At Cloud Foundry we care about making life easier for web developers and API developers. Open source helps developers reuse code. Open standards help developers reuse protocols and schemas. We are pleased to announce that VMware has furthered its commitment to open standards with a signed agreement on Activity Streams specifications. VMware signed the Open Web Foundation Agreement (OWFa) for the JSON and Atom Activity Streams specifications, which gives application developers confidence in implementing these open specifications when building web applications and services.
What is OWFa?
In short, the Open Web Foundation Agreement is a promise made by the signing company that they will not assert IP Claims over the work covered in the specification.
OWFa 1.0 grants perpetual (for the duration of the applicable copyright), worldwide, non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free, copyright license, without any obligation for accounting to me, to reproduce, prepare derivative works of, publicly display, publicly perform, sublicense, distribute, and implement any Contribution to the full extent of my copyright interest in the Contribution
What is Activity Streams?
Activity Streams is a generic schema to represent social activity around the web. There are currently two specifications: one for JSON and one for Atom. The main components of an activity as defined by the activitystrea.ms spec are: Actor, Verb and Object with an optional Target. An actor performs an action of type verb on an object in a target. For more information on how this standard can help you build real-time web applications see this blog post by Cloud Foundry Developer Advocate, Monica Wilkinson who is a contributor on the ActivityStrea.ms Specification.
Many social networks in the consumer and enterprise space now offer an Activity Streams API and have implemented the specification. In particular, Google Plus’ API implements the Activity Strea.ms JSON Specification thanks to the efforts of people like Will Norris who is also a contributor in the specification.
Over the course of development of the specification there have been contributions from developers at: MySpace, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, VMWare, Mozilla, StatusNet, IBM and others. It is important that contributors get their companies to sign the OWFa agreement so implementors can be confident when building their applications. To get a full list of the signees checkout github.
To get started building an Activity Streams real-time application you can checkout this tutorial.
We are evaluating starting an official IETF charter for a complete Activity Streams Protocol which would not only cover the schema and syntax, it would also cover the REST endpoints and streaming. If you are interested in becoming a contributor or implementor please join the Activity Streams mailing list.