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2011-01-27 Lunchtime discussion of OpenSocial

Attending: John Pybus, Noah Wittman, Rick Jaffe, Martin Wynne, Will Cowen, Bridget Almas, Harriet Green, Marlita Kahn, Bruce Barton, Ashley Flynn, Doug Moncour, Robert McDonald, John Coleman, Neil Fraistat, Steve Masover

(These notes are a combination of hand-scribbled notes SJM made while eating and talking at the same time, and John's notes made after the discussion.......caveat emptor)

  • John Pybus described evolution of OpenSocial
    • There is deepening interest in OpenSocial in sectors other than proprietary social web sites / platforms. e.g. Nature's use of OpenSocial in their Nature Workbench
    • SURFnet has launched Project COIN – a sister to the Internet2 COmanage project that is developing an open-source OpenSocial container; COIN has expressed willingness to work with Oxford University in standing up and working with pre-release versions of this container
    • IBM has engaged in effort to make OpenSocial-fronted content accessible through a CMIS-compliant services interface; this work is interesting, but definition is still emerging. It may be possible – and quite advantageous – for Bamboo to influence the development of this specification and its implementation
    • A core OpenSocial implementation – absent some of the "social web"-centric profile attributes (e.g., expression of one's favorite movie/book/person/etc.) – and with the addition, perhaps, of some scholar-centric profile attributes – is probably the right fit for Bamboo uptake of an OpenSocial implementation
  • Bruce Barton outlined the proposal to experiment with delivering a test "gadget" into
    • feasibility of OpenSocial in HubZero
    • also test a more lightweight approach using Basic LTI
    • possibility that a partial implementation of the OpenSocial container spec might, initially, be enough for Bamboo's needs and be easier for workspace platforms (HubZero, Alfresco) to achieve
  • John Pybus described Oxford's engagement to-date with OpenSocial & VRE-SDM
    • ~6 months (much less in terms of effort) spent porting VRE-SDM to OpenSocial from the initial portlet-based interface
    • this work was not complete at the time work was paused
    • Oxford's next phase of work in this effort is forecast to take less than the remaining period of the Bamboo Technology Project's Phase One
  • There was discussion of what was needed for applications to be mobile across workspaces:
    • Mobile identity - Services Platform doing this
    • Mobile groups - Services Platform (and talking to COmanage, so may be similar approach to COIN's)
    • Object Access - getting at the stuff in my workspace
      • hopefully this will be covered by use of CMIS
      • requires all workspaces to expose data via CMIS as well as use CMIS to access collections
  • Steve Masover raised the question of how much effort might be devoted to the more general problems faced by Bamboo: projecting interfaces built for Bamboo services into multiple end-user environments (e.g., Work Spaces and TSR) ... discussion ensued ... suggestions were put forward:
    • Bridget Almas suggested an end-to-end proof of OpenSocial's suitability as a means to project service function into multiple environments (Work Spaces) using treebank creation and curation as a use case; we noted the application of this use case to both research and pedagogy and the desirability of supporting both these aspects of humanist activity
    • Steve Masover suggested that projection of a "plumbing" type service projected into a Work Space might be a simpler first step, and that an interface for the Bamboo Person Profile service might be a place to start
    • Bridget suggested that both these ideas are probably appropriate places to start, and many agreed.
    • John Pybus suggested that standing up an OpenSocial container to which others (outside Bamboo?) could deploy their own gadgets would seed a culture of contribution that is an appropriate outcome and goal for Project Bamboo

The clock ran out. More discussion will follow...

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