Open Collaboration Services: when desktop approaches the web

Social Desktop
Today I ran into the Open Collaboration Services API, planned as the vendor-neutral specification for Social Desktop services:

Core idea of the Social Desktop is to connect to your peers in the community, making sharing and exchanging knowledge easier to integrate into applications and the desktop itself. The concept behind the Social Desktop is to bring the power of online communities and group collaboration to desktop applications and the desktop shell itself.

This sounds exactly like the stuff I was talking about back in GUADEC 2003. I was there on behalf of OSCOM to see how the free desktop could be integrated with the various open source content management and collaboration systems developed by OSCOM members. It is great to see these ideas finally gain some traction.

There are many specifications to help us get there:

With these the free desktop might become more than just an isolated island.

Such collaborative features will make the free applications much more compelling to users, especially if coupled with web interfaces that can be used when away from your own computer. Being built on open source server software and open standards they can be hosted by companies, schools, or even Linux distributions, instead of tying users to the big cloud vendors.

I'll be talking more about the relation between the desktop and the web and our approach to it in my Gran Canaria Desktop Summit talk on Tuesday Jul 7th.

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