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Dave Winer
Serious question -- why doesn't Google use the FriendFeed API for Buzz? Hopefully it's an open standard, if not, what would it take to make it one. Can't imagine the FF guys would object. It's a VERY nice API. Imho.
Because of Facebook? - RobertoC
I'm a big believer in using stuff that already works because it preserves developers' and users' investments. In this case, the lack of an accepted API means there are no clients that sort out the app in terms familiar to users. That hinders adoption. - Dave Winer
Agree completely Dave. It would be very very nice. - Roberto Bonini
FB Lawsuits? - sofarsoShawn
Roberto -- that's what would make it an open standard. Competitors are *supposed* to use the same formats and protocols if they care about users. Further, the second into the market, ie Google in this case, has everything to gain by being compatible with an existing product, and nothing to lose (other than the ability to say they invented the whole thing, which they clearly didn't). - Dave Winer
Why didn't Google <a href="">make Buzz into protocol so we could finally move into a P2P twitter-like paradigm</a>? - Laura Scott (@lauras)
Facebook. - AJ Batac
The NY Times and the WSJ and Washington Post all use HTML. - Dave Winer
I doubt Facebook would let them do that. - Kent
I doubt Facebook has any say in it. - Dave Winer
The FF API doesn't exactly fit PSHB though you could probably adapt it. I'm pretty sure Google started from the proposition Buzz would use PSHB. - Ed Millard
I agrre with you Dave, it would be great and everyone, also little startup gain from it. BUT have the company so big a so opened mentality? I doubt of it. - RobertoC
From FF API TOS: 4. Intellectual Property (Trademarks & Copyrights) FriendFeed, the FriendFeed logo and the FriendFeed design are trademarks or trade dress of FriendFeed, and may not be used without express written permission from FriendFeed, other than for attribution. ... FriendFeed-originated content included on the Site, such as text, graphics, logos, software and the compilation of all content on the Site, is the property of FriendFeed and its licensors and protected by United States and international copyright laws. Except as set out in these Terms, no reproduction of any FriendFeed-originated content is permitted without written permission from FriendFeed. - Ed Millard
Google explains itself sort of in this Newsweek post "Why Google Will Keep Playing Fast and Loose With Your Privacy - they seem to fear a Russian prodigy who will win out" They thought they'd hit a gold mine with Buzz's format rather than using FF's (I'm hazarding). They had an itchy trigger finger and pulled it too soon and aimed wayyy off target. Simple as explanation really, they just thought they had something better. - sofarsoShawn
We may not have the power to make them do it, but we certainly have the power to put the question out there. - Dave Winer
From the FF TOS it appears FB can block Google from using it. - Ed Millard
Ed -- are you saying the quoted TOS segment covers the API implicitly? -- I don't see anything explicit there. - Brian Sullivan
If the API falls under "FriendFeed design" or "copyright" I think it is explicit. "design" is subject to interpretation, here it is maybe referring to web site design. The section about "FriendFeed-originated content" including "software" being copyright would almost certainly cover the API. Would probably have problems creating an API doc for it without violating copyright. - Ed Millard
To safely use the API you would almost certainly need to find legally binding licensing saying FF/FB placed it in the public domain. They did, I think, open source Tornado which is the Python HTTP engine, but that isn't really the actual API. Tornado is the part that directly overlaps with PSHB anyway so doubt Google is interested in it. - Ed Millard
DeWitt mentioned they didn't clone Twitter because of unclear licensing issues. When they are trying to release a product I'm sure they want to get the product out rather than block on licensing issues, which take pretty much forever to work out. - Todd Hoff
If FF hadn't been bought by FB, I'm sure they could have some to some sort of arrqangement. But the fundamental benefit of using an existing API is that any apps can immediately move to the new platform. - Roberto Bonini
And i think that "FriendFeed design" includes the API - Roberto Bonini
Roberto, not so sure since "design" is followed by "trademark and trade dress" which would only apply to visual and marketing elements. The copyright stuff further down is what nails the API. - Ed Millard
I wonder if Paul or Bret could chime in here. In either case, I'm betting that they'll have to defer to Zuckerberg. - Roberto Bonini
Its regrettable Google didn't buy FF instead of FB. If they were working on Buzz back then its obviously an acquisition that would have been of greater value to Google than FB. The FF talent seems to be the only thing FB got out of it. - Ed Millard
Oh definitely Ed. In fact, they could have put FF into Gmail without a whole lot of bother. - Roberto Bonini
Isn't what they are already doing in Buzz better? since they are using standards like Atom, Activity Streams, PubSubHubbub, oAuth etc. - Richard Cunningham
Richard, Buzz doesn't really have an API yet. Only has a really limited function to get public messages per user, a directory to get profiles and WebFinger support to get info off profiles. The actual API is apparently still a month or a few months from being available. Some have been hacking it to pry stuff out of it but its not really friendly to third party apps yet. I wish it had an API. I'd integrate it in to my feed reader cuz I can't stand Buzz prioritization and no comment collapse. - Ed Millard
Using all those open standards is commendable but I'm not sure its an easy path from those to a coherent design and API. You can see Paul's influence in the FF API, its really simple and elegant. It is way ahead of where Buzz is at the moment for third party access though hopefully google will get a real API out soon. - Ed Millard
Here is all Google has out for their API at the moment, - Ed Millard
Ed, yes I know, I'm working on implementing it in FriendBinder, the main bit missing for me is the friend's list working properly and next would be some sort of write support - Richard Cunningham
My issue with PSHB is I don't want to have a web server sitting between Buzz and my client. PSHB seems to require a client to register and then you need a server URL for PSHB to call back. Seems to exclude clients from accessing Buzz unless they go through a server intermediary which is different than every other API I've used. With the FF API any client can connect to a server and get a stream, way simpler. Hopefully Google will add something like REST or Tornado in their official API. - Ed Millard
Ed, how about appending the events from PSHB to your own queue and then using a REST API to access it? The server-to-server nature of PSHB is inconvenient. - Todd Hoff
Todd, that requires me to field a PSHB hub of my own, or am I misunderstanding? Kind of a high bar for a client app to have to field a 24/7 server or you can't get to the Buzz stream. I'll just hope Google provides a real API for clients in coming months. The FF API/Tornado, and Twitter REST/Streaming API's are infinitely more client friendly, though Twitter obviously has the scaling problems PSHB is designed to address. - Ed Millard
Not sure what you mean by 'using FriendFeed API'. Do you mean reproduce a similar API, or connect to it? Both are efforts that need some developper time, and Google was in a hurry to prove that they could deliver a decent service. In the first case, it seems hard to copy one interface and make it suit a different social construct, harder than make a interface adapted to that social construct — and ever harder if you are trying to figure out what that social construct should be, as explified by the current tests & modifications. In the second cas, Ff users are not that many, and such early adopters they' try it anyways: no real benefit in the short term. - Bertil Hatt
Ed, I expect they will give a feed with all your friends in one feed, when they turn on oAuth. Then it will be the equivalent to what Twitter offer. - Richard Cunningham
Louis Gray had it decreed forbidden. - sofarsoShawn from iPhone
Alright now, Shawn. Troublemaker. :) - Louis Gray
Well sort of Ed. I was imagining Google App Engine as a queue endpoint for published events. - Todd Hoff
Ah, that's interesting to consider, I'll look in to that. Don't actually want to do REST, it sucks for real-time. Would rather have an open connection like Tornado, which brings us back to where Dave started this conversation about how nice it would be to have the FF API on Buzz :) - Ed Millard
Though the down side to FF/Tornado is you have to keep doing new HTTP requests since it closes the connection after it delivers data, and its not entirely clear how real-time the data actually is. Something like the new Twitter streaming API would be ideal where you just have an open connection and your stream arrives as close to real-time as is feasible. - Ed Millard