Friday, 26 September 2008

What's the difference among friends?

I'm excited to announce that we've launched two important changes to the iGoogle developer sandbox. First, we have done a major upgrade on the sandbox friends manager that allows you to import, search and create groups of contacts. To share items with a contact, make sure you are in the iGoogle sandbox, and add a contact to the group called "Friends." If you already have the sandbox friends gadget installed, it should automatically upgrade. If not, you can add it here.

For development purposes, if you are sharing with friends in Google Reader, the same contacts in your "Friends" group in Reader will also be in your "Friends" group in the iGoogle sandbox. Your old sandbox friends will have to be added again to the "Friends" group.

In conjunction with the new sandbox friends manager, we are also changing what people and sharing calls return. You can now share content with contacts in your "Friends" group, even if those contacts have not added you to their "Friends" group. For example:
var req = opensocial.newDataRequest();
req.add(req.newFetchPeopleRequest("VIEWER_FRIENDS"), "friends");

Will now return some friends with ids, and some friends without. Friends with ids are those who have you in their "Friends" group, while friends without ids do not.
function response(data) {
var friends = data.get("friends").getData();
friends.each(function(person) {
if (person.getId()) {
alert(person.getDisplayName() + " is a mutual friend.");
} else {
alert(person.getDisplayName() + " hasn't put you in their \"Friends\" group.");

When you post an update, it will be viewable to any person in your "Friends" group.

If you have any questions about these changes, feel free to contact us in the developer forum.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Getting ready for the canvas view

It's been a few weeks since I've provided an update on the status of the canvas view launch. Our experiments with a small percentage of users have been going well, and we've been making some small changes and adjustments based on user feedback (such as reducing the width of the left nav). In the next few weeks we plan on ramping up the number of US English users with the canvas view.

In anticipation of this, we're going to hold a special IRC event on improving existing gadgets by adding a canvas view. During the two hour session, show us your XML and we'll offer suggestions on how you can turn it into a great canvas view gadget. And of course, its a great time to work through any issues you are having in developing canvas view gadgets. To join us, visit the #opensocial channel on next Tuesday (9/23) from 1-3 PDT. See you then!