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Red Hat Finds a Social Ladder of Sorts

Enterprise Linux leader Red Hat announced a pair of very different collaborative initiatives this week at its annual user conference.

The 108 project is along traditional collaborative developer lines while the Mugshot project is much like a social networking effort you wouldn't expect to see from a serious enterprise vendor.

At first glance, Mugshot appears to be a social networking site, but Red Hat doesn't see it quite that way.

"Some news posts are describing Mugshot as 'social networking,' which in my view is misleading -- you'll notice we don't use that word," Red Hat developer Havoc Pennington wrote on the Mugshot blog.

According to Red Hat's Mugshot project wiki, it's "an open project to create a live social experience around entertainment." The project is powered by 100 percent open source software on both the client and server sides.

Mugshot has two main features, both of which are similar to what other traditional social networking sites offer.

Link Swarm is similar to Yahoo's del.icio.us in that it's about sharing Web links with others.

Music Radar will display the tune a user is listening to (from a service such as Yahoo Music or iTunes) on a user's MySpace or blog page. Future development is expected to include television and video applications.

Red Hat doesn't consider Mugshot a replacement for social networking sites, but rather as a tool that will work with them to add what Red Hat calls "live social experiences" to the mix.

Pennington also noted that one of the other key differentiating factors of Mugshot is the fact that feature applications are connected in real time via a Jive Wildfire Jabber protocol/XMPP server.

"So we use this for real-time music tracking and notification about shared Web sites, and it could be used for a lot more things," Pennington wrote.

From the social to the more traditional collaboration sphere, Red Hat is also rolling out its own developer collaboration space called "108."

According to Red Hat's 108 FAQ, "You can find and share resources; build and fetch code; find and meet other developers, interact with them, collaborate with them; or learn more about Red Hat's partners and products. In 108, you can be a tourist, a resident, or maybe even grow up to be President some day."

The project will also become Red Hat's home for the development of open source testing tools.

The company said the 108 testing project is dedicated to contributing to open source development by creating tests, automating test executions and tracking tools, as well as helping to provide a standardized testing process for open source software.