Announcing the Release of the OpenSocial 2.0 Specification

Thursday, August 18, 2011 at 4:28:00 PM

Following the 11:59 PDT voting cutoff last night, version 2.0 of the OpenSocial specification has officially passed with 22 positive and 0 negative votes.

Version 2 of the OpenSocial specification opens up integration with other well known open source social specifications, ties in both a simplified gadget format as well as new powerful tools, plus announces some deprecated features.

Some of the major revisions to the specification include:

  • Activity Streams support: Activity Stream provides a mechanism for defining rich and detailed social activities, defined in a simple actor / object / target format. The adoption of this open specification allows OpenSocial to not only provide richer data sources but also to be interoperable with more open streams.

  • Deprecated support for ATOM: It was determined that the ATOM serialization format for OpenSocial information was not being utilized in practice. Since there were a number of adjacent specification utilizing JSON for the preferred data format, the community has decided to deprecate support for ATOM.

  • Simplified gadget format: Providing a mechanism for embedding template libraries into a gadget specification file, the ability to integrate data pipelining and templating features within a gadget has been greatly simplified.

  • Embedded Experiences: The community saw a need to provide a mechanism for providing embedded experiences directly within the gadget. By integrating these features, the content host is able to tell a service how to render its content instead of having the service figure it out themselves. This will provide a higher degree of control over data in a gadget.

  • New Incubating API

    • OAuth 2 support: The OpenSocial 2.0 specification now includes support for OAuth 2. Since the OAuth 2.0 specification has not been finalized by the time of this release, OAuth 2 support is currently in an incubating mode. Currently revision 20 of the OAuth 2 specification is being integrated. Support for OAuth 1.0a is still included in the OpenSocial 2.0 specification and has not been deprecated.

    • Common Container: In OpenSocial 2.0, a new optional specification has been added for a common container API. The goal is to simplify the container and gadget integration model. It provides a set of common services that Container developers can leverage for features like in-browser Gadget lifecycle event callbacks, embedded experiences, and selection and action handlers.
Here are a few links that will help you get up to speed on the recent changes and additions:In addition to this announcement, Andrew Davis has another piece of great news on the Shindig side:
Along with releasing the OpenSocial 2.0 spec today, the OpenSocial Foundation is working together with our members companies, and implementor friends at Shindig are proud to announce the availability of the first OpenSocial 2.0 Container, running the latest Shindig 3.0 build, the Open Social Sandbox, at The site is a live demo of the latest features of the OpenSocial 2.0 spec including Embedded Experiences, Declarative Actions, OpenSearch and powerful new open gadgets APIs to enable gadgets to jump out of the box. The site provides tutorials, demo videos and is geared towards enabling gadget developers immediately to build new gadgets, and test them out on the site through the "Customize" button.
Lastly, I wanted to say thank you to the entire community and dedicated participants who have made this major release possible.

Jonathan LeBlanc
Jonathan LeBlanc ()
Jonathan LeBlanc is a principal developer evangelist with X.commerce. Jonathan has been a member of the OpenSocial community for over three years and is the author of O'Reilly's "Programming Social Applications".

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