Matt RaibleMatt Raible is a Web Architecture Consultant specializing in open source frameworks.

10+ YEARS


Over 10 years ago, I wrote my first blog post. Since then, I've authored books, had kids, traveled the world, found Trish and blogged about it all.

Grails OAuth and LinkedIn APIs

Back in November, I wrote about how to talk to LinkedIn APIs with GWT. A week later, I figured out how to do it with Grails and contributed a patch to the grails-oauth plugin.

Since then, a few folks have asked how I did it. Since code speaks louder than words, I took some time and 1) verified the oauth plugin works as expected and 2) created an example application demonstrating functionality. You can find the results in my fork of grails-oauth on GitHub. You can also view the example online.

Below is a quick tutorial explaining how to integrate LinkedIn into your Grails application.

  1. Download and install Grails 1.1.2.
  2. Run grails create-app to create your application.
  3. Add the following to the bottom of grails-app/conf/Config.groovy:
    oauth {
        linkedin {
            requestTokenUrl="https://api.linkedin.com/uas/oauth/requestToken"
            accessTokenUrl="https://api.linkedin.com/uas/oauth/accessToken"
            authUrl="https://api.linkedin.com/uas/oauth/authorize"
            consumer.key="XXX"
            consumer.secret="XXX"
        }
    }
    
    You can get your consumer.key and consumer.secret at https://www.linkedin.com/secure/developer. Make sure to set the OAuth Redirect URL to http://localhost:8080/{your.app.name}/oauth/callback for testing.
  4. Download the oauth-plugin, extract it and build it using grails package-plugin. Install it in your project using grails install-plugin path/to/zip.
  5. Add a link to the GSP you want to invoke LinkedIn Authentication from:
    <g:oauthLink consumer='linkedin' returnTo="[controller:'profile']">
        Login with LinkedIn
    </g:oauthLink>
    
  6. Create grails-app/controllers/ProfileController.groovy to access your LinkedIn Profile.
    class ProfileController {
        def apiUrl = "http://api.linkedin.com/v1/people/~"
        def oauthService
        
        def index = {
     
            if (session.oauthToken == null) {
                redirect(uri:"/")
            }
     
            if (params?.apiUrl) apiUrl = params.apiUrl
            
            def response = oauthService.accessResource(
                    apiUrl, 'linkedin', [key:session.oauthToken.key, secret:session.oauthToken.secret], 'GET')
     
            render(view: 'index', model: [profileXML: response, apiUrl: apiUrl])
        }
     
        def change = {
            if (params?.apiUrl) {
                println("Setting api url to " + params.apiUrl)
                apiUrl = params.apiUrl
            }
            
            redirect(action:index,params:params)
        }
    }
    
  7. Create grails-app/views/profile/index.gsp to display the retrieved profile and allow subsequent API calls.
    <html>
    <head><title>Your Profile</title></head>
    <body>
    <a class="home" href="${createLinkTo(dir:'')}">Home</a>
    <g:hasOauthError>
        <div class="errors">
            <g:renderOauthError/>
        </div>
    </g:hasOauthError>
    
    <g:form url="[action:'change',controller:'profile']" method="get">
        Your LinkedIn Profile:
        <textarea id="payload" style="width: 100%; height: 50%; color: red">${profileXML}</textarea>
        <p>
            <g:textField name="apiUrl" value="${apiUrl}" size="100%"/>
            <br/>
            <g:submitButton name="send" value="Send Request"/>
        </p>
    </g:form>
    </body>
    </html>
    
  8. Start your app using grails run-app and enjoy.

As mentioned earlier, you can download the grails-oauth-example or view it online.

One improvement I'd like to see is to simplify the parsing of XML into a Profile object, much like the linkedin gem does for Rails.

If you're interested in learning more about LinkedIn and OAuth, I encourage you to checkout Taylor Singletary's presentation LinkedIn OAuth: Zero to Hero.

Update: I updated the oauth-plugin so it's backwards-compatible with OAuth 1.0 and added Twitter to the example application to prove it. If you're seeing "Cannot invoke method remove() on null object", it's likely caused by your redirect URL pointing to an application on a different domain.

Posted in Java at Dec 22 2009, 03:37:57 PM MST 7 Comments

GWT OAuth and LinkedIn APIs

LinkedIn Logo When I worked at LinkedIn last year, I received a lot of inquiries from friends and developers about LinkedIn's APIs. After a while, I started sending the following canned response:

For API access to build LinkedIn features into your application, fill out the following form:

   http://www.linkedin.com/static?key=developers_apis

For requests to build an application, go to:

   http://www.linkedin.com/static?key=developers_opensocial

I talked with the API team and they did say they look at every request that's sent via these forms. They don't respond to all of them b/c they know that many people would be angry if they told them "no", so they'd rather not have that headache.

Yesterday, I was pumped to see that they've finally decided to open up their API to Developers.

Starting today, developers worldwide can integrate LinkedIn into their business applications and Web sites. Developer.linkedin.com is now live and open for business.

First of all, congratulations to the API team on finally making this happen! I know it's no small feat. Secondly, it's great to see them using Jive SBS for their API documentation and developer community. My current client uses this to facilitate development and I love how it integrates a wiki, JIRA, FishEye, Crucible and Bamboo into one central jumping off point.

I've always been a fan of LinkedIn, ever since I joined way back in May 2003. However, I've longed for a way to access my data. LinkedIn Widgets are nice, but there's something to be said for the full power of an API. Last night, I sat down for a couple hours and enhanced my Implementing OAuth with GWT example to support LinkedIn's API.

I'm happy to report my experiment was a success and you can download GWT OAuth 1.2 or view it online. For now, I'm simply authenticating with OAuth and accessing the Profile API.

OAuth with GWT

In the process, I learned a couple things:

// For LinkedIn's OAuth API, convert request parameters to an AuthorizationHeader
if (httpServletRequest.getRequestURL().toString().contains("linkedin-api")) {
    String[] parameters = httpServletRequest.getQueryString().split("&");
    StringBuilder sb = new StringBuilder("OAuth realm=\"http://api.linkedin.com/\",");
    for (int i = 0; i < parameters.length; i++) {
        sb.append(parameters[i]);
        if (i < parameters.length - 1) {
            sb.append(",");
        }
    }

    Header authorization = new Header("Authorization", sb.toString());
    httpMethodProxyRequest.setRequestHeader(authorization);
}

You might recall that my previous example had issues authenticating with Google, but worked well with Twitter. LinkedIn's authentication seems to work flawlessly. This leads me to believe that Twitter and LinkedIn have a much more mature OAuth implementation than Google.

Related OAuth News: Apache Roller 5 will be shipping with OAuth support. See Dave Johnson's What's New in Roller 5 presentation for more information.

Update December 6, 2009: I modified the gwt-oauth project to use GWT 1.7.1 and changed to the Maven GWT Plugin from Codehaus. Download GWT OAuth 1.3 or view it online.

Posted in The Web at Nov 24 2009, 03:46:05 PM MST 7 Comments

The good ol' Job Hunt

Just over two years ago, I wrote about the good ol' job hunt. Today, I find myself in a very similar situation. My Evite gig ends in a couple hours and I'm heading to The Cabin on Monday for a month of vacation. Similar to last time, there are opportunities out there, but most of them come through recruiters.

I have to admit - it seems like I got lucky the last couple times I tried to find a gig. I simply blogged I was looking and found myself negotiating with companies a few days later. Getting laid off from LinkedIn was awesome in that a few companies contacted me about hiring the whole team the next day. The ability to blog-and-get-a-gig was a great way to cut out the middle-man.

Unfortunately, I think I got spoiled by my blog-and-get-a-gig success. I figured it would happen again this time...

Not so much.

I don't know if it's because of the down economy or because I took the year off from speaking at conferences. Regardless, I'm in an interesting situation since I signed a 1-year lease on an office in downtown Denver. It's easy to market to companies in Denver, but if I land a gig here, there's a good chance the client is going to want me in the office everyday. That leaves me wondering: what's the best way to market to companies outside of Colorado? My ideal contract is one that 1) allows me to work remotely and 2) only requires me to travel once or twice a month.

I believe my ideal gigs are out there, but I think it's difficult to convince companies I'm a good remote worker. In an attempt to convince them otherwise, I'd like to offer recommendations from my last two clients.

"Matt contributed dramatically to the engineering practice at Evite, both directly and indirectly. Directly, he lead the effort to define and prove a successful new web UI architecture for us. Indirectly, he brought senior engineering talent into the organization, and energized the existing team. We are significantly better positioned to deliver on our Product goals as a result of having worked with Matt. I'd love to work with him again someday." David Thomas, VP of Technology, Evite

"Matt has unique abilities in the realm of software engineering. He brings great energy, an amazing breadth of knowledge in UI technologies, along with a can-do attitude that's refreshing to interact with. He is a great leader and communicator. In addition, Matt can apply his deep understanding of the technologies in question pragmatically to the engineering problem at hand, leading his team in execution and delivery. He's an excellent technical visionary to complement any team." Arnold Goldberg, Vice President Platform Engineering, LinkedIn

If you're looking to hire someone with my skills, let me know - there's a good chance you'll be glad you did. ;-)

Posted in Java at Jun 26 2009, 03:30:42 PM MDT 9 Comments

Creating a Facebook-style Autocomplete with GWT

Have you used the "To:" widget on on Facebook or LinkedIn when composing a message? It's an autocompleter that looks up contact names and displays them as you type. It looks like a normal textbox (a.k.a. <input type="text">), but wraps the contact name to allow you to easily delete it. Here's a screenshot of what Facebook's widget looks like.

Facebook Autocomplete

Last week, I was asked to create a similar widget with GWT. After searching the web and not finding much, I decided to try writing my own. The best example I found on how to create this widget was from James Smith's Tokenizing Autocomplete jQuery Plugin. I used its demo to help me learn how the DOM changed after you selected a contact.

GWT's SelectBox allows you to easily create an autocompleter. However, it doesn't have support for multiple values (for example, a comma-delimited list). The good news is it's not difficult to add this functionality using Viktor Zaprudnev's HowTo. Another feature you might want in a SelectBox is to populate it with POJOs. GWT SuggestBox backed by DTO Model is a good blog post that shows how to do this.

Back to the Facebook Autocompleter. To demonstrate how to create this widget in GWT, I put together a simple application. You can view the demo or download it. The meat of this example is in an InputListWidget. After looking at the jQuery example, I learned the widget was a <div> with a unordered list (<ul>). It starts out looking like this:

<ul class="token-input-list-facebook">
    <li class="token-input-input-token-facebook">
        <input type="text" style="outline-color: -moz-use-text-color; outline-style: none; outline-width: medium;"/>
    </li>
</ul>

I did this in GWT using custom BulletList and ListItem widgets (contained in the download).

final BulletList list = new BulletList();
list.setStyleName("token-input-list-facebook");

final ListItem item = new ListItem();
item.setStyleName("token-input-input-token-facebook");

final TextBox itemBox = new TextBox();
itemBox.getElement().setAttribute("style", 
        "outline-color: -moz-use-text-color; outline-style: none; outline-width: medium;");

final SuggestBox box = new SuggestBox(getSuggestions(), itemBox);
box.getElement().setId("suggestion_box");

item.add(box);
list.add(item);

After tabbing off the input, I noticed that it was removed and replaced with a <p> around the value and a <span> to show the "x" to delete it. After adding a couple items, the HTML is as follows:

<ul class="token-input-list-facebook">
    <li class="token-input-token-facebook">
        <p>What's New Scooby-Doo?</p>
        <span class="token-input-delete-token-facebook">x</span>
    </li>
    <li class="token-input-token-facebook">
        <p>Fear Factor</p>
        <span class="token-input-delete-token-facebook">x</span>
     </li>
     <li class="token-input-input-token-facebook">
         <input type="text" style="outline-color: -moz-use-text-color; outline-style: none; outline-width: medium;"/>
     </li>
</ul>

To do this, I created a deselectItem() method that triggers the DOM transformation.

private void deselectItem(final TextBox itemBox, final BulletList list) {
    if (itemBox.getValue() != null && !"".equals(itemBox.getValue().trim())) {
        /** Change to the following structure:
         * <li class="token-input-token-facebook">
         * <p>What's New Scooby-Doo?</p>
         * <span class="token-input-delete-token-facebook">x</span>
         * </li>
         */

        final ListItem displayItem = new ListItem();
        displayItem.setStyleName("token-input-token-facebook");
        Paragraph p = new Paragraph(itemBox.getValue());

        displayItem.addClickHandler(new ClickHandler() {
            public void onClick(ClickEvent clickEvent) {
                displayItem.addStyleName("token-input-selected-token-facebook");
            }
        });

        Span span = new Span("x");
        span.addClickHandler(new ClickHandler() {
            public void onClick(ClickEvent clickEvent) {
                list.remove(displayItem);
            }
        });

        displayItem.add(p);
        displayItem.add(span);
        
        list.insert(displayItem, list.getWidgetCount() - 1);
        itemBox.setValue("");
        itemBox.setFocus(true);
    }
}

This method is called after selecting a new item from the SuggestBox:

box.addSelectionHandler(new SelectionHandler() {
    public void onSelection(SelectionEvent selectionEvent) {
        deselectItem(itemBox, list);
    }
});

I also added the ability for you to type in an e-mail address manually and to delete the previous item when you backspace from the input field. Here's the handler that calls deselectItem() and allows deleting with backspace:

// this needs to be on the itemBox rather than box, or backspace will get executed twice
itemBox.addKeyDownHandler(new KeyDownHandler() {
    public void onKeyDown(KeyDownEvent event) {
        if (event.getNativeKeyCode() == KeyCodes.KEY_ENTER) {
            // only allow manual entries with @ signs (assumed email addresses)
            if (itemBox.getValue().contains("@"))
                deselectItem(itemBox, list);
        }
        // handle backspace
        if (event.getNativeKeyCode() == KeyCodes.KEY_BACKSPACE) {
            if ("".equals(itemBox.getValue().trim())) {
                ListItem li = (ListItem) list.getWidget(list.getWidgetCount() - 2);
                Paragraph p = (Paragraph) li.getWidget(0);

                list.remove(li);
                itemBox.setFocus(true);
            }
        }
    }
});

I'm happy with the results, and grateful for the jQuery plugin's CSS. However, it still has one issue that I haven't been able to solve: I'm unable to click on a list item (to select it) and then delete it (with the backspace key). I believe this is because I'm unable to give focus to the list item. Here's the code that highlights the item and you can see the commented-out code that doesn't work.

displayItem.addClickHandler(new ClickHandler() {
    public void onClick(ClickEvent clickEvent) {
        displayItem.addStyleName("token-input-selected-token-facebook");
    }
});

/** TODO: Figure out how to select item and allow deleting with backspace key
displayItem.addKeyDownHandler(new KeyDownHandler() {
    public void onKeyDown(KeyDownEvent event) {
        if (event.getNativeKeyCode() == KeyCodes.KEY_BACKSPACE) {
            list.remove(displayItem);
        }
    }
});
displayItem.addBlurHandler(new BlurHandler() {
    public void onBlur(BlurEvent blurEvent) {
        displayItem.removeStyleName("token-input-selected-token-facebook");
    }
});
*/

If you know of a solution to this issue, please let me know. Feel free to use this widget and improve it as you see fit. I'd love to see this as a native widget in GWT. In the meantime, here's the GWT Facebook-style Autocomplete demo and code.

Posted in Java at Jun 05 2009, 07:05:10 AM MDT 25 Comments

Bye Bye Dream Machine

Mac Pro This evening, I'm shipping back one of my favorite machines of all time. I received a fully-loaded Mac Pro as part of my employment with LinkedIn last June. It was necessary to run the LinkedIn application locally and I thoroughly enjoyed using it for the last 6 months. With 12GB of RAM and two 23" monitors, it was a great employee perk.

When I became a contractor again, they let me take my dream machine home. I promptly plugged in my 30" monitor and I've been loving my home work environment ever since. I could have bought the machine from LinkedIn, but I discovered I can buy a brand new machine with similar specs for less than their asking price.

The good news is I'm now able to answer the question I asked a couple years ago: One 30" monitor or two 23" monitors? IMO, one 30" monitor is definitely better and two 30" monitors would be awesome.

In addition to the Mac Pro, I'll also be shipping back the 15" MacBook Pro they gave me. This leaves me with my 17" MacBook Pro and an old HP Pavilion with Windows XP. I was hoping to plug my 30" into the HP, but I discovered I don't have a DVI card that will handle it. Over the next few months, I do plan on buying a new MacBook Pro (for work) and a Mac Pro (for home). With my running commute, I need to leave one machine downtown and I like to have one at home for the kids + late night hacking.

I'm currently having a hard time deciding if I should buy a MacBook Pro now or make do with what I have and just buy a new DVI card for my Windows box. I'm leaning towards a new 15" MacBook Pro (17" is too big to travel with). If I could get one with a 256GB SSD, I'd definitely be sold.

What would you do?

Posted in Mac OS X at Jan 26 2009, 10:18:33 PM MST 19 Comments

LinkedIn Cuts 10% (a.k.a. The Journey is Over)

This morning, my co-workers and I discovered that LinkedIn decided to trim 10% of its employees. The Denver Office was among those that were laid off. I can't say we didn't see the writing on the wall. In fact, on the evening of October 15, I sent the following e-mail to my co-workers:

LinkedIn's top investor[1] is Sequoia Capital and they recently posted this presentation on the web.

http://www.slideshare.net/eldon/sequoia-capital-on-startups-and-the-economic-downturn-presentation?type=powerpoint

Notice the reduce head count recommendations. ... Oh well, life goes on. ;-)

Raible

[1] http://www.linkedin.com/static?key=investors

So, as of today, there is no LinkedIn Denver office. While I had a lot of fun being a UI Architect and managing Engineers, I'm somewhat happy this has happened. After all, now I get to enjoy the best perk about being an employee: the good ol' severance package!

If you're looking for good Engineers, I highly recommend all of the guys who worked for me during this journey. You can read more about the skills they possess and what they're looking for by viewing their LinkedIn Profiles:


Scott Nicholls

Bryan Noll

James Goodwill

As for me, I'm definitely in the market as well. You can view My LinkedIn Profile to see if I might be a good fit for your organization. I'm willing to travel up to 25%, but would prefer not to. After all, ski season is right around the corner. ;-)

Lastly, I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed working at LinkedIn. I've never worked with a smarter group of Engineers, nor been so excited about a company's product and vision. I know that LinkedIn will be highly successful and I hope to use their site to find gigs for many years to come.

Posted in Java at Nov 05 2008, 03:10:06 PM MST 16 Comments

Building LinkedIn's Next Generation Architecture with OSGi by Yan Pujante

This week, I'm attending the Colorado Software Summit in Keystone, Colorado. Below are my notes from an OSGi at LinkedIn presentation I attended by Yan Pujante.

LinkedIn was created in March of 2003. Today there's close to 30M members. In the first 6 months, there was 60,000 members that signed up. Now, 1 million sign up every 2-3 weeks. LinkedIn is profitable with 5 revenue lines and there's 400 employees in Mountain View.

Technologies: 2 datacenters (~600 machines). SOA with Java, Tomcat, Spring Framework, Oracle, MySQL, Servlets, JSP, Cloud/Graph, OSGi. Development is done on Mac OS X, production is on Solaris.

The biggest challenges for LinkedIn are:

  • Growing Engineering Team on a monolithic code base (it's modular, but only one source tree)
  • Growing Product Team wanting more and more features faster
  • Growing Operations Team deploying more and more servers

Front-end has many BL services in one webapp (in Tomcat). The backend is many wars in 5 containers (in Jetty) with 1 service per WAR. Production and Development environments are very different. Total services in backend is close to 100, front-end has 30-40.

Container Challenges
1 WAR with N services does not scale for developers (conflicts, monolithic). N wars with 1 service does not scale for containers (no shared JARs). You can add containers, but there's only 12GB of RAM available.

Upgrading back-end service to new version requires downtime (hardware load-balancer does not account for version). Upgrading front-end service to new version requires redeploy. Adding new backend services is also painful because there's lots of configuration (load-balancer, IPs, etc.).

Is there a solution to all these issues? Yan believes that OSGi is a good solution. OSGi stands for Open Services Gateway initiative. Today that term doesn't really mean anything. Today it's a spec with several implementations: Equinox (Eclipse), Knoplerfish and Felix (Apache).

OSGi has some really, really good features. These include smart class loading (multiple versions of JARs is OK), it's highly dynamic (deploy/undeploy built-in), it has a service registry and is highly extensible/configurable. An OSGi bundle is simply a JAR file with an OSGi manifest.

In LinkedIn's current architecture, services are exported with Spring/RPC and services in same WAR can see each other. The problem with this architecture comes to light when you want to move services to a 2nd web container. You cannot share JARs and can't talk directly to the other web app. With OSGi, the bundles (JARs) are shared, services are shared and bundles can be dynamically replaced. OSGi solves the container challenge.

One thing missing from OSGi is allowing services to live on multiple containers. To solve this, LinkedIn has developed a way to have Distributed OSGi. Multicast is used to see what's going on in other containers. Remote servers use the OSGi lifecycle and create dynamic proxies to export services using Spring RPC over HTTP. Then this service is registered in the service registry on the local server.

With Distributed OSGi, there's no more N-1 / 1-N problem. Libraries and services can be shared in one container (memory footprint is much smaller). Services can be shared across containers. The location of the services is transparent to the clients. There's no more configuration to change when adding/removing/moving services. This architecture allows the software to be the load balancer instead of using a hardware load balancer.

Unfortunately, everything is not perfect. OSGi has quite a few problems. OSGi is great, but the tooling is not quite there yet. Not every library is a bundle and many JARs doesn't have OSGi manifests. OSGi was designed for embedded devices and using it for the server-side is very recent (but very active).

OSGi is pretty low-level, but there is some work being done to hide the complexity. Spring DM helps, as do vendor containers. SpringSource has Spring dm Server, Sun has GlassFish, and Paremus has Infiniflow. OSGi is container centric, but next version will add distributed OSGi, but will have no support for load-balancing.

Another big OSGi issue is version management. If you specify version=1.0.0, it means [1.0.0, ∞]. You should at least use version=[1.0.0,2.0.0]. When using OSGi, you have to be careful and follow something similar to Apache's APR Project Versioning Guidelines so that you can easily identify release compatibility.

At LinkedIn, the OSGi implementation is progressing, but there's still a lot of work to do. First of all, a bundle repository needs to be created. Ivy and bnd is used to generate bundles. Containers are being evaluated and Infiniflow is most likely the one that will be used. LinkedIn Spring (an enhanced version of Spring) and SCA will be used to deploy composites. Work on load-balancing and distribution is in progress as is work on tooling and build integration (Sigil from Paremus).

In conclusion, LinkedIn will definitely use OSGi but they'll do their best to hide the complexity from the build system and from developers. For more information on OSGi at LinkedIn, stay tuned to the LinkedIn Engineering Blog. Yan has promised to blog about some of the challenges LinkedIn has faced and how he's fixed them.

Update: Yan has posted his presentation on the LinkedIn Engineering Blog.

Posted in Java at Oct 20 2008, 11:20:09 AM MDT 8 Comments

Why such a busy week?

Lance sent me the following e-mail this morning:

Just saw your status message, I think you'd better blog an explanation!

"Matt Raible is getting ready for one of the busiest weeks of his life."

I couldn't think of a good reason not to blog an explanation, so here goes.

I'm currently sitting at Denver's airport ready to hop on a flight to Mountain View. I'll be at LinkedIn's HQ for two days helping tidy up plans for a release in early September that I'm in charge of. It's my first time being a Release Owner, but it should be pretty painless so I'm not too worried. Whenever I travel to Mountain View, I always have a good time, but I'm constantly being pulled into meetings, or arranging meetings myself. I have a presentation to write that I'm delivering on Wednesday. It describes the changes we've made to make the backend of LinkedIn much more stateless and therefore better and faster.

In my hotel room at night, I'll be writing my presentations for the Colorado Software Summit. Having to write 3 presentations in one week always makes me feel super-busy.

On Wednesday night, I fly home late (likely after a game of hoops with co-workers). Thursday is Jack's birthday, so I hope to take the day off and spend the day with him. Thursday night is sleepover night. Being a single parent with two kids is never easy, but always fun. Friday it's back to work, wrapping up things for the week (status reports, bug fixes, etc.) and likely marveling at the traffic from the DNC.

Friday night there's a 9-hour cocktail party with a good friend from Vancouver, BC.

Saturday is the super-busy day. It's time for Jack's birthday party and if last year is any evidence, it's one of those 8-hour cleaning and decorating situations.

I'm sure I'll have a busier week sometime in the future, but this one will surely be one to remember (especially since it's blogged into history now ;-)).

Posted in General at Aug 25 2008, 07:54:18 AM MDT 2 Comments

LinkedIn Tech Talk: Kevin Brown on Shindig

Last Thursday, Kevin Brown visited LinkedIn's Mountain View office to do a presentation on Shindig, an OpenSocial Reference Implementation. Below are my notes from his talk.

In September 2007, Google started thinking about Social APIs. Google Gadgets would be better with access to Social Data ... but that's just Google. It was recognized that this is something that many others would like access to. OpenSocial was announced in November 2007. It's an open standard for developer platforms that has a strong emphasis on "social" data. It's based on gadgets which is now covered by The Open Social Foundation.

In November, many Googlers started working on a Google Code project based on Java and iGoogle. However, there was too much proprietary code. In December, Brian McCallister of Ning created an ASF Proposal for Shindig. It was a rough port of iGoogle but with Ning's PHP code. This turned out to be a great starting point. It immediately got interest from Google, Hi5, MySpace and others. While most committers are still from Google, there are 12 developers that work on it full time and they're adding 2 committers each month. Shindig is a Java/PHP implementation of OpenSocial. Open Campfire is an Apache-licensed .NET implementation that hopes to eventually merge into Shindig.

Read more on the LinkedIn Blog »

Posted in Java at Jul 17 2008, 07:04:24 AM MDT Add a Comment

LinkedIn has the Biggest Rails app in the World

From the LinkedIn Engineering Blog:

LinkedIn loves Rails Bumper Sticker started as a small experiment in August, 2007. Facebook had released their development platform while we were hard at work on our own. We were curious to experiment and discover some of the characteristics of an application platform built on a social network and to see what, if any, learning we could apply to our own efforts. After noticing that professional and business-related applications weren't flourishing in the Facebook ecosystem, a few of our Product folks put their heads together while out for a run; one engineer, one week, and a few Joyent accelerators later, Bumper Sticker was born.

We'd be lying if we said that anyone was prepared for the kind of success Bumper Sticker has had since then - though we should have expected it, given the excellent Product team here at LinkedIn. Here's a quick snapshot of Bumper Sticker statistics at this moment: Read More »

The "biggest Rails app in the world" claim comes from this video.

In addition to having a kick-ass RoR team at LinkedIn, we also do a lot with Java and love our Macs. Why wouldn't you want to work here?

If you find a gig you like, or simply have mad programming skills, contact me and I'll see if I can hook you up. And yes, we are hiring at LinkedIn Denver.

Posted in Java at Jun 24 2008, 01:25:16 PM MDT 5 Comments