Via CMSWatch, an interesting facet of the Apache Shindig proposal has surfaced. Shindig is Apache's server-side container for OpenSocial and OpenSocial, in turn, is (among other things) based on Google Gadgets.
Here's the interesting bit:
A social application, in this context, is an application run by a third party provider and embedded in a web page, or web application, which consumes services provided by the container and by the application host. This is very similar to Portal/Portlet technology, but is based on client-side compositing, rather than server.
I was aware, of course, that you can put a Google gadget on a web page, but I hadn't thought about it explicitly in terms of a portlet alternative before now.
I'm curious to hear from more technically savvy readers--especially those associated with LMS development: Have you thought about building a gadget server into your LMS? What are the pros and cons? How does this option compare to other display "standards"? How hard is it to make gadgets accessible? And could this work as, say, part of the IMS Learning Tools Interoperability standard?