OpenSocial Foundation Moves Standards Work to W3C Social Web Activity

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W3C and the OpenSocial Foundation announced today that as of 1 January 2015, OpenSocial standards work and specifications beyond OpenSocial 2.5.1 will take place in the W3C Social Web Working Group, of which the OpenSocial Foundation is a founding member. The W3C Social Web Working Group extends the reach of OpenSocial into the enterprise, HTML5 and Indie Web communities. In this post we talk about next steps for standards work at W3C and open source projects at Apache. Note: As part of the transfer of OpenSocial specifications and assets to the W3C, requests to will be redirected to this blog post. For more information, please see the FAQ below.

Standards and Requirements at W3C

W3C launched its Social Web Activity in July 2014 with two groups:

  • The Social Web Working Group, which defines the technical standards and APIs to facilitate access to social functionality as part of the Open Web Platform.
  • The Social Interest Group, which coordinates messaging around social at the W3C and is formulating a broad strategy to enable social business and federation.

In addition, some OpenSocial work has moved (or will move) to existing W3C groups. Here is a summary of where you can get involved with different W3C standardization efforts and discussions.

Open Source Projects at Apache Foundation

In addition to the several leading commercial enterprise platforms thant use OpenSocial, the Apache Software Foundation hosts two active and ongoing projects that serve as reference implementations for OpenSocial technology:

  • Apache Shindig is the reference implementation of OpenSocial API specifications, versions 1.0.x and 2.0.x, a standard set of Social Network APIs that includes Profiles, Relationships, Activities, Shared Applications, Authentication, and Authorization.
  • Apache Rave is a lightweight and open-standards based extensible platform for using, integrating and hosting OpenSocial and W3C Widget related features, technologies and services. It will also provide strong context-aware personalization, collaboration and content integration capabilities and a high quality out-of-the-box installation as well as be easy to integrate in other platforms and solutions.


Note: We will add to this FAQ over time as questions arise. Please send questions to

Why is OpenSocial Foundation closing?

OpenSocial Foundation feels that the community will have a better chance of realizing an open social web through discussions at a single organization, and the OpenSocial Foundation board believes that working as an integrated part of W3C will help reach more communities that will benefit from open social standards.

What does it mean that OpenSocial Foundation is closing?

OpenSocial will no longer exist as a separate legal entity, but work will continue within the W3C Social Web Activity.

What will happen to development of the OpenSocial specification?

Development will continue within the Social Web Working Group.

What will happen to development of the reference implementations Apache Shindig and Rave?

Development will continue within the Apache Software Foundation.

Where do I go if I have questions about OpenSocial?

Members of the OpenSocial Community will be actively involved in the Social Web Working Group.

Will older versions of OpenSocial specifications remain available?

Yes, they will remain available on GitHub.

Will discussion archives be preserved?

Discussion archives are in Google groups. As long as those are allowed to remain, they will remain in place.

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