Red Hat is looking at Social Networking as desktop environment level software, which is interesting. I’m not that excited about that part, though. This also involves a Java/Hibernate/JBoss Open Source social networking server, which is meant to be extesnible and horizontally scalable and/or clusterable. This could be an interesting platform for neat little bits of social networking functionality which may not have the pull to create a critical mass community on their own.
Red Hat has developed a new MySpace like site called Mugshot — but it’s open source. I saw a short demo of Mugshot this morning at the Red Hat Summit in Nashville and it was pretty hot; they nicked the best stuff out of all the social networking sites and put them together in an open codebase.
The Mugshot client application is built with a special cross-platform code library developed in C with GLib and GObject. For network communication, Mugshot uses the open XMPP protocol also used by Jabber and Google Talk. The current version of Mugshot is built with Loudmouth, a GLib-based XMPP implementation developed by Imendio. The Linux version of the Mugshot client user interface is built with GTK and uses GConf for storing configuration data, which means it is closely aligned with the GNOME desktop environment. The Linux version uses D-Bus for interprocess communication, and will provide Firefox integration.