Introducing Joost Widgets (2007 talk)

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Information about Introducing Joost Widgets (2007 talk)

Published on December 20, 2008

Author: danbri



This is from a talk I gave in 2007, about the widget system and other developer APIs for Joost. It is now very out of date, Joost has an exciting new Web-based video player instead. I think the widget stuff was ahead of its time, even if moving to a Web player made sense. So I wanted to keep a record of what was built before memories fade completely :)


For a more recent Joost dev demo, see for an example of embedding the new Flash player.

Introducing Joost Widgets Dan Brickley

Joost overview • “Best of Internet & best of TV” • Streaming video distribution system • Branded, high-quality TV content • Interactive social experience • Engaging advertising delivery platform • Public beta since October 1st

Joost: Bringing TV into the Web • Joost as platform: – Balancing viewer, owner and advertiser needs brings stability for creative quot;extrasquot; and mashups – Mix professionally-produced content with user ratings, blogs, annotations, add-ons • Joost Widgets: a social TV platform • Web 2.0 +/- 1 – Built and extended with modern Web technology, modern Web attitude

Quick look at Joost (videos) • Full screen video • Search, navigate and customise channels • Interactive overlays

Quick look 2 ('My Joost' video...) • Widget themes... – software-style extras (eg. alarm clock, games) – communication-oriented (IM/chat) – “DVD Extra”: annotations, subtitles, blog posts – Finding and sharing (invite, share, bookmark, rate) • Not rigid categories – fun to combine all 4: – 'Coke Bubbles' widget lets you chat, find, share and annotate...

Widgets and their World • Where TV really meets the Web • Widgets are bundles of Web technology running “inside the TV” • Tech: HTML, ECMA/Javascript, CSS • & more: SVG, E4X, Canvas, RDF, XMPP... • Various Joost-specific APIs • Opened up for 3rd party development (including commercial widgets) • Built using same technology as Joost

Platform details • Core of Joost UI is a highly customised Web browser • We added swooshyness, a growing set of TV- related APIs, and streaming video content • Widget API targets the quot;Web 2.0quot; skillset (Ajax etc...) • Joost APIs lets you navigate EPG, play/pause/rewind shows, draw things on screen • More APIs and data interfaces on the way - feedback welcome!

Example: annotation & subtitles

“TV meets the Web” revisited: • Whose annotations do you want to see? • Just from friends / family? • Or from famous bloggers? • Use reputations from external systems? • TV isn't the Internet... • Widgets can bring as much Internet to your TV (and living room) as you want – or as little.

Example: Krabbel (“scribble”)

Engage with friends...

Engage with content...

Guess who?

(that was Audrey Hepburn)

(Richard Gere) (you get the idea)

Widgets – not rocket science • 2-3 pages of HTML & Javascript • for this code and more...

Inside your Widget • config.xml, main XML or HTML file, javascript code and any image • UI: mini-Web pages, sprites, subtitles, platform APIs • Brains: Javascript, remote services • Packaged as a .zip file • Install from file or URL

Joost Links: Bridging to the Web • There's more to Widgets than Widgets... (“what if I don't like writing Javascript...?”) • WebArch 101: “To benefit from and increase the value of the World Wide Web, agents should provide URIs as identifiers for resources.” • All Joost videos and channels have a Web page URL e.g • Bloggable, linkable, shareable ... • Browser plugin connects page to desktop app • Deep linking into desktop TV: #start=123000

Data Interfaces • RDFa, Atom/RSS feeds – pages and search • Microformats/GRDDL • Listings and channel data – for Widgets (see Widget API) – for Websites (eg., TIOTI, joostlist, ...) • User-created extras: blogs, channels, tags

Custom channels (via XML)

“Web 2.0” themes & Joost • Standards and APIs - help users find stuff • Community data - helps users find stuff • Mashups, data integration, cross-site linkage - many paths into content • Blogs, social networks, user profiles • Better tagging – beyond “tiffany” and “paris”? who/what/where/when...

“paris, texas” or “paris hilton”?

Standards and dev community • Built on and with W3C standards • Extended with “Joost platform” APIs • Generic widgets don't make the most of TV • Code mobility vs coder mobility, we need “widgetarians”... • “Fun” issues: – Signed widgets – Storage APIs (local, remote) – Interwidget communication – Usable, clear privacy models

Become a Widgetarian! • Developers site and blog: • – Join email list: joost-dev- • Stay in touch!

Thanks... • Questions?

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