Monday, December 10th, 2007

OpenSocial Container Checker: IGCheck

Category: Social Networks, Testing

Didier Durand wanted to check the compliance of various OpenSocial containers, so he decided to create a tool, IGCheck, that will do the checking for him:

The purpose of IGCheck is to test and report which functions of the Google Gadget API (i.e., prefixed with _IG_ in their Javascript name) are available in which containers. IGCheck then produces a report comparing the current test with reference data.

To get current status, check this page to see the most current result that we can produce concerning igoogle, orkut, hi5 & ning.

As the number of opensocial partners that are open for tests remain limited as of now, the following conclusions can be drawn as of now :

  • Orkut uses the gmodules infrastructure of Google Gadgets to run the opensocial api (see the line “host” in the result array)
  • Hi5 does the same and as such seems to have “outsourced” the task of running its opensocial container to Google (see the line “host” in the result array)
  • Ning has followed a more independent approach by implementing a fully independent container named “proxy.ning.com” (see the line “host” in the result array)
  • The choice of Ning has currently drawbacks: IGCheck finds only 6 _IG_ functions whereas 55 are present in the others. (see the line “count” in the result array)
  • Ning seems to have created its own function(s) with _IG_Prefix: a function “G_Tabs” is present in the Ning container but nowhere else(see the line “_IG_Tabs” in the result array).

The conclusions above are preliminary results only:

  • the current and future containers will have to converge after the current pioneering phase in order to reach the promise “Write Once, Run Anywhere” although the fact that IGCheck itself is a proof of partial achievement (IGCheck source code is unique for all containers)
  • the opensocial initiative will have to get more precise on Google Gadget API requirements: the debate on this topic is currently hot on the opensocial discussion group as nothing (at least to my knowledge…) has been clearly and officially stated in this area until now . A poll is under way. The target is to get opinions of developers and eventually to define to which extent opensocial containers have to implement the _IG_ API.

See the current results, and help Didier get this running in other containers.

Posted by Dion Almaer at 6:40 am
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