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Shindig: open source implementation of OpenSocial

Apache member Brian McAllister, who works for Ning, has proposed a new project for Apache called Shindig. Here's an excerpt from the proposal:

OpenSocial provides a common set of APIs for social applications across multiple websites. With standard JavaScript and HTML, developers can create social applications that use a social network's friends and update feeds. A social application, in this context, is an application run by a third party provider and embedded in a web page, or web application, which consumes services provided by the container and by the application host. This is very similar to Portal/Portlet technology, but is based on client-side compositing, rather than server. More information can be found about OpenSocial at http://code.google.com/apis/opensocial.

Shindig is an implementation of an emerging set of APIs for client-side composited web applications. The Apache Software Foundation has proven to have developed a strong system and set of mores for building community-centric, open standards based systems with a wide variety of participants. A robust, community-developed implementation of these APIs will encourage compatibility between service providers, ensure an excellent implementation is available to everyone, and enable faster and easier application development for users.

. . .

Ning, Inc. intends to donate code based on their implementation of OpenSocial. The backend systems will be replaced with more generic equivalents in order to not bind the implementation to specifics of the Ning platform.

Brian is pretty excited about OpenSocial as a light-weight client-side alternative to Portal/Portlet technology, not just for social apps but for webapps of all kind. He'd like to see both Apache Roller and Apache JSPWIki (incubating) become OpenSocial containers, despite the fact that neither product stores the social graph of user/friend relationships. Blogs and wikis are already great platforms for web development, OpenSocial could make them even stronger. Very interesting stuff.

I hadn't planned on talking OpenSocial during my session tomorrow, but I might have to add a slide or two to illustrate the possibilities.


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