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From Kevin Brown <>
Subject Re: Proposal for Wookie a W3C Widget/Google Wave widget engine
Date Mon, 06 Jul 2009 20:40:45 GMT
On Mon, Jul 6, 2009 at 11:46 AM, Ross Gardler <> wrote:

> 2009/7/6 Chris Chabot <>:
> > Hey guys,
> >
> > Great looking proposal!
> >
> > On Mon, Jul 6, 2009 at 1:53 PM, Ate Douma <> wrote:
> >
> >>
> >> The Wookie proposal has my high interest, especially from the bridging
> >> 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:
> > 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
> > The main
> entry
> >   point to find out about OpenSocial is and
> the
> >   Shindig reference implementation can be found at
> >
> >
> >   - 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
> >,
> 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).

This isn't quite accurate. OpenSocial doesn't require any notion of a single
person owning something, and in the case of many products the 'friend graph'
is not even a persistent entity at all (wave is a good example of such).
Really, the relationship between users of the gadget is arbitrary. In the
case of wave (the product), the wave itself 'owns' the gadget, whereas in a
product like myspace, the owner of the profile page 'owns' the gadget. In a
product like Google Friend Connect, the page that embeds the gadget 'owns'

> 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
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