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Programming Social Applications by Jonathan LeBlanc

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Activity Streams

The Activity Streams specification provides a unified, standard method for working with user activity data across any social container or other place where user commenting or updating may occur. It attempts to provide any possible verbs that an activity in any context may require. This may cover social sites, commenting widgets on news sites, or even enterprise-level software that takes advantages of user updates, interaction, or commenting.

Verbs, and the cordoning of content into logical blocks, are the basis for how Activity Streams works. A single activity stream may consist of several logical blocks, including sections such an actor (information about the person performing the activity), object (the thing being acted upon), or target (trackback information from the activity to the source). Verbs are used to define the type of activity that is being shared, such as whether the user “liked” something, “shared” something, “posted” something, and so on.

How would this change OpenSocial?

As we have seen in previous chapters, OpenSocial defines a standard method for how it outputs activity data for a user action. If Activity Streams were adopted into the OpenSocial specification, this method would be directly affected; the definition of an opensocial.Activity object would change dramatically, providing a much richer data set than is currently implemented.

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