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Re: Drafting page for W3C SocialWeg incubator "widgets and social APIs" call - feedback welcomed

From: Scott Wilson <scott.bradley.wilson@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 1 Oct 2009 09:52:56 +0100
Cc: public-xg-socialweb@w3.org, asavory@apache.org, Ross Gardler <rgardler@apache.org>, recordond@gmail.com, dewitt@google.com, chaals@opera.com, marcosscaceres@gmail.com, jsmarr@gmail.com
Message-Id: <73711C2B-6163-4F90-9380-EEE1E1E98086@gmail.com>
To: Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>
Hi Dan,

I'm definitely interested - count me in too.

In general I think the distinction between Mobile, Web, and Desktop  
widgets is pretty thin now and getting ever thinner - e.g. the device  
APIs intended for mobile phones apply pretty well to most notebooks/ 
netbooks (e.g. they have cameras, batteries, shared address books (on  
macs at least), geolocation via Skyhook, etc.)

This is partly why we developed an implementation of the W3C Widgets  
specs in a web application context even though the spec was being  
primarily written from a mobile and desktop perspective, and even  
though this would potentially compete with Shindig/OpenSocial (Apache  
likes competition :-).

Some brief answers to the list of questions on the wiki:

1. Can W3C Widgets access an addressbook on a phone?

Yes, if the implementation supports the BONDI contacts API or (in the  
future) W3C DAP

2. What implementation experience exists that combine W3C Widgets with  
OpenSocial or similar APIs

Apache Wookie (incubating) is a W3C Widget engine that can also  
integrate the Apache Shindig (incubating) OpenSocial container. It  
also includes the Google Wave Gadget API to allow W3C Widgets to  
access shared state and participant information. I've also  
experimented with exposing BONDI device APIs in web widgets using  
Wookie, enabling a web widget to take a picture from a user's webcam  
e.g. to use as their avatar.

3. To what extent can these architectures allow for decentralised  
extension of schemas

Both Wookie and Shindig support a "Features" extension mechanism that  
exposes additional JavaScript APIs at runtime to widgets/gadgets - is  
that what you meant?

4. What javascript APIs are developed / under development, and whether  
these might allow developers some code portability between widget  

On my radar: W3C Widget Object, W3C DAP, Google Wave Gadget API,  
OpenSocial, JIL.

Some providers offer shim code to slip between these as available,  
e.g. the Vodafone Betavine SDK provides a JS lib that uses either  
BONDI AppConfig API , W3C Widget API, or cookies to store preferences  
based on what it can find in the current document scope.


On 30 Sep 2009, at 15:10, Dan Brickley wrote:

> Hi folks (am Cc:'ing some folk I hope would be interested in joining
> such a call, note that this isn't an exclusive list, just a starter
> thread....).
> http://www.w3.org/2005/Incubator/socialweb/wiki/WidgetsDiscussion is a
> draft page for a meeting we're planning in the W3C SocialWeb Incubator
> Group, where we hope to draw upon experience from both the W3C Widgets
> and OpenSocial efforts, to identify possibilities for common APIs for
> things like user profiles, addressbooks/contacts, social graph etc.
> I'm circulating it at this stage for feedback on the agenda proposal.
> Do you think such a meeting could be useful?
> I know for example there are investigations into opening up APIs into
> phone addressbooks for use with W3C Widgets; and in the OpenSocial
> scene there has been an adoption of the PortableContacts protocol,
> which operates over HTTP. And in every environment, people are
> extending schemas with custom fields and structures. Apache have also
> recently taken on the Wookie work, which explores the combination of
> W3C Widgets and OpenSocial. In this context, I'd like to get relevant
> parties together to compare notes, plans and experiences, and to
> identify areas in which various kinds of convergence might be
> possible.
> Feedback welcomed in this thread, or from XG members directly into the
> wiki. Let's deal with the content first before getting into call
> scheduling mechanics...
> cheers,
> Dan
> http://www.w3.org/2005/Incubator/socialweb/wiki/WidgetsDiscussion wiki
> text copied below to save you clicking...
> This is an agenda-drafting page for a special session of the Social
> Web Incubator Group, devoted to the topic of social APIs in "widget"
> technologies.
> The agenda is being drafted by Dan Brickley, and is open to XG members
> and interested parties, some of whom we'll invite explicitly (if you
> want to contribute, contact Dan, danbri@danbri.org):
> =Background=
> There are two broad categories of installable Web widget: those that
> are deployed within a Web page or site (eg. OpenSocial), and those
> that are installed within a (typically desktop or mobile) widget
> platform. Both allow quick and easy authoring of small embedded apps
> using standard Web technologies, and both traditions are exploring
> richer APIs - mainly exposed in Javascript - for making use of the
> context within which the app is embedded. This meeting is called to
> explore ways of avoiding fragmentation, such that application authors
> who want to make use of user profile, addressbook/contacts and similar
> information might make use of a common approach regardless of widget
> platform.
> =Goals of the Meeting=
> * invited short status presentations from w3c widget, opensocial and
> Apache Wookie (which combines these) groups
> * identify current state of social APIs (incl. user profiles, 'social
> graph', contacts db, authentication, etc.) in at least OpenSocial and
> W3C Widgets work
> * document state of current published plans where such data will be
> exposed by a widget platform to 3rd party widgets; eg. addressbook
> APIs exposed to Mobile widgets
> * answer or make plans for answering questions such as:
> ** can W3C Widgets access an addressbook on a phone?
> ** what implementation experience exists that combine W3C Widgets with
> OpenSocial or similar APIs
> ** to what extent can these architectures allow for decentralised
> extension of schemas
> ** how do these schemas relate to vcard (and which versions)
> ** role of portable contacts
> * What javascript APIs are developed / under development, and whether
> these might allow developers some code portability between widget
> platforms
> * identify possible recommendations for final report, and
> collaboration / prototyping opportunities
> =Where and When=
> The SocialWeb XG currently meet at 13:00 UTC. It is looking to change
> soon to meet at 15:00UTC. If these times don't fit the schedule of
> would-be participants, we can investigate a special-case time slot.
> The meetings are usually conducted by teleconf using W3C's audio
> bridge, Zakim; but also accompanied by IRC chat (irc.w3.org 6665
> #swxg).

Received on Thursday, 1 October 2009 08:53:29 UTC

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