Re: Rechartering WebApp WG

On 11 Feb 2010, at 13:08, Arthur Barstow wrote:

> On Feb 11, 2010, at 5:32 AM, ext Robin Berjon wrote:
>> On Feb 11, 2010, at 05:40 , Doug Schepers wrote:
>>> Scott Wilson wrote (on 2/9/10 10:32 AM):
>>>> There are a couple of additional areas it would be useful to  
>>>> consider
>>>> for future work in the Widgets space, specifically:
>>>> - inter-widget communication (both single-user and multi-user, e.g.
>>>> collaboration)
>>>> - social web APIs for widgets (e.g. friends, friends-of)
>>> Are these deliverables the Widgets folks are willing to take on?   
>>> If so, are there clear use case & requirements documents, and  
>>> available editing resources?
>> Our preference is to minimise the surface area of what is specific  
>> to widgets to the absolute strict minimum. That means that inter- 
>> widget communications should just be taken care of as part of Web  
>> Messaging, for instance.
>> I'm not sure what Social Web APIs would be. It sounds like a  
>> protocol?
> Scott - would you please elaborate on this, in particular the  
> interop problem(s) that could be addressed by standardization at the  
> W3C?

Hi Art,

Specifically I'm thinking of access to friends/friends-of lists from  
author scripts in a Widget runtime. This is something of interest to  
widget developers, as it enables widgets to operate as social  

OpenSocial is an obvious source of inspiration here -  however the  
actual social APIs are only a small part of OpenSocial (which also  
covers all aspects of app packaging. processing. discovery and  
persistence) and are not easily reused in other kinds of devices and  

The interop problem arises as currently authors of apps/widgets are  
basically faced with two completely different "stacks" of  
specifications based on the presence or absence of a few very small  
features - and the "friends" API represents the main feature gap  
between the W3C widgets family of specifications and OpenSocial.

Looking at recent developments, e.g. Vodafone's recent work on  
integrating phone contacts and social network contacts, suggests that  
it will not only be web widgets that would be able to access this type  
of API, but also mobile and desktop widgets.

I would propose looking at this area with the W3C Social Web XG and  
identifying a set of spec requirements either for webapps or DAP (it  
could go either way - social APIs may fit better in DAP as they have  
analogues with the contacts API work there, however Widgets are the  
obvious vehicle for making use of such APIs. In any case some co- 
ordination would be useful).

Currently in Apache Wookie we implement the Google Wave Gadget API as  
a means of supporting inter-widget communication in collaboration  
scenarios (e.g. multi-user environments); however the fact that this  
API is completely different in almost every respect from the Google  
API to get at friends (as opposed to participants) indicates there is  
a significant interop gap where W3C could make a difference.

(One way of looking at this is that requesta for "contacts",  
"participants" and "friends" are just differently contextualized  
queries on a core "people API" and should behave consistently.)

Hope this helps,


> -Art Barstow

Received on Friday, 12 February 2010 22:39:47 UTC