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July 17, 2007 / Steven Pousty

AOL in the afternoon

You know I didn’t AOL was doing anything like this at all – like xDrive or OpenAuth or an open API to AIM or an API to Userplane. They are doing a deep dive on openAuth with some interesting facts. I am not really interested in too many deep dives right now though so I am going to go save my brain cells – plus the network is slow so I am going to go take a break. I may give a smattering of AOL stuff throughout the afternoon.

AOL supports OpenAuth and OpenID – they are an idenity provider for openID but they do not accept OpenID for authentication which makes sense since OpenID just says this users owns a particular URL.

Open AIM stuff  – cool demos.
Change your status  in twitter and it changes your status in AIM and vice versa. Pretty seamless and a nice idea
Next demo even cooler – real time translator – using the google translation API – he types in english and the recipient receives it in spanish. He does it by writing a .NET plugin for AIM.

Time for xDrive with Lucas – for personal storage of media – like a bank for data, your data is there when you need it. Anything on the network should be able to see the data so they are using open standards  -dev doc shows using JSON. Using collections as well as folders.  Shows an example using flash to work with collections and some its ordering and tags. It also generates RSS feeds by default for all collections. Demos it in Facebook using VuVox and the RSS feed

So I asked for a compare and contrast xDrive toS3. I think the long and short of it is that S3 is geared towards app developers and the space belongs to the app – while xDrive belongs to the user and is a way to share data by the user. Has things like sharing, ACLs,  and other neat features. Then I asked them about bandwidth and they said it is free – I asked could I host my tiles for google maps or VE on it and they said – “If you think your bandwidth usage will be similar to a typical user” then you should be ok. There is definetly some fuzz here but the price is right, here are the terms of service ( . I say Mr. Flood should move one of his tile sets to xDrive and we should see what happens.

Overall I was impressed since I didn’t even know that AOL had a dev network. There was a heavy emphasis on not being a walled garden – and I, being the eternal optomist, would like to believe. They definitely have their work cut out for them in convincing people but it could be really interesting. They need some better outreach to the dev community though I am not sure how. Perhaps I will play….


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