Feeds

OpenSocial, OpenID, and Google Gears: Three technologies for history's dustbin

A poke is not a revolution

Boost IT visibility and business value

Fail and You Hey, does anybody remember Google's OpenSocial? Come on, it hasn't even been a year since it was announced. OpenSocial was supposed to unify social network application developers behind one common API. Revolutionary, innovative, all that shit.

Still nothing? Ah, okay. What about OpenID, the best damned federated authentication scheme the world has ever seen, but nobody in the world can figure out how to use? If not, surely you must have heard of Google Gears. This was the Firefox plug-in that was supposed to establish Google as a first-rate operating system vendor, even before Chrome was supposed to do the exact same thing?

I'm still waiting for these technologies to change the world...any day now.

It's Like A Venereal Disease Transmitted by TCP/IP

If there's one thing all engineers love to do, it's create APIs. It's so awesome because you can draw on a white board and feel like you put in a good day's work, despite having solved no real, actual problems. Web 2.0 engineers, in addition to their intrinsic love of APIs, have a real hard-on for anything having to do with a social network. For example, developing a Facebook application lets them call their shitty little PHP program an "application" running on a "platform," like a real, live computer programmer does. Make-believe time is so much fun, even for adults.

This situation gets really dangerous when you start to involve people from San Francisco. Every person who lives in San Francisco has the intention of starting a nonprofit organization of some sort. Therefore, if you collect a bunch of Web 2.0 engineers in San Francisco, the inevitable outcome is the OpenSocial Foundation: a nonprofit organization that only exists to support an API for programming social network applications.

As a result of this upbringing, programming with the OpenSocial API feels a bit like being bukkaked with tolerance and understanding.

Like every other product Google has released since search and ads, OpenSocial has been a dud. It served its purpose: generating talk about Google in the social networking sphere, all the while being thinly veiled as an act of benevolence. Unfortunately, excitement died off quickly as people remembered that they don't really give a shit about social networks. To date, Google's featured OpenSocial applications are:

  • BuddyPoke - "Hug, kiss, tickle, or punch your friends with your own personalized 3D avatar."
  • PayPal - "Make transactions with your friends via PayPal."
  • My NYT - "Get the latest [New York Times] news and share articles with your friends."

My, what a hotbed of innovation.

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
Why has the web gone to hell? Market chaos and HUMAN NATURE
Tim Berners-Lee isn't happy, but we should be
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store
DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! Naughty, misleading developers!
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?