Tuesday, July 11th, 2006

Go forth and API

Category: Programming, XmlHttpRequest

Backend scripts aren’t the only way to access the wealth of valuable web services out there. Anyone that’s done any playing around with Ajax can see the possibilities of combining the two – accessing the APIs directly from your client-side application. In this brief tutorial from ThinkVitamin.com, they follow this course and give you a simple example to get the ball rolling.

To most, the virtues of Web 2.0 are rather ephemeral; that’s always been one of its main criticisms. However, I like to think that one of the movement’s key aspects is a sense of community, an ability to create sites and applications that bring people together.

Even Web APIs aren’t a new idea. Google’s search API has been available via SOAP since 2002, and there’s definitely older services than that. However, the recent growth in Web API availability has been fuelled by two recent developments. The first, which I’ve already mentioned, was a philosophical change in the way that data is handled. The second was the introduction of AJAX. Again, not a new idea, or even a new technology, but sometimes it’s all about timing.

They mention several of the different APIs out there (including Flickr, Google Maps, and Amazon) as well as some of the mashups that take advantage of the merging of these APIs. To illustrate the point of the simplicity of these interfaces, they include a code example of connecting to the Flickr API to grab photo information. There’s also a bit on proxying your XMLHttpRequests and a brief look at using JSON to communitcate with the APIs that support it.

Posted by Chris Cornutt at 8:28 am

3.6 rating from 27 votes


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Does anybody know of a MySpace API? It seems one of the biggest Web 2.0/community whatnot sites is lacking in this area.

Comment by Kevin — July 12, 2006

Ha! You mean the same MySpace whose programmers can barely code HTML? I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you.

Comment by Nivek — July 13, 2006

MySpace is Web 2.0? You wouldn’t be able to tell by the interface :-/ It’s more like web 0.8b

Comment by RoryH — July 19, 2006

Does that parser do a screen scrape and then search through the HTML to find what it’s looking for? I successfully did that once, scraping my myspace blog in ASP.NET, but I guess I should change it into a full-on class that can be referenced in various ways!

Comment by Aaron — September 25, 2006

More likely that Myspace is -.8 on its interface. Most interesting thus far for me is squido and its lens concept.

Comment by myspace hell — December 18, 2006

The whole MySpace CMS is a joke. A multi-billion dollar company and it seems as if their coders don’t even have the skill of an 8th grade computer class.

The site barely ever works right and is the biggest compilation of crap I have ever see. Somehow they still seem to be the biggest site of it’s kind though.

Comment by MySpace Layouts — December 24, 2006

I have a MySpace API…Albeit I am selling it…it’s not free!
I have a whole application that demonstrates it’s use as well…
So if anyone is interested leave a comment!

Comment by The API guy — May 9, 2007

Go on then… I’m interested… ;)

Comment by Jon — May 19, 2007

What a joke, APIs are for babies. MySpace is for kids. Yahoo is for teenagers. Google is for adults.

Comment by Kyle — July 26, 2007

Google for adults, lol. Only if you turn it’s “netnannyfied” filters off.. Anyways Radar Networks upcoming social search site is most likely where it’s at for a mature vertical context search.. but back on topic, what’s up with the homebrewed Myspace APIs ? Has Mr.Tom managed to block curl parsers or is it just me? My delimiters are up to date.. I don’t get it. Gotta love social nets with proper API like Facebook~ but that’s just about old news once the RN’s “Web 3.0” hits.

Comment by advanced — October 17, 2007

I started work on a MySpace API. Right now it only does automatic blog posting, but I’m still working on more features. Check it out here:

Keep an eye on the blog for updates.

Comment by Sean — October 27, 2007

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