Today the OpenSocial Foundation released the OpenSocial Explorer, a new open source project meant to help developers learn how to build OpenSocial gadgets.  One of the biggest challenges any developer faces when trying to learn how to build an OpenSocial gadget is how to get started and use all the features provided by the specification.  In theory it seems very easy to get started building an OpenSocial gadget, but as any developer knows, it doesn’t matter how easy a platform is to understand if you don’t have something to help you get started you can, and will strugle.  The OpenSocial Explorer is meant to address this exact issue.  Instead of spending hours getting started building your first gadget it will only take you a few minutes!  The OpenSocial Explorer provides developers with sample gadgets demonstrating how to use various features of the OpenSocial specification and in addition allows developers to modify those samples and re-render the gadget to explore how those changes effect the gadget.  This not only allows you an easy way to understand all the features of OpenSocial but provides a great jumping off point for getting started with your own gadget.

The OpenSocial Explorer is in its infancy at the moment.  We only have a handful of samples in the OpenSocial Explorer and there is no hosted version yet (you need to download the code and build and launch it).  Within in the coming months we will try to address both of these but we need your help!  We are looking for people interested in contributing to the project.  We welcome all contributions so if you are interested in helping out evolve the project please contribute whatever you can!  See the project page for information on how to get started.  While we would love that you contribute code back to the OpenSocial Explorer we realize that may not be possible in all cases, so if you find bugs or would like new features added please create a GitHub issue.

Check out the video below to see how to get started.

Ryan J Baxter

Husband, Father, Software Engineer