Tag Archives: Oauth

Chris Messina Rocks FOWA with OAuth and Portable Data

Must watch TV. Chris Messina at FOWA (Future of Web Apps) in London. “How Oauth and Portable Data can revolutionize your web app.” Good overview of much of the open stack, including OpenID, OAuth, XRDS-simple, and Portable Contacts. Check it out.

Update: I have *no* idea what is going on, but the FOWA team has screwed with all the URLs. I’m still looking for the link to Chris’s talk. If you find it, please comment it up. Apologies in the meantime.

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Netflix: Welcoming a New API for the Social Web

Netflix Developer Network

Yesterday, I learned in a piece by Marshall Kirkpatrick at ReadWriteWeb that Netflix would be opening up an API today. According to Marshall:

the API will allow access to data for 100,000 movie and TV episode titles on DVD as well as Netflix account access on a user’s behalf.

So I checked this morning, and indeed the company has taken the password restriction off of a new Netflix Developer Network site.

This is a great move for Netflix, and it fits in a broader “opening up” trend, in which sites of all sites are making social mashups a central part of their strategies for growth. The Netflix API and site were developed by Mashery, a company that has been making some great moves lately. As covered by Brad Stone of the New York Times, Mashery was also behind the recently launched APIs for Best Buy and for MTV. Great to see the new API uses OAuth for secure access to the data!

Here’s the official blogpost from Netflix. It includes this great section on why they did it:

Why are we doing this? Because we have limited resources and we can only work on so many items at once. We hope that by opening up our APIs we will enable the creative desires of other developers to make a variety of wonderful applications. We expect to see different movie finding approaches, queue management tools, mobile phone applications, social network applications, the integration of Netflix information and capabilities into a variety of other applications, and more. And that, in the end, will further delight our members and other movie watchers in their quest to find and watch movies they’ll love.

Chatting with my colleague and co-host, Joseph Smarr, Plaxo’s chief platform architect, I asked him for his thoughts on the new API. He said, “This is a truly awesome API release. It shows that Netflix is genuinely committed to giving their users full control over their data, and doing it with open standards like OAuth and a familiar REST interface with JSON and ATOM output. Developers couldn’t ask for more, and I’m sure we’ll see incredible uses of this API popping up very soon. We’ll certainly be using it at Plaxo!”

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Joseph Smarr at Web 2.0 on the New “Open Stack”

Joseph Smarr, Plaxo’s chief platform architect, and de facto leader of the Portable Contacts initiative, gave a talk today at the Web 2.0 conference in New York. Entitled “Tying it all together; Implementing the Open Web,” it was a rallying cry for developers to jump in and get working on the new “open stack” of OpenID, OAuth, OpenSocial, XRDS-Simple, and Portable Contacts. See converage from attendees Kris Jordan and Steve Kuhn (who quips about Joseph, “Dude talks fast”)!

Joseph asserted that the industry has now come together around a common vision for the future of the Social Web — a vision that abandons the walled garden model in favor of a new services layer that interconnects social hubs with the rest of the web. The service layer is comprised of Identity Providers, Social Graph Providers, and Content Aggregators:

A Common Vision for the Future of the Social Web

And, indeed, that is the vision behind the strategies we see from Google (with Friend Connect; which launched for real today), Plaxo (with Pulse), MySpace (with Data Availability), Yahoo (with Y!OS), and, yes, even Facebook, too (with Connect).

Joseph goes on to observe that there are two pathways to that vision, one built on Facebook’s proprietary stack and the pathway chosen by MySpace, Google, Yahoo, Plaxo, and many others, built on the new open stack:

The New "Open Stack" for the Social Web

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Thanks, SGI, for the Gift of OpenGL!

I am so pleased to see SGI in a good news story today, after all the years of decline and sadness. Apparently there’s been a problem brewing with the license under which SGI was making OpenGL available, as in it was a license that was “accepted by neither the Free Software Foundation (FSF) nor the Open Source Initiative,” according to Bruse Byfield of Linux.com. The problem has now been resolved through a new license. Details can be found in a press release from SGI. The new license was applauded by both the Free Software Foundation (FSF) and the Khronos Group, an organization developing royalty free standards around OpenGL.

I’ve been thinking about OpenGL recently, as it helped introduce me to open standards, years ago when I worked at SGI. Back in late 1995, after I persuaded SGI to become the first licensee of Java, I tried (and failed) to convince Sun to follow SGI’s lead to make Java a truly open standard, rather than a Sun proprietary thing, with heavy licensing.

Now, as we work to solidify and gain traction for a “new open stack” for the emerging Social Web, I continue to be inspired by the bold idea behind turning SGI’s proprietary “GL” (Graphic Library) and into OpenGL.

The new open stack is comprised of OpenID, OAuth, OpenSocial, XRDS-Simple, and Portable Contacts. Projects as diverse as MySpace Data Availability, Y!OS, Google Friend Connect, and Plaxo Pulse now share a common vision (of an open interoperable Social Web) and are being built out on this common set of open spec building blocks. Each company can innovate faster by not having to waste development resources on creating one-off proprietary APIs. Each company can see more rapid uptake by developers, since those developers can write once and have there code work in more places. And each company can be part of the virtuous cycle of acceleration by contributing code to the open stack.

Exciting times!

The New "Open Stack" for the Social Web

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Yahoo’s “Y!OS”: Strong Proof the Web is Going Social — and Open!

Some really big news came and went last week, with relatively little attention paid to it by the mainstream media. Yahoo, the top Internet site in a major battle to regain it’s “mojo,” unveiled the details of “Y!OS” (Yahoo Open Strategy), a truly bold move that completely re-defines the notion of a portal. [See also nice coverage on Mashable by Rob Diana.]

Just as the “open” wave is transforming social network from walled gardens into aggregation hubs for connecting with the rest of the Web, Y!OS will transform Yahoo from a traditional portal into something entirely new. They’re doing it all by building on top of open spec building blocks, including OpenID, OAuth, and OpenSocial. And they’re not just taking these blocks off the shelf; they’re also giving back, contributing their own innovations in the spirit of let’s-all-work-together to keep the web open.

To learn more about Y!OS, we invited Cody Simms, Sr. Director of Product Management from Yahoo on to our weekly Internet TV show, The Social Web TV. Cody is a really dynamic guy; I think you’ll agree this is a great episode!

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A Big Bang for the Social Web

It’s certainly a big week, what with the Hadron Collider finally coming on line, raising existential risk questions for the planet, as physicists attempt to recreate the conditions immediately after the Big Bang that gave birth to our universe. Meanwhile, in San Francisco, developers are attempting to give birth to a truly open Social Web, by stitching together for the first time the open spec building blocks: OpenID, XRDS-Simple, OAuth, and PortableContacts.

You can participate yourself at the PortableContacts Hackathon this evening, hosted by SixApart. Or you can get the quick overview in this video podcast I did with Plaxo’s Joseph Smarr.

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Announcing “Episode IV: A New Hope”

Are you ready for another episode of The Social Web TV? What better way to end the week? Well, it’s here, “Episode IV: A New Hope“. We welcome a new panelist, Chris Messina, and discuss the growing set of open spec building blocks for the Social Web, including microformats, OpenID, and OAuth.

A New Hope

Defending the Open Specs

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OpenID, OAuth, OpenSocial, Oh My! Joseph Smarr at Google IO

I’m back from two days at the Google IO developer conference in San Francisco. Lots of great sessions in the “hallway track,” with plenty of productive discussions around moving the ball forward on open standards for the Social Web. Great chats with David Recordon, Chris Messina, and many other luminaries. And, not surprisingly, I also attended the talk by Joseph Smarr of Plaxo. It was standing room only, and Joseph did a tour-de-force presentation that explained all the key building blocks and how they fit together. He even teased the crowd with a little insight into an interesting project that’s creating an open spec for secure exchange of address book and friends list data. Listen for it toward the end of the clip above. His talk got a great round of applause, as well as some nice tweets.

Here are a few of my pics from his animated speech. Is it me, or does he look like a young Bill Gates conducting a symphony orchestra?

Joseph Smarr at Google IO 2008 Joseph Smarr at Google IO 2008 Joseph Smarr at Google IO 2008 Joseph Smarr at Google IO 2008 Joseph Smarr at Google IO 2008 Joseph Smarr at Google IO 2008 Joseph Smarr at Google IO 2008 Joseph Smarr at Google IO 2008

Update:

Joseph’s put his presentation up over at his blog.

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The Social Web is Broken

BarCamp, social graph

I, along with many of you, am fighting hard to keep my head above the surface, as I tread the rising waters of the nascent Social Web. New sites are popping up every day. Join one, and you’re likely to go through a drill that’s become all too familiar: Generate another username/password pair. Recreate your profile. Slurp in your GMail or other address books. Build up your friends list all over again. In the process, generate a ton of connection request emails (also called “bac’n” — not quite spam, but not good for you).

Robert Scoble highlights these problems in the upcoming May issue of Fast Company magazine in an article entitled, “How to Fix the Web.” Those of us working on the problem, appreciate the continued advocacy from Robert, who became a poster child for the issue of “data portability” in early January. Sharing the controversy with Robert, I did feel some intense heat from a very polarized debate at the time, but in hindsight, the pain was worth it. Within days, the DataPortability.org workgroup managed to sign up Google, Plaxo, and Facebook, in a move widely credited with setting the stage for 2008 to be the year of data portability.

For those interested in helping move the ball forward, I encourage you to attend the Data Sharing Workshop in San Francisco in the next two days. It kicks off at 9:00 AM tomorrow.

In my view, we are really on the cusp of the opening up of the true Social Web. Making it all possible is a collection of building block technologies (OpenID, Oauth, microformats, OpenSocial, the Social Graph API, and one or two still-missing pieces). But none of those technologies is anything a user needs to know about or understand. These enabling technologies need to get wrapped up into three or more critical services of the Social Web: Identity Providers (examples Clickpass and Yahoo!), Social Graph Providers (stay tuned: Plaxo? Facebook? Others?), and Content Aggregators (Plaxo Pulse, FriendFeed, Iminta, SocialThing, Facebook, and a new one every week!).

Want more detail on this vision and how it snaps together? Be sure to see Joseph Smarr’s talk next Wednesday at the Web 2.0 Expo.

Or see the great post by Kaliya (a.k.a “Identity Woman”), who is facilitating the unconference aspect of the Data Sharing Summit.

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