It is fun to see the wheel turn around again. I remember when EJB containers were the cats meow, and now when I hear someone say “container” in a meeting it is a social one.
I am happy to see some innovation from the Orkut folks. I have often been frustrated when I have clicked through something and been asked to install an application when I just wanted to see something simple. It makes me so mad that I never say no!
With OpenSocial, it’s possible to create environments where applications can spread because they provide great user experiences. The metric for success would be not the number of installs an application receives, but user engagement and happiness. Environments that focus on more than viral growth cultivate healthy, organic growth and usage. This contributes to the long-term sustainability of social platforms for both users and developers.
To that end, you’ll notice there are a number of functions in the OpenSocial API starting with “request” (e.g. requestShareApp, requestSendMessage). These functions define an agreement between the applications developer and the host container that allows the container to optionally prompt the user for more input, or simply deny the request. While each container will be able to define its own policy, we encourage apps developers and containers to take advantage of these functions to create an “install-free” user experience.