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Forum OpenACS Development: Google Web Services & OpenACS

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Posted by Andrew T on
I have been allocated the topic of 'Integrating Google Web Services into OpenACS' for a thesis project, but I am having trouble coming up with something I can produce that will be 'useful' to the OpenACS community.

I was thinking to create an openacs service which will use TclSOAP / XML access the google web service API, and that can be used by any package ?

Some uses i have thought of could be: - Use with basic site search function in openacs - a user defining a set of keywords for a web site that can be outputted as links to google search results automatically?

If any1 has any ideas (please) let me know. Also i am pretty new to OpenACS & tcl, so if anyone knows of anywhere i can find more information it would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance :)

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Posted by Ben Koot on
Andrew,

Have you looked at Larsblogger, and the way it connects into Google.

Ben

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Posted by Andrew T on
Nope I haven't heard of Larsblogger? where can i find out more about it?
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Posted by Andrew T on
Also... what is the best toolkit to use for accessing web services? ns_java and axis?
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Posted by Bruno Mattarollo on
I think any example of having a SOAP client working in OpenACS could be of a lot of help. I think creating a generic interface for applications to use SOAP calls instead of "ns_httpdget" or stuff like that, would be amazing.

I think then Google webservices would be only one application of such a feature.

Just my two cents :)

/B

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Posted by Andrew T on
No, you are right a general SOAP client would be a lot more useful. Unfortunately its out of the scope of my project and in addition theres no way i would be able to implement it in 5-6 weeks time. I have to produce something that works with Google... but thanks :)

what do openACS developers currently use to do SOAPS calls? should i look at tcl soap http://tclsoap.sourceforge.net/ ?

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Posted by Bruno Mattarollo on
I don't have any experience with TclSOAP, maybe some other person in the community has used it before and can give you some more informed feedback. I have used SOAP::Lite (perl) tough :)

To implement the simple HTTP transport layer for SOAP you could use TclSOAP (again with the caveat that I haven't used it myself) or Tcl + tDOM and start something there yourself. Probably in the timeframe you are mentioning it won't be easy to recreate the wheel :)

/B

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Posted by Michael Feldstein on
How about creating a portlet and RSS feed that pull regular Google News search results on a search topic that the user picks? Google has this service implemented as an email alert at http://www.google.com/newsalerts. You can see two RSS implementations at http://voidstar.com/gnews2rss.php and http://eurohost.webmatrixhosting.net/rajivraj/google/googlerss.html.

The idea would be to create service whereby users can pick a term and choose to have the results delivered on a user-configurable timed basis (e.g., hourly, daily, etc.) to a portlet, an RSS feed, an email alert, or any combination thereof. You'd have to think a bit about how to make the interface intuitive, but OpenACS needs to solve this problem anyway. Plus, if you did it right, the portlet interface could lay the groundwork for a more general RSS aggregator module.

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Posted by Andrew T on
good idea, even though technically it wouldn't use the google web service as such... its good.
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Posted by Talli Somekh on
Andrew,

Take a look at tDOM as an XML parser, which the community is moving to en masse. It should be a strong foundation upon which to build an XMLRPC/SOAP interface.

Others can speak to this more completely, though.

talli

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Posted by Dave Bauer on
You should be able to use TclSOAP with AOLserver 4.0 along with Tcl 8.4.4.

Just do package require SOAP when you need to call it.

It won't use the AOLserver http transport but it should get the job done.

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Posted by Claudio Pasolini on
Andrew,
I have created several web services using as a starting point the excellent soap-gateway package made by William Byrne (thank you William!).

The soap-gateway package makes the creation and publishing of web services very easy, but you'll have to write your own procs to invoke a web service from Aolserver (I could provide a working example).

The soap-gateway package internally uses ns_xml, but I suggest that you use tdom as the preferred xml parser in your tcl scripts.

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Posted by Ben Koot on
Andrew

Larsblogger is one of the ACS modules. http://openacs.org/forums/message-view?message_id=50217

cheers
Ben

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Posted by Andrew T on
With regards to tclSOAP, does any1 have any feedback about it? has anyone used it before?
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Posted by Jerry Asher on
Google API: Old news.

Amazon API: The new hottie

Can you change your topic?

It might be very nice, as an ecommerce alternative, to have OACS modules that hook into the Amazon catalog, store, and distribution mechanisms.

Why Amazon and not google: Amazon has opened a lot more functions. For example, a useful google api, that does not appear to exist, would allow me to manage my adwords at google (it would be nice to have an OACS module that crawls my web log and search term queries and manages adwords at google). At Amazon, you can link to their stuff, find content at amazon, sell stuff through amazon, and on and on. (It's almost as though they wished to make money from this...)

So in addition to running google ads on your forum pages that find ads based on the topic, you could write an Amazon API that would find products at Amazon related to your topic. And then your portlet could create ads on the fly linking your site to Amazon for those products. And your ad could include bookcovers, album covers, or any amazon product art to post alongside the forum with all the image hosting paid for by Amazon.