PAC, short for Profile, Activity, and Contacts, is an attempt at a browser-supported infrastructure for social activity on the web. Social walled gardens have siloed off user data, sucking data in and not letting the user manage it or use it freely. This network lock-in has led both users and developers to have to choose which systems they wish to utilize, at the expense of communications with users and web sites who have made different decisions. For instance, if CNN wants to let you know what news stories your friends are commenting on, they can either use one service such as Facebook Connect exclusively (turning away users who don't use Facebook), or they must manually write code to import your social graph from each and every site they wish to support, significantly increasing developer pain.
PAC wishes to solve these issues by providing a user-controlled, pluggable system, where a user can mix and match which services they use for which purposes, and leverage the power of the browser as a user agent to mediate data exchange negotiations with other sites and users. It will build directly off of the Open Web Apps architecture, functioning as a 'headless webapp mediator', exactly as F1 does. Currently, that means that there is a Mozilla-implemented UI which mediates invocations of certain web activities, and various service providers can register with the mediator. Additionally, unlike F1, we may wish to implement our own web services which can provide Profile, Activities, and Contacts.
- The Profile Mediator is a repository for a user's personal profile data. It provides an API and a user interface for a user to license select portions of their identity and personal data (including Delta and Contacts) to interested parties.
- Delta, or "F2", is a tool for connecting a user's various social activity streams. From this stream intersection point, a user can license relevant pieces of their selected streams to interested parties.
- The Contacts Mediator is a repository of a user's social connections across sites. From this address book, a user can let interested sites know pieces of their social graph, potentially organized into groups.
other connected projects:
- F1 is a browser extension that allows you to share links in a fast and fun way. Share links from within the browser without leaving the page using the same services you already know and love.
- Sync is a set of software components and specifications that synchronize data between multiple Mozilla product instances.
- The Contacts Add-on is Mozilla Labs experiment with adding contacts to the web browser. The add-on provides an in-browser application to view contact data and discover social web services, and a set of APIs to add-on developers and web content to interact with contact data.
- Firefox Chat, a (planned?) project to bring (XMPP?) chat to the browser.