api

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

Usability, Findability, and Remixability, Especially Remixability

It’s been more than a year since I first demonstrated Scriblio (was WPopac) at ALA Midwinter in San Antonio. More than a year since NCSU debuted their Endeca-based OPAC. And by now most every major library vendor has announced a product that promises to finally deliver some real improvements to our systems. My over-simplified list […] » about 800 words

APIs Are Big Business

ProgrammableWeb pointed out an InformationWeek story that claimed 28% of Amazon’s sales in early 2005 were attributable to Amazon affiliates. And C|net claims Amazon now has 180,000 AWS developers (up from the 140,000 Amazon was claiming about a year ago).

(Note: not every Amazon affiliate/associate is an Amazon Web Services (AWS) developer, but Amazon hasn’t shared more specific numbers.)

These slides, from Amazon’s AWS developer relations team explain a lot about what AWS is.

ISBN1013 API Followup

A couple questions about my API to convert 10 digit ISBNs to 13 digits pointed out somethings I failed to mention earlier. First, the API actually works both ways. That is, it identifies and validates both 10 and 13 digit ISBNs on input, and returns both versions in the output. Example: 0811822842 and 978081182284-8. And, […] » about 200 words

OpenSearch In A Nutshell

OpenSearch is a standard way of querying a database for content and returning the results. The official docs note simply: “Any website that has a search feature can make their results available in OpenSearch format,” then adds: “Publishing your search results in OpenSearch™ format will draw more people to your content, by exposing it to […] » about 300 words

Technology Scouts At AALL

I’m honored to join Katie Bauer, of Yale University Library, in a program coordinated by Mary Jane Kelsey, of Yale Law’s Lillian Goldman Library. The full title of our program is Technology Scouts: how to keep your library and ILS current in the IT world (H-4, 4PM Tuesday, room 274). My portion of the presentation […] » about 300 words

OPAC Web Services Should Be Like Amazon Web Services

No, I’m not talking about the interface our users see in the web browser — there’s enough argument about that — I’m talking about web services, the technologies that form much of the infrastructure for Web 2.0. Once upon a time, the technology that displayed a set of data, let’s say catalog records, was inextricably […] » about 900 words

Wikipedia API?

I want Wikipedia to have an API, but it doesn’t. Some web searching turned up Gina Trapani’s WikipedizeText, but that still wasn’t exactly what I wanted. A note in the source code, however, put me back on the trail to the Wikipedia database downloads, and while that’s not what I want, I did learn that […] » about 200 words

Google Maps Rock, The Google Maps API Rocks More

We don’t need to hack Google Maps anymore. Now that Google has released a public maps API, we can make more reliable map-dependent apps (which will now have better browser compatibility, thank you). Within a few minutes of signing up for a maps API key I had put together the following of the Nevada Test Site Tour.

Yeah, click the satellite button, scroll, zoom… It’s real.

The API is all JavaScript, but I use a bit of PHP to iterate through an array of points and generate the code that puts the lines and pins on the map.

The most frustrating development with the Google Maps API is that each developer key is limited to a certain hostname and directory. It’s sensitive to things like “maisonbisson.com” instead of “maisonbisson.com” or “maisonbisson.com/post/10594” instead of “maisonbisson.com/blog/” . That’s why this is loading in an iframe.

Thanks to The Unofficial Google Weblog for the tip that the API was released yesterday. As a minor coincidence, Yahoo! also released their maps API this week. Damn.

On The Media Does Copyright Issue

I had just sat down to post a note about an interview with J.D. Lasica in On The Media (listen to MP3) this week when I found David Rothman beat me to it. The interview was one of the better treatments of copyright issues that’s I’ve heard/seen in the (relatively-) popular media. Here’s the summary […] » about 300 words

Of WordPress Tags, Keywords, XML-RPC, and the MovableType API

WordPress’s XML-RPC support looks pretty good. Heck, it supports a half dozen APIs and works well with ectoexcept for tag support, which is my only complaint with it so far.

The Movable Type API supports a “keywords” field that I’m thinking can be hijacked as a “tags” field instead, but while ecto sends the goods — I can see them in the XML-RPC data that gets sent out, WordPress seems to ignore them upon receipt. So I’m looking around the WordPress plugin API docs for a solution, but all I can find is an undocumented mention of xmlrpc_methods in Skippy’s list of plugin hooks.