Browsing through Rich’s Google Reader Shared Items, I found we had both shared this post from the OpenSocial API Blog:
Recently, as people have started to realize the utility of Connect as an OpenSocial container, we’ve been getting more requests for access to our development sandboxes. Developer rockstars inside the company like Ed, Jesse and Noel, realize that through Connect, their apps can get access to a large percentage of the company and can spread socially without additional promotion.
Plus, it’s a showcase for their hard work and programming chops. There’s a lot of free-time hacking and innovation going on inside the firewall, but it’s always been challenging to find the cool stuff. So, Connect offers both a distribution channel and a pool of users.
Problem is we haven’t buttoned up the sandboxes yet, e.g. they were down for a bit last week, since Rich and Anthony were busy doing other things. Once we get the supporting UI changes for OpenSocial finished, we’ll have a much more friendly sandbox. Until then, it’s a work in progress.
Partuza offers another option.
Partuza is a sample social networking site that supports OpenSocial, is written in PHP and is available under the Apache open source license. It supports all the OpenSocial features that you need to be able to develop and test your gadgets in the comfort of your own private, speedy local network. Because it is open source, you can also look under the hood and see just how you can use PHP Shindig to add OpenSocial support to your site. Better yet, it is licensed under the open Apache license, so you can take the code and use it directly in your own social network site without any problems.
This is good news for any would-be OpenSocial developers who want to get their feet wet with OpenSocial before jumping into the Connect pool. There will be differences between environments of course, most noteably that Connect uses the Java Shindig implementation and and not the PHP one.
However, the ability to deploy, develop and test locally should be a huge asset to potential OpenSocial developers, as they wait for us to unveil the Connect OpenSocial container. Following this path also gives us a chance to test the portability of OpenSocial apps between containers.
Thanks to Chris Chabot for sharing his work on Partuza.
What are your thoughts on OpenSocial? Have you come around to our way of thinking yet?