 is now live across Ning's 500,000 niche social networks and there are more than 30 OpenSocial applications in the Ning directory. Here's the scoop from Ning's blog:

"OpenSocial is now live across our more than 500,000 social networks this morning. This release replaces and improves our older “Gadgets” beta functionality, and enables Network Creators and their members to add all sorts of great new features, or Applications, to their profile pages with a single click."

"Each social network on Ning now offers more than 30 OpenSocial applications from which to choose, including file sharing from, poll creation from Polldaddy and e-commerce from Shopit."

Read the full post for more including screen-shots and a screen-cast showing off the new OpenSocial feature set.

Friday Oct 10, 2008

SocialSite Webinar Slides

SocialSite Webinar Slides

Did you miss or have trouble viewing Dave Johnson's webinar on Project SocialSite yesterday? Dave has now posted improved slides from his presentation. This may not be the same as seeing Dave's talk live, but you still can get useful information by reading the slides.


Follow this blog for news and notes about Social Networking, Social Software, trends and information about Sun's new Project SocialSite.


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