Week of the APIs

The latest episode of Om and Niall PodSessions is now available. This week’s theme is APIs and the new opportunities for service providers, developers, and end users. Kevin Burton of TailRank joined us to add an independent developer perspective to this week’s discussion.

This week’s session is 26 minutes and 28 seconds in length and a 12.2 MB download.


Amazon introduced its Alexa web search platform on Monday. The new services give developers the ability to use content from Alexa’s crawler data and other web services in a hosted environment. Amazon is letting developers upload their own data, process the data on their machines, host the results, and even create new web services based on the final results. Amazon’s move caused a reexamination of developer programs in Silicon Valley as Amazon is charging for premium features not currently offered by eBay or Yahoo!.

On Tuesday Google introduced the Google homepage API, opening up its personalized homepage to outside content. The new modules are similar to desktop widgets such as Konfabulator but exist within the browser page and are intended to be the first thing a user sees when he or she launches a browser window. I wrote my own Google homepage module earlier this week.

FeedBurner launched FeedFlare on Tuesday, allowing feed publishers to easily add content to their posts from services such as del.icio.us or Technorati. I think the new service changes how publishers view their feed as part of a larger ecosystem. I wrote about FeedFlare earlier this week.

Yahoo! released a new output format, JavaScript Object Notation (JSON), for its search and maps APIs on Thursday. This new format helps developers potentially skip a step when interacting with Yahoo! data, making dynamic applications respond faster and easier to develop. JSON also helps Yahoo! get around the JavaScript XMLHttpRequest function’s cross domain security policy

Google seeks to extend its reach into the VoIP and video IM space with its introduction of jingle, a new API for Google’s GTalk client. Google proposed two new extensions to the XMPP standard used in its clients and many others throughout the world. The new libraries and APIs should extend the reach of Google’s instant communication services throughout the Web.

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