Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Web-Service API for Yahoo 360

I had posed the following question in the Yahoo-360 Group a couple of days ago:

How far is Yahoo! from providing a Web Service interface (REST/SOAP) to Yahoo! 360?

Yahoo-360 is fabulous! But exposing the features of Yahoo-360 through Web-Services would allow people who are not employees of Yahoo! to mash-up and remix the functionality of Yahoo-360 with other Web Services to create interesting new applications.

In addition to being able to publish posts to the blog through a Web-Service interface, I would especially like the user-profile data to be exposed through an XML Web Service.

Ernie Hsiung from Yahoo! Sunnyvale replied saying:

We are currently into Web Services. We've looked at MetaWeblogAPI, the Web Service that's used for other blog services such as MovableType, Blogger, etc. We can not use this for the same reasons that MSN Spaces can not use the web service, and I'll let an engineer at MSN explain the reasoning:

http://blogs.msdn.com/dareobasanjo/archive/2004/12/02/273762.aspx

That being said, we're looking into other ways to safely send Yahoo! login information over the wire, and we're talking with the folks over at the Yahoo Developer Network to try to piggyback any ideas they have.

Keep your eyes peeled.
- E

(Check the thread)

Dare Obasanjo is the engineer from MSN Spaces referred to by Ernie, and he had cited the following two issues with implementing existing APIs like the MetaWeblog API and the Blogger API for MSN Spaces:

  1. Security: The MetaWeblog API has no concept of security. Passwords are sent in plaintext as parameters to XML-RPC functions (i.e. they are sent in plain text on the wire as part of the XML message).
  2. Limited Functionality: The MetaWeblog API only allows one to either post and edit blog entries, fetch information about a specific user or change the website template. This is a drop in the bucket considering all the things one would like to do with a weblog engine which can be supported by the engine.

Dare had mentioned some choices:

  1. Support Blogger/MetaWeblog API over HTTPS/SSL
  2. Support an MSN Spaces specific API over HTTPS/SSL
  3. Support the Atom API over HTTPS/SSL

Well, I had some data-mining kind of tools in mind when I had posed my question because I believe there's lots of interesting information that can be extracted from blogs. I wonder if there exist APIs for exposing user profile data. But it is quite clear that the MetaWeblog API and the Blogger API are insufficient in their present form for what I am looking for, hence the second option above seems to be the one I'd like Yahoo! to consider.

1 comment:

Anthony said...

MSN Spaces has actually installed the metablogapi without it being over HTTPS as suggested by one of the developers. interesting, hopefully Yahoo! follows in the shoes.