How to Create OpenSocial Application – Part 4

If you want to modify the sample XML given in part 3, but don’t have access to server, there is always GGE. It’s the acronym for Google Gadget Editor. Basically Google gives you space to save your XML. You can get the URL for your XML file and add the application in Orkut sandbox. You can use the same technique for other open social containers too. If you are puzzled with the term “container”, you may want to check this out. Orkut is an opensocial container. Hi5 is an opensocial container. Any platform that enables you to develop opensocial applications is an opensocial container. You can also implement opensocial container in your website, but that is beyond the scope of this blog post.

If you want to use GGE to create/modify your application’s XML file, go here. You need to be logged on to your google account to save your file in GGE. When you save the file, the file will be saved under your google account.

After you saved the file, you can see the link for the file in the right top of GGE. You can get the location for the application’s XML file from the link.

Once you get the URL for the XML file, add the URL in sandbox and test it. You can also add the application to iGoogle page using the “Publish” option in the File menu of GGE. More information about this is available under GGE editor box.

If you frequently modify your XML, you may need to add “&bpc=1” to your application’s URL in the sandbox to instruct sandbox to take the new XML file. “bpc” is added to bypass cache. For more details, read Arne Roomann-Kurrik’s post in opensocial groups. Once in a while, “bpc” parameter doesn’t work in Orkut sandbox. It would just show the old code. If that happens to you, wait for sometime and try again.

If your Orkut application is ready for prime time, submit your application to the application directory and keep your fingers crossed! It takes more than a week to hear from Orkut. Hi5 responds lot faster, usually within a day or two.

In the next part, we will look at developing opensocial application for Hi5. I feel that learning opensocial application using Orkut sandbox is easier than learning it using Hi5 sandbox. Hi5 sandbox doesn’t implement all the APIs of opensocial. It’s better to develop the opensocial application in Orkut and then to port it to Hi5.

Part 1 | 2 | 3 | 5

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