Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

File Under: Business, Events, HTML5

Adobe’s Kevin Lynch: Apple’s Playing a Legal Game, Not a Technology Game

Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch. Photo: Adobe

Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch. Photo: Adobe

SAN FRANCISCO — Adobe’s CTO wants to make it clear that the public battle between HTML5 and Flash isn’t about technology, it’s about politics.

“The story is not about HTML5 vs. Flash,” Adobe’s Kevin Lynch says. “It’s about freedom of choice in the industry.”

Lynch says developers should be able to use whatever tools they want to create whatever experiences they want on the web.

“There are some who would like to wall off parts of the web and require you to get their approval to create something,” he says.

Lynch spoke Wednesday morning at the Web 2.0 Expo taking place here at Moscone West. The twice-per-year developer conference focuses on all things web, and though the audience is primarily made up of developers, the talks often turn to current events in the tech world.

Adobe has certainly been in the news quite a bit lately, with its Flash platform and Flash Player being derided by Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who has disallowed Flash on the iPad and the company’s other mobile devices, and has banned apps created in Flash from being sold in the company’s App Store by changing the wording of the developer’s agreement for its latest iPhone OS.

Lynch didn’t refer to Apple by name until prompted by Web 2.0 Expo program chair Brady Forrest, who was interviewing Lynch on stage.

“Are you referring to Apple and the iPhone,” Forrest asked.

Lynch shot back: “Are you reading between the lines?”

“Apple’s playing this strategy where they want to create a walled garden around what people use,” Lynch continued.

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File Under: Events

8 Sessions You Shouldn’t Miss at Web 2.0 Expo


Tomorrow’s web is being built by a vast community of programmers and designers spread around the globe. They’re all forging new paths on their own, but it’s when they find the occasion to get together and compare notes that the sparks really fly.

Such a gathering is happening this week in San Francisco at the Web 2.0 Expo, a conference put on every six months or so by tech publisher O’Reilly.

Just like other developer conferences, there’s an expo floor and parties at night, but the meat of the event is the mix of talks, hands-on sessions, keynotes and presentations about all things web. There are sessions on browsers, Flash, HTML5, geolocation, JavaScript, advertising platforms, cloud computing and online communities.

It can all be a bit much, so here are our picks for the sessions you simply shouldn’t miss at the Web 2.0 Expo. Certainly, there will be others of great importance to you depending on your area of expertise (and you can view the full schedule here), but these are the sessions that we Webmonkeys are most looking forward to.

All sessions are taking place at Moscone West in San Francisco. The conference sessions start Tuesday and run through Thursday morning. Intensive educational tracks are taking place Monday, May 3. Follow coverage here on Webmonkey and on Twitter under the hashtag #w2e.

HTML5 vs. Flash: Webocalypse Now?

Tuesday, 10:00am, room 2001

Design guru and author Eric Meyer leads this discussion about the future of Flash on the HTML5-powered web. Don’t expect a Flash-bash session, though. It’s true that Flash has been taking a beating lately, but it still has a place in the modern, media-saturated web. Meyer will examine issues central to the Flash vs. HTML5 debate, including openness, security and performance.

A Conversation with Paul Buchheit

Tuesday, 4:10pm, Main Hall

This keynote interview will occur on the main stage, as Web 2.0 Expo program chair Sarah Milstein dishes the tough questions to Facebook’s Paul Buchheit. Now one of Facebook’s lead engineers, Buchheit originally arrived at the social networking giant when it acquired his start-up, FriendFeed (he was also one of the engineers behind Gmail at Google). Facebook has since incorporated many of FriendFeed’s innovations around real-time social publishing into its core product, the constantly-updating News Feed that scrolls down your Profile page. But that’s just the beginning of Buchheit’s story at Facebook. We can expect some discussion around the company’s new Open Graph platform it launched in April.

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File Under: Events, Social, Web Standards

Facebook Adopts Open Standard for User Logins

Oauth logo

SAN FRANCISCO — As we predicted, Facebook is switching to an open standard to handle user authentication across its entire platform of connected websites and applications.

Facebook is ditching its proprietary Facebook Connect system, which lets people use their Facebook username and password to log in to other sites around the web. In its place, the company will implement OAuth 2.0, an open source (and soon to be IETF standard) protocol for user authentication.

Viewed along side the barrage of other major announcements unleashed by Facebook at its F8 developer conference here on Wednesday, the move may only seem like a minor data point. But it is one with the potential to make a broad and deeply significant impact on the social web.

Right now, users expect three choices for logging in to a site with an existing ID: Facebook Connect, Twitter or OpenID. That forces publishers to implement three separate systems — one for OpenID, one for Twitter, which uses OAuth, and one for Facebook, which uses Facebook Connect. But once OAuth 2.0 is up to speed and more sites move over to it, things get simpler for site owners.

Where there used to be three options — Facebook Connect, OAuth and OpenID — there will now only be two. And the two that are left are both open source.

There are still details involving token management, auto-registration and other bits of complex backend plumbing to be sorted out, that Wednesday’s events don’t change.

But the move towards OAuth is a step towards interoperability the social web sorely needs. Most importantly, it will be easier to build pathways connecting OAuth and OpenID, since both are fully transparent, open standards and the proprietary Facebook Connect system has been removed from the equation. The switch paves the way for further integrations between existing technologies.
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File Under: APIs, Events, Social

Adding Facebook ‘Like’ Buttons to Your Site Is Damn Easy

Like this? Yes, "Like" this.

I want to offer a quick look inside the technology behind Facebook’s Open Graph initiative to show how easy it is to mark up your website and let Facebook users interact with it.

This is only a part of the broad Open Graph strategy the company announced at its 2010 F8 developer conference. (Read our full coverage of the keynote).

Basically, Facebook is offering up a set of widgets — it calls them Social Plug-ins — that you can drop into any web page to make that page more “Facebooky.” There’s a Like button, a Recommendations widget that shows what other pages people’s friends are reading, an Activity Stream widget that shows a simplified version of the visitor’s personal Facebook news feed, and a Facebook Bar, a toolbar site owners can float at the bottom of the screen that serves all of these things at once.

Using the Open Graph widgets, you can incorporate some of Facebook’s key social interaction features into any page on the web.

The most important Social Plug-in, and the one we’ll no doubt see the most use of, is the Like button. Put it on your page, and if a Facebook user visits your site and clicks on it, a link to your page gets added to their activity stream. Suddenly, all of their friends can see that link, click on it and be led directly to your page. When that second person arrives, the Like button is personalized for them — it shows which of their friends have already clicked it, and when they click on it, a link to your page gets added to their stream.

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File Under: Events, Social

Facebook Shows Off New Tools to Socialize the Entire Web

SAN FRANCISCO, California — Facebook is launching a new suite of tools that bring the Facebook social experience to any site on the web.

The company is releasing a set of products called Social Plugins, which any web publishers can drop into their website using one very simple line of code. These plug-ins will let visitors “Like” news stories, photos and so on. Once a user likes something, it instantly gets added to the appropriate section of their Facebook profile.

The plug-ins are part of a new Facebook initiative to make every website on the internet sharable across its network, something the company is calling the Open Graph.

The announcements were made by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and platform engineer Brett Taylor at the company’s F8 developer’s conference taking place here Wednesday.

Facebook will roll out the Like buttons Wednesday morning, and Zuckerberg boldly estimates that within 24 hours, there will be one billion Like buttons across the web.

Facebook has often been branded as the next AOL, a website that basically recreates several experiences available on the open web — chat, e-mail and link sharing — behind a closed gate. But with Wednesday’s Open Graph announcements, the company is giving website owners a bigger door into Facebook’s closed system using simple HTML tools and by incorporating open standards into its authentication system.

Zuckerberg, speaking with his trademark brand of stiff, awkward enthusiasm, calls the new Open Graph initiative “the most transformative thing we’ve ever done for the web.”

A grand platitude, certainly, but one of the most transformative shifts in Facebook’s policies, as it enables sites to more easily link up their content on the open web with the Facebook ecosystem and access its 400 million active users.

“With these tools, any web page can become a Facebook page,” Taylor says. “If you don’t like the way Facebook pages look, just make your own. Add the Like buttons and the Open Graph elements and you’ve got a page that’s fully integrated into Facebook.”
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