Spell Checking

Matt demanded accent-aware spell checking for the WordPress spell checking plugin his company acquired earlier this year. And just a little more than a month later, After the Deadline delivered. Now Beyoncé, café, coöperate, and even my resumé look prettier.

Separately, Wordnik offers a new take on online dictionaries, and they just launched an API.

WordPress Action Ticketing API

This plugin is the next step after my proposal for a common invite API. Here’s how I described it when requesting hosting at the plugin directory: A common framework for registering tickets that will be acted upon later. Use it to manage challenge/response interactions to confirm email addresses, phone numbers, IM screen names, Twitter accounts, […] » about 500 words

Do We Need A WordPress Common Invite or Challenge-Response API?

The BuddyPress forums have a number of threads about handling invitations (two worth looking at: one, two), but no real solution has emerged. At the same time, there’s also a need for some means of confirming other actions such as password resets, email changes (both of those are already handled by WPMU, I know), cell phone numbers to receive SMS messages, and other actions that need to be confirmed later.

So I’m proposing a generic API to handle things like this. The built-in WordPress cron and ajax functions seem to offer a clear pattern for creating such an API: Simply, plugins and core code could register an action and a function to be called when that action is executed. The API could also store data to be sent to that function when it is executed.

Among the things I’d do with this?

  • Confirm email addresses
  • Confirm cell phone numbers via text message
  • Confirm IM accounts
  • Confirm Twitter accounts
  • Confirm password reset requests
  • Confirm invitations in BuddyPress

Anybody else interested?

Is The Answers.com API Public?

Answers.com is throwing a bone to WordPress users with their new AnswerLinks plugin written by Alex King.

But wait, there’s an Answers.com API? A few pokes at the Google machine reveal nothing relevant, and Asnwers.com’s site is mum too. Taking apart the code, I get the following (modded enough to make it run-able if you drop it in the base of your WordPress install):

``` require_once('wp-config.php'); require_once(ABSPATH.WPINC.'/class-snoopy.php'); $snoop = new Snoopy; $snoop->read_timeout = 5; $snoop->submit( 'http://alink.answers.com/link/xml' , array( 'text' => “Put a long-ish string of meaningful text here, then look for interesting stuff in the print_r'd output.” ) ); print_r($snoop->results); ```

If the input string isn’t sufficiently long, the output will be empty (eliminating one of my potential uses for it), but it’s interesting to twiddle.

Remixability vs. Business Self Interest vs. Libraries and the Public Good

I’ve been talking a lot about remixability lately, but Nat Torkington just pointed out that the web services and APIs from commercial organizations aren’t as infrastructural as we might think. Offering the example of Amazon suing Alexaholic (for remixing Alexa’s data), he tells us that APIs are not “a commons of goodies to be built […] » about 400 words