Thursday Oct 09, 2008

Developing Project SocialSite - a quick tutorial

Bobby Bissett

Want to build Project SocialSite from scratch? Then read this blog by project member Bobby Bissett.

In his blog, Bobby discusses setup information and has a quick screencast showing the steps he follows when developing Project SocialSite. He also discusses some FireFox extensions which are pretty helpful if you want to do development work.

Wednesday Oct 08, 2008

SocialSite Webinar: Thursday, October 9th

Drawing of a Television

Did you know that The Aquarium has its own TV channel? Okay, it's actually a Ustream.TV channel, but still...

Each week, it has a new technical webinar covering some topic in the GlassFish community. And this week, our very own Dave Johnson will be talking about Project SocialSite.

As Dave describes, he'll be covering "the reasoning behind Project SocialSite, the basics of OpenSocial and what SocialSite adds, the SocialSite architecture and its Widgets and Web Services." It's happening tomorrow (Thursday) at 11:15am PT. For more information, see the webinar details page.

Tuesday Oct 07, 2008

OpenSocial 0.9 Input

Picture of a Microphone

Do you have input to improve OpenSocial? If so, you're in luck. Dan Peterson sent out a call to start the ball rolling on the OpenSocial v0.9 Specification. For newbies he discusses the specification process. He also gives a recap of likely changes in v0.9.

He's looking to gather all ideas by this Friday (October 10th). So if you've been itching for a feature, now is the time to send your ideas in!

Monday Oct 06, 2008

On The Horizon: A Portable Contacts API?

Picture of a Rolodex

Want to invite your email contacts to join you on your favorite social networking site? You probably can. Want to do so without having to give your email account username and password to the social networking site? Your odds drop a bit. Want to do it all in a standardized way? Your odds drop to zero.

But that could change, if the guys behind the Portable Contacts effort have their way. They're trying to provide a standardized and secure way for users to share address book data across different sites.

The specification is still at the draft stage. But, as Dare Obasanjo describes, there is already a lot to like about its approach (particularly the alignment with OAuth and OpenSocial). So while it's too early for a social networking server like Project SocialSite to directly leverage this work, we'll certainly be keeping an eye on it.

Friday Oct 03, 2008

Project SocialSite Turns One (Milestone) Today

We've reached our first milestone release, available on the download page now. While you won't see many changes on the surface, that doesn't mean a lot hasn't changed. Our Milestone 1 release includes a complete rewrite of many of our back-end services to use the new OpenSocial REST and JSON-RPC APIs.

For more information on the REST API Dave has a great writeup in this blog. These changes give us a better alignment with OpenSocial, allow us to batch requests, and make it easier to support multiple forms of client to server and server to server communication. With these changes in the back end completed, we can focus our attention now towards UI improvements and new features. As always, let us know what you like, what you'd like to see, and especially let us know if you'd like to help!

Thursday Oct 02, 2008

Dave Johnson on LiveMink

Simon Phipps, SunMink

SocialSite's own Dave Johnson was interviewed this week for the LiveMink podcast by Simon Phipps. Tune in for information on Project SocialSite, social networking, and some of our future plans.

Wednesday Oct 01, 2008

How to socially enable your web site using SocialSite - a follow up

It's good to see so much interest in using SocialSite -- with the all the changes going on in the implementation it's tough to keep the documentation current. In a previous entry, we had a short screen cast telling you what your site needed to do to host SocialSite gadgets. It was really more of an overview, so I've written up some more information to fill out the rest of the story.

This shouldn't be taken as a substitute for official documentation. But the benefit of a blog is that I can describe how things are working today -- if it changes tomorrow, tomorrow gets another blog!

Tuesday Sep 30, 2008

Google Exec Describes OpenSocial's Roadmap

A Washington, DC Roadmap

Want to understand where OpenSocial is today and where it's heading tomorrow? Then read Joe Farber's interview with Joe Kraus (a Director of Product Management at Google who focuses on social networking and OpenSocial).

They talk about the reach of current OpenSocial deployments (over 300 million users, as we've reported before), what's coming next with OpenSocial 0.8 (an emphasis on the RESTful Data APIs), and what's further down the road in the 0.9 plans (OpenSocial Templates, for one thing).

As we said last week, OpenSocial is the heart of Project SocialSite. So it's nice to see that it's getting plenty of attention.

Friday Sep 26, 2008

OpenSocial is indeed the heart of SocialSite !!

Thumbnail of the 'Word Cloud' for the SocialSite Blog

Here is some Friday fun. How are Project SocialSite and OpenSocial standard related? Jamey has the answer. :)

Thursday Sep 25, 2008

Project SocialSite wants YOU !!

A Famous 'Uncle Sam' Recruiting Poster

Quite a few people have shown interest in contributing to Project SocialSite. While a few have some concrete ideas, most are not sure what to contribute and how. As Jamey points out, you can help us by filing bugs and enhancement requests, contributing code / patches, updating our wiki with FAQs, documentation and such.

For those of you particularly interested in taking part in development of features for Project SocialSite, we have put together some proposals for external contributions. This is just an initial list of ideas and we will keep updating this list. Take a look, send us an email if you are interested in contributing to the project and we will take it up from there.

Wednesday Sep 24, 2008

Details of REST Implementation (Java) in Shindig

A while back Dave Johnson posted a nice overview detailing how the REST API works in Apache Shindig. He just updated that to cover Shindig/Java's latest REST/RPC implementation.

For those interested in more, here is an article that delves into much more details on this topic.

Tuesday Sep 23, 2008

OpenSocial (and SocialSite) at Google Developer Day London

Google Developer Day 2008 Logo

Pat, Chris, and others gave an OpenSocial presentation last week at the London edition of Google Developer Day 2008. A full video of the session is now available.

Check it out for a great introduction to all things OpenSocial (from writing and monzetizing an app to turning your own site into an OpenSocial container). And, of course, we're excited to see that they referenced some of Sun's next-generation web technologies.

First, Zembly is mentioned (around 15:00) as a great tool for authoring OpenSocial applications right inside your browser. And then they have a slide (around 46:00) describing our own SocialSite technology as a nice option for adding OpenSocial support within your own enterprise. Naturally, we couldn't agree more.

Monday Sep 22, 2008

How to social enable your web site using SocialSite - a quick primer

Bobby Bissett

As we informed you earlier, we are working on better documentation. Very early drafts for some of the documents are available at our Project Wiki. What we have now are very early drafts and they are undergoing review and updates as we write this blog. Meanwhile, for immediate help, project member Bobby Bissett has put together this short screencast that can serve as a good primer on social-enabling your website using Project SocialSite.

Tuesday Sep 16, 2008

Finalizing SocialSite REST API - Proposal

As we mentioned last week, we are currently working on implementing complete support for OpenSocial RESTful API specification. We have published a formal proposal here that details how we are planning to achieve this. Feedback is most welcome.

Friday Sep 12, 2008

Project SocialSite - What is going on ?

Project SocialSite was announced to the public about a month back and since then we have pushed couple of promoted builds out for the community to try it out. We have got some feedback - good and bad :) So what are we up to now?

  • We have a wiki for the project where we will be posting our all project related documentation like guides, "how to" documentaiton, design documentation, design proposals, feature lists etc
  • We decided to reduce our dependence on jMaki. The proposal for this is available here. Implementation of this is almost done and is present in the latest workspace
  • We also have a proposal for security model for the project
  • We decided to implement complete support for RESTful API specification.
  • The above two are big changes and hence the workspace may be a little bit unstable - please bear with us. But the latest promoted build is the one built before the above changes and hence should be stable
  • We have been busy putting together some documentation plan. We will be using the project wiki to publish these draft documentation and we welcome feedback from the community
  • The documentation on the wiki will be live and will keep changing as the product matures
  • We also spent sometime look at our our development tests, test framework etc. We hope to have better automated tests available in the workspace soon

That is some of the things that we have been busy with. Now what the community can expect?

  • The next promoted build may not be out for 2-3 weeks till we complete implementation of support for OpenSocial REST specification
  • You can expect one milestone build every month for the next 2-3 months (at around the end of every month starting 9/30)
  • You will see draft documentation starting to appear on our project wiki in the next week
  • You will also see our detailed release plan, features available in each milestone etc

Thanks a lot for your support and interest so far. Keep the feedback coming. :)

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