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From Ross Gardler <rgard...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Proposal for Wookie a W3C Widget/Google Wave widget engine
Date Mon, 06 Jul 2009 18:46:25 GMT
2009/7/6 Chris Chabot <chabotc@google.com>:
> Hey guys,
>
> Great looking proposal!
>
> On Mon, Jul 6, 2009 at 1:53 PM, Ate Douma <ate@douma.nu> wrote:
>
>>
>> The Wookie proposal has my high interest, especially from the bridging POV
>> between W3C Widgets and Google Gadgets.
>
>
> It seems there's a few mixed terminologies here, so in interest of making
> sure we're all talking about the same things I'll quickly go over the
> different types of 'gadgets' that could potentially be supported by Wookie:
>
>
>   - Google Gadgets, as described here:
>   http://code.google.com/apis/gadgets/docs/spec.html This is a clasic
>   gadget type model that doesn't have any social tools in it, think clasic
>   iGoogle home page type gadgets.. this actually has the Google brand
>   associated with it and because it's a product name it's called Gadgets (cap
>   G). It's an interesting platform to support, but in general iGoogle is
>   moving to OpenSocial gadgets instead (which is backward compatible).
>
>   - OpenSocial gadgets not a Google brand or product, instead both the
>   specification process and the reference implementation (Apache Shindig
>   (-incubating)) are community driven. In the beginning it started out with an
>   iGoogle style API but has evolved to a completely different (much more
>   elegant and powerful) platform that has a very large feature set, and
>   focuses on social. Next to that there's the OpenSocial Foundation which has
>   people from many social-interested companies and is a non-profit corporation
>   created to sustain the free and open development of OpenSocial
>   specifications. (more info at
>   http://www.opensocial.org/page/opensocial-foundation-faq). The main entry
>   point to find out about OpenSocial is http://www.opensocial.org/ and the
>   Shindig reference implementation can be found at
>   http://incubator.apache.org/shindig/
>
>   - There's mention of 'Wave gadgets', Google Wave uses the same gadgets
>   javascript API, but adds a bit of functionality to it (as described at
>   http://code.google.com/apis/wave/extensions/gadgets/reference.html), the
>   added functionality is focused around the real time nature of Google Wave
>   with functions for participants changes and data state changes.
>
> Now to support Google Gadgets and OpenSocial, the easiest way to accomplish
> that would be to just completely pull in Apache Shindig (-incubating),

Google Gadgets and OpenSocial support is indeed provided via Apache
Shindig (See Rationale: "The Wookie engine can render widgets using
alternative APIs by a feature extension mechanism (for example, it
allows Widgets to also use the Google Wave Gadgets API), or by acting
as a proxy. For example, it leverages Apache Shindig (Incubating) to
render OpenSocial gadgets. "


> OpenSocial does assume you have a social graph though (the activities and
> app data part of OpenSocial are optional, though the platform is more
> attractive if you offer those too), so you could either take Shindig's
> approach and assume that the Wookie users will implement the social data
> interface classes them selves and connect it up to their existing social
> data, and/or you could include Social Site which provides that for you ..
> with some clever crafting supporting both use-cases shouldn't be to bad
> though.

It is my (possibly incorrect) understanding that Wookie does not, at
present, provide a social graph. I do not believe this to be within
scope of Wookie, given the domain it was developed in (virtual
learning environments (VLE)) I would imagine someone wanting the
social graph would leverage the user data in the VLE. It would be
great to see collaboration between Social Site and Wookie to provide
an alternative means of providing a social graph, but bear in mind
that the W3c Widget spec does not concern itself with social graphs.
So I'm not sure whether this would be considered in scope or not.
Perhaps one of the project team can comment.

Of course, if someone wants to see this kind of enhancement there's
nothing stopping the patches being supplied.

> Google Wave Gadgets is a different beast entirely, they're basically just
> the same gadgets as from OpenSocial, but without the real time Wave server
> behind it that drives the real time data state changes it doesn't seem to
> make a lot of sense to support it in a portal type project, and pulling in a
> complete communications platform might be outside of Wookie's project scope.

Google Wave is not as similar to Open Social as it may seem. Open
Social gadgets are single user widgets. When you add a widget to your
page you own it. A Wave gadget is not a single user widget. When
someone adds it to a wave *all* users with access to that wave have
access to it. There is no concept of a social graph. You either have
access to it or you don't, who your friends are does not change the
way the gadget works for you (I guess you could have a social gadget
in a wave, but that's going a step further).

Wookie already implements the wave communications protocols, and, as
far as I am aware, is the only open source implementation of this API
at present.

You point about potential confusion in which feature belongs to which
API is a valid one. I'd like to see Wookie provide W3C widget support
in the core and then provide everything else via an extension
mechanism. I'm pretty sure this is how the system is currently
designed, but I don't think the extensions are currently packaged
separately.

Ross

-- 
Ross Gardler

OSS Watch - supporting open source in education and research
http://www.oss-watch.ac.uk

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