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Web companies settle on OpenSocial 0.9 specs

The latest incarnation of the standard for building Web applications is now in draft form.

MySpace, Google, Yahoo, and other allies have settled on what they think should be in version 0.9 of OpenSocial, a standard designed to make it easier for programmers to write Web applications that will work on multiple Web sites.

The draft version of OpenSocial includes a number of new features to ease programmers' difficulties, according a blog post by MySpace architect Scott Seely. He describes some changes, though reserving most details for future posts, but here's MySpace's boiled-down list:

• OpenSocial Markup Language--gadget developers can create/modify templates by copying and pasting HTML
• API (application programming interface) for Albums--standard way apps look at a user's media (photos, songs, and movies) and allows developers to add/manage new albums
• Proxied content--OpenSocial developers can host applications on their own servers using tools they prefer such as Ruby, PHP, .NET
• Definition of fetch/cache/invalidate model--reduces load on development servers by stating which items can be stored by MySpace and other containers
• Simplified JS (JavaScript) API--reduces the amount of code one needs to write for an OpenSocial application

OpenSocial allies plan a developer release of OpenSocial 0.9 in January.