All Posts Tagged With: "ebay"

eBay Developers Conference: June 21-22

I have somehow neglected to mention the one event that’s been taking most of my May and June — the eBay Developers Conference.

We have a two day conference coming up this June 21 and 22 in San Jose all about eBay and PayPal Web services. If you’re at all interested in eBay or PayPal Web services, this is the place to be. (Duh.)

Attendance is quite strong. We even have people from other major web services companies signing up, presumable to steal our good ideas. I guess that’s only fair, as I am stealing theirs.

Since this year’s conference is in our home town, we’re able to bring busloads of staff to the show from all areas of the team: business folks, developer technical support, documentation, product managers, QA, the even the backend API engineers. We’re also borrowing from other areas of the organization. For example, one of our security experts is talking about how to write secure applications.

There are over 30 different sessions. I’m giving two: “Building eBay Applications using PHP 5 and Services_Ebay” and “Community Collaboration on the eBay Platform”. Services_Ebay is on Stephan Schmidt’s PHP 5 PEAR package. The other talk is centered around some new things we’re doing to help support developers working with other developers. Sorry I can’t give more details, but it’s a bit of a surprise.

Best of all, we somehow have the least expensive 2 day technical conference in the world. The price is only $395. (The super early bird price was $295.) That’s keynotes, 4 parallel tracks, 2 days of roundtable lunches, and a beer bust. It also includes free admission to eBay Live!, a $70 value.

You can register online. Do it before June 17th to save $50.

eBay on TV & DVRs

One of the cool things about Web services is seeing people use them in unexpected and non-traditional ways to do cool stuff. For example, one of our developers, BIAP, just launched a trial service in Austin that lets you use eBay on your TV.

They’ve hooked up our API with a Time Warner DVD settop box. Unlike other “interactive TV shopping” experiences, this product is more than just finding products to buy. You can actually keep up-to-date on all your eBay auctions. For example, you can arrange to automatically see a pop-up notification on your TV set when you’re outbid on a listing, and rebid just by hitting the “B” key on the remote. (Or not, if you find that kind of thing annoying.)

If you’re like me, and don’t live in Austin, but still want to get a look, check out their demo.

Earlier this year, Dan wrote a different type of DVR program — one that lets you search eBay using your TiVo and buy fixed price items in our media-related categories. His was just a proof-of-concept, but we’ve open sourced the code, so feel free to check it out and hack on it.

SOA and Mick Jagger

I’m in New York for the Infoworld SOA Executive Conference. I’m on a panel explaining to CxOs about “Extending Your Business with SOA.” If you’re in town, come on by and hear Jeffrey and me do the eBay / Yahoo banter, or let me know if you want to get together on Monday.

Right now, I’m crashing with my friends Chris and Jack. Oddly, Mick Jagger showed up with his wife and kid in the small park right outside their building. We did a little celebrity watching from the window. Sadly, there’s nothing else interesting to report, except that Mick kept wrapping his jacket around his head and shoulders.

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.

Building an eBay Firefox Toolbar

My latest obsession at work is an eBay Firefox toolbar. I’d like to start an open source project that incorporates eBay Web services with Firefox, so it’s easy to track items you’re bidding on, watching, and selling.

I’ve done a Vulcan mind meld with the Firefox Toolbar Tutorial, and I’m becoming one with XUL Planet.

Does anyone else know of additional Firefox extension resources? In particular, I see there’s a SOAP interface, but I don’t know if this is for real use or not. :)

Last, I have this odd problem of needing to encrypt a certain portion of my code to protect eBay Web Services API security keys. I don’t mind people seeing the toolbar code, just the specific keys I may embed. If only there was a compiler. XPCOM seems like one solution, but it’s a road I don’t really want to travel down.

The Future of TiVo

Jeffrey and Greg have been engaging in a spirited discussion on the future of TiVo. To help keep the debate going, I pass along, without comment, this article in today’s SF Chronicle.

Programming eBay Web Services with PHP 5 and Services_Ebay

My latest article is now available on the O’Reilly Network. "Programming eBay Web Services with PHP 5 and Services_Ebay" provides an introduction to eBay Web services and Stephan Schmidt’s awesome PEAR package, Services_Ebay.

As I’ve blogged before, Services_Ebay is a PHP 5-only module that makes it drop dead simple to interact with eBay Web services. This piece walks you through getting started with Services_Ebay, shows you how to search the eBay listing database, and then displays the found items in a variety of ways.

As a extra special bonus, I highlight all the cool behind-the-scenes PHP 5 magic that’s taking place. I also do some nifty stuff by overriding Stephan’s model classes to provide an alternative data view. I’m sure this will lead to nasty comments from the peanut gallery about my lack of respect for MVC.

eBay’s Hiring: DTS SWAT Engineer

Our Developer Technical Support (DTS) group is hiring. DTS helps outside developers use our Web Services APIs. One part of DTS is the Sandbox, our testing environment. In the Sandbox, you can buy and sell all you want, but you don’t need to pay anyone money.

We’re looking to hire a person to “own” the Sandbox, to make sure it runs smoothly. It’s a pretty big job, as the Sandbox is a key part of our Web services offerings. Here’s a more complete list of responsibilities, taken from the job description:

  • Candidate will have primary responsibility of the Sandbox.
  • Debug and diagnose Java, XSL and database issues.
  • Coding and building fixes as necessary.
  • Manage regular code rollouts to the Sandbox.
  • Detect and resolve impacts from upcoming infrastructure and project related changes
  • Work with project teams to identify and follow through on sandbox infrastructure requirements
  • Write automated test scripts to perform regular health-checks of the Sandbox.
  • Maintain public-facing issues list to alert the 3rd parties of Sandbox issues and work-arounds.
  • Manages workload and other assignments efficiently while being able to resolve time-critical situations reliably and professionally.

And here are the requirements:

  • BS/BA in CS or related field.
  • 5+ years experience in requirements analysis, design, coding and unit testing of scalable, distributed, fault-tolerant applications in NT and UNIX environments.
  • Expertise required in object-oriented design methodology and application development in C++, Java and J2EE, including servlets, JSP, Java Beans, EJB, JMS, RMI, JDBC.
  • Project experience with IBM WebSphere or other J2EE application servers required.
  • Project experience with Microsoft Windows NT/2000/XP and its development environment, also with Microsoft IIS.
  • Working knowledge of relational databases (prefer Oracle), ISAPI, HTTP/HTML, XML, XSLT and basic NT/UNIX system administration.

If you’re interested, e-mail me. For more details, check out our job site (Warning! Not friendly to non-IE browsers. I’m sorry, but it’s outsourced.) The job title is “Staff DTS SWAT Engineer” and the Requisition # is “4329BR”.

Oh. And you must be able to work in San Jose, CA. No telecommuting.