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Facebook APIs add Activity Streaming

RSS and Atom are among the most useful elements to emerge from the XML and Web services revolution that occurred over the last 10 years. Who’d have thunk it? RSS seemed a small part of an XML initially, but has since become incredibly ubiquitous. Now, the world of syndication may be poised for another leap forward.

A lot of the recent syndication activity has been Twitter-like – not exactly mission critical or enterprise-oriented. But the potential for fast messaging across manifold applications will not be lost on future distributed systems designers. The step forward referred to here is Facebook’s endorsement of Activity Stream.

Social networking phenomenon Facebook this week disclosed details on its support for Activity Stream, an extension to the Atom feed format. This is an emerging open-source format, and the company, via its announced Facebook Open Streams API, is gaining huzzahs for going to open source, and not trying to set a de facto standard for this means.

Facebook in effect aggregates a stream of information that a user defines. Much of the excitement this week relates to the promise of bringing advanced Facebook aggregation capabilities to mobile devices. To show off the API, the Facebook folks created a sample client application known as Facebook for Adobe AIR.

Activity Stream Related
On the face of it: The Facebook Open Stream API – developers.facebook.com
View into the innards of underlying Atom Activity Extensions – martin.atkins.me.uk
Facebook_Desktop_for_AIR – ak.fbdcn.net [ZIP file]

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