a quick introduction and tutorial l.
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A Quick Introduction and Tutorial. Open Social. What is Open-Social in a Nutshell?. Open-Social provides a API specification for social networking sites  This allows all applications / gadgets to work across every site that implements the specification (in theory)

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what is open social in a nutshell
What is Open-Social in a Nutshell?
  • Open-Social provides a API specification for social networking sites 
  • This allows all applications / gadgets to work across every site that implements the specification (in theory)

So you build a gadget for iGoogle, and it works on:


(but not Facebook, sorry)

what i m going to show
What I'm going to show:
  • How to make a simple open-social gadget
  • How to get current user information
  • How to get friends information
  • How to store and return custom application data
  • Then I'm going to give you something to do on your own!
how to make an open social gadget
Here is a hello-world application:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>


  <ModulePrefs title="Hello World!">

    <Require feature="opensocial-0.7" />


  <Content type="html">


      <p>Hello, world!</p>




And here it is working in iGoogle (that means demo it)

How to Make an Open-Social Gadget
  • You provide a simple XML file which contains your gadget HTML and JavaScript code
  • Thats it!
the demo tools to be used
And these sites:






The Demo: Tools to be used
  • We're going to use these tools:
    • A Text Editor
    • VMWare Player
    • Apache Shindig
    • Partuza
the demo take a look at your vm
The Demo: Take a look at your VM
  • The Virtual machine has two web-applications installed
    • Apache Shindig (http://local.shindig)
    • Partuza (http://partuza) - a full social networking site

We can use these two web-apps to test out gadgets.

For example navigate to:




You can load any gadget into either page in order to test it.

Lets do that with out hello-world xml file....

the demo getting social data
The Demo: Getting Social Data
  • I'll be using some stuff covered here:
  • http://code.google.com/apis/opensocial/articles/tutorial/tutorial-0.8.html
  • Note: We do everything in javascript. (sorry!)
  • We fetch data using an object called the DataRequest object
  • var req = opensocial.newDataRequest();
  • Then we 'add' a bunch of data requests to this object which represent what we want to retrieve 
  • req.add(some_request_for_data);
  • Then we send it along with the name of a function that will handle the callback:
  • req.send(callback_function);
the demo getting social data8
The Demo: Getting Social Data
  • So to get information about a person (in this case the current user) we do this:
  • var req = opensocial.newDataRequest();
  • req.add(req.newFetchPersonRequest(opensocial.DataRequest.PersonId.VIEWER), 'viewer');
  • req.send(someCallBackFunction);
  • You can see more request types here:
  • http://wiki.opensocial.org/index.php?title=Opensocial.DataRequest_(v0.8)
the demo getting social data9
The Demo: Getting Social Data
  • Let me do this for real....
the demo getting social data10
The Demo: Getting Social Data
  • Wow! It worked! (hopefully)
the demo getting social data11
The Demo: Getting Social Data
  • Obviously its more useful if you also have friend information. Getting your friends-list is similar:
  • var req = opensocial.DataRequest();
  • req.add(req.getPeopleRequest(idSpec, parameters), 'friend-data');
  • The 'idSpec' object just describes what people you want information for, and the 'parameters' object just specifices things like the number to retrieve, for example:
  • var idSpec = opensocial.newIdSpec({ "userId" : "VIEWER", "groupId" : "FRIENDS" });
  • var parameters = {};
  • parameters['max'] = 30;
the demo getting application data
The Demo: Getting Application Data
  • The javascript API also allows you to store application-data at the social network using the same DataRequest object.
  • It provides three methods, for fetch, store, and delete.
  • For example, to fetch basic data stored by the viewer:
  • var idSpec = opensocial.newIdSpec({"userId" : "VIEWER"});
  • req.add(req.newFetchPersonAppDataRequest(idSpec, 'numberOfHelloes'), 'appData');
  • Or to add / update some information we could do something like this:
  • var req = opensocial.newDataRequest();req.add(req.newUpdatePersonAppDataRequest("VIEWER", 'numberOfHelloes', 5)); req.send();
time to do stuff yourselves
Time to Do Stuff Yourselves!
  • I showed you how to retrieve application data for the current user, but how do you retrieve application data from other users?
  • Your goals for the rest of the session:
    • Make an application where you can click a 'hello' button and it increments a hello count, which it sends to the server. When the application loads it should show you how many times you said hello.
    • Make an application that shows a list of your friends and you can say hello to each of them. For example, if I said 'hello' three times to bob, when bob loads the application it will say '3 hellos received from Matthew'

These links will be useful: