Accessibility, OpenSocial, and other OpenAjax news

Blogged by: Jon Ferraiolo on October 2, 2010 at 7:50 am

(1) Press coverage of OpenAjax’s accessibility activities

On August 4, the OAA sent out a recent press release on recent accessibility activities. You can find pointers to that press release and pointers to some of the press coverage (there was actually a large amount of coverage) at the following location:

(2) Vote coming soon on creating a formal Accessibility Working Group

The Accessibility Task Force has been very active in the past several year and continues to be active. There is a likelihood of one or two major companies joining this effort in the coming weeks.

The task force is in the middle of promoting themselves from Task Force to a formal Working Group because they want their main specification to become an official OpenAjax Alliance Specification. They have already posted a charter and held the Creation Review phone call:

(3) OpenAjax Hub integration into OpenSocial Gadgets

Some members of the OpenAjax Alliance Interoperability Working Group have been very active in coordination efforts with OpenSocial Foundation to add OpenAjax Hub 2.0 into the OpenSocial Gadgets specification so that Gadgets will use the OAHub for inter-gadget publish/subscribe communications. That coordination effort has been going on for almost a year now and is coming to the finish line. The results of this coordination effort:

  • The Gadgets 1.1 specification will reference the OAHub 2.0 specification as the definition of the pubsub APIs
  • The Shindig open source project will include a copy of major pieces of the OAHub 2.0 open source code
  • We have merged the low-level message transport layer between the Shindig open source project and the OpenAjax Hub open source project so that both open source efforts are using the exact same code. (This was mostly a case of OAHub merging in the gadgets.rpc code as a replacement for the “SMash” code that IBM Research contributed to IBM to OAA in 2007)

The Gadgets 1.1 spec (with the reference to OAHub 20) is scheduled for approval and completion this fall and the updated Shindig open source code (with OAHub inside) is scheduled for completion early in 2011.

(4) OpenAjax Hub enhancements for persisting data

There has been recent discussion in the Interoperability WG about enhancing the OAHub specification and/or open source to add a feature where it will be possible to persist the most recently transmitted data associated with a particular event so that clients can retrieve those values. This is mostly targeted at the case where a new widget is added to a mashup after an event has been published and therefore the new widget will not have noticed the event. No decisions have been made yet about whether to add this feature to an updated OAHub spec.

(5) OpenAjax Metadata 1.0 Approval in spring 2010

The OpenAjax Metadata 1.0 spec was approved in spring 2010 and had some nice coverage in Ajaxian:

(6) OpenAjax Metadata – using JSON as an alternative to XML

One complaint from the community about OpenAjax Metadata was that it uses XML instead of JSON. (“XML metadata. Oh yeah, another commitee with a knowledge set of the previous century?”) A few weeks ago, I sent email to the IDE WG about work that IBM is doing with OpenAjax Widgets where we are using a JSON version of OAM instead of XML:

This might develop into a OpenAjax Metadata spec update.

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