Currently, the leader in Social Networking in USA is Facebook. OpenSocial API is a consortium formed by Orkut (acquired by Google), hi5, MySpace, Friendster, etc. to compete with Facebook.
During the workshop, we used Orkut as our development environment.
Since Orkut is a part of Google, Google account (gmail) works on Orkut as well. After signing in, I searched on Google for “orkut sandbox signup”. This lets me use the Orkut dev Sandbox for development.
We examined the Namez Application. Chris also provided us with two example applications: helloworld, its XML file – hellworld.xml, and hellofriend, its XML file hellofriend.xml If you want to repeat those exercises, you will need to put these files on your own Internet server.
For good programmers, this model is very flexible as objects can be manipulated programmatically. However, for someone who is a light-programmer, short on time, and just wanting to write test apps, the learning curve can be very steep. Opensocial provides no FBML counterparts as of yet.
OpenSocial is rapidly evolving. Thus, 0.7 or earlier tutorials do not work with the current implementations (0.8). So, a lot of documentations and tutorials on the Internet are out-fo-date.
The tutorial for Opensocial (0.8) can be found here.