Archive for May, 2005

Backpack mobility support

I guess there really are two sides of every story. :)

  1. My favorite use of Backpack (Marc Hedlund)
  2. Backpack: Too Bad It’s Not Mobile (Russell Beattie)

When in doubt, POST.

The original eBay Web services API is neither REST nor SOAP. It’s a bastardized version of REST, where you always POST to the same URI. (The verb is located inside the POST data, which is an XML document.)

Actually, this format has turned out to be quite practical. Its building blocks — HTTP, HTTP Headers, HTTP POST, SSL, and XML — are sufficiently well-implemented standards that we haven’t found any language that can’t make API calls. From our perspective, that’s the most important characteristic. That’s not saying that if we had known in 2001 what we know now, things wouldn’t have turned out different.

However, at least we got the GET vs POST decision right.

Y! Traffic Data RSS Feed

Yahoo!’s jumped on the Dashboard bandwagon with their Y! Local Traffic widget. As someone who has been hacking around with Dashboard, I know that for this to work, Yahoo has to expose the data in an easily digestiable format. I also know it’s no problem to decompile the widget, since it’s just HTML/JS/CSS.

So I took a peek and was quite surprised by what I found. RSS.

I think this is brilliant. RSS is XML, so it’s easy to parse. It’s also easily consumable by RSS readers, so other people can piggy-back on the feed. Of course, it does mean you need to be willing to open this up to the world because it won’t take before this is figured this out and people start publicizing the interface.

Sure enough, there’s already a blog post describing how the widget works and it even provides a little form for making your own URL.

We’re finally beginning to see the adoption of Web services into client applications. One of the advantages of REST is that it’s super easy to consume from programs such as Dashboard and Firefox.

I can’t wait to see where this goes.