All Posts Tagged With: "xml"

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.

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.