Archive for the 'api' Category

New FeedBlendr Backend Code

Thursday, August 16th, 2007

I am in the process of moving over to a new set of internal code for FeedBlendr to help with future enhancements, so you might see some funkiness over the next few days (although hopefully not!). The new version introduces a few enhancements, including some slight changes to existing features:

  • Internal APIs use Atom-based formats where possible now (OPML stuff is still there where it makes sense tho).
  • Added a custom namespace (fv, for FeedVille) to the OPML output, and also some other outputs to provide additional information to users/developers.
  • Added some new output format options (look for them on blend information pages soon).
  • Added some customization options for output formats for restricting the number of entries displayed and limiting output to headlines only.
  • LOTS of internal changes, but those shouldn’t affect you :-)

Hopefully all servers will be switched over to the new code-base by the end of today, and some new documentation etc will be available to detail these changes.

UPDATE 2007-08-21: This code has been fully deployed on all servers as of 2007-08-17 and appears to be working successfully :-)

Major Core Upgrades

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

I’m currently working on some significant core upgrades to FeedBlendr that will also allow the service to start scaling towards some of the other tools that I’m going to be rolling out. These changes affect pretty much everything internally, and will allow me to add a few new features, and to build out the other tools faster>

  • New, standardized Caching framework (that will hopefully not cause more problems!)
  • Improved database connection handling (this will allow me to more easily use slave DBs etc when required)
  • Standardized and centralized “auto-discovery” class for locating feeds
  • Improved and generalized HTTP class, customized to handle everything I need and nothing I don’t
  • Totally separate “format conversion” layer for doing output in Serialized PHP, JS, JSON etc – some cool things can happen here!

I’m really excited about these changes (and some others that I’m still working on). This is the next step in ramping up towards the rest of the Feedville family. Keep an eye on this blog for more info!

Oh — and in response to my previous post about moving to Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud and Simple Storage Service, I got a few questions about my experiences etc, so I’ll be writing up another quick post summarizing it all soon.

More Blendr Updates

Sunday, April 15th, 2007

I’ve just finished uploading and testing a new round of updates for FeedBlendr, please let me know if you spot anything funky!

  • Added a “What Are Feeds?” page (link) to the homepage.
  • Improved RSS output (stripped some unnecessary attributes, output <category> tags properly, and a couple others).
  • Changed all the URLs that you use to request blends and subscribe pages etc. I’ve added redirects to handle all the old formats and redirect them to the new formats, but please take note of the new formats as outlined on a blend’s detail page. This change makes all the request URLs much more RESTful.
  • Added the “Source” in the output for mobile reading.
  • Got rid of the separate subscription buttons and added a single, “AddThis” button which links to all sorts of readers, both online and actual clients.
  • Added caching to JavaScript and JSON output, so hopefully they’ll work a little faster. You may see slightly longer delays with updates of content, but actual page-loads should be a bit quicker for you now.
  • Added the option to get headlines-only from JavaScript and JSON outputs. Read about it in the Developers section

You can email me using this address if you notice anything strange, or would like to suggest a new feature.

First Known FeedBlendr API Usage “In The Wild”

Wednesday, April 4th, 2007

A couple of days ago, I got an email with the subject “API User” and I thought wow, someone’s actually using that API that I spent so long writing, and I suppose this will be a problem that they’re having with it.

I was half right, it was indeed from someone using the FeedBlendr API, but I was wrong about the second part – he wasn’t having any problems with it, he just wanted to let me know that he was using it, and it was working! The email was from Toby, one of the developers of HubTag.com, a new service which allows you to create, track and promote a “hub tag”. According to their description, “a HubTag is a unique word on the internet used to tag your photos and videos that you have published on different web 2.0 tools”.

Their implementation appears to involve automated blending from a number of public Web2.0 properties, so that you can get a single feed containing everything that uses a certain, unique tag. Toby Beresford, co-founder said “in practice this means www.hubtag.com will promote using unique hubtags for specific purposes like events, projects and personal filing.”

Looks like the guys are still working on the site as it’s already started adding in extra features and tools since I first looked at it, so it could be one to keep an eye on in the future. According to Neil Johnston, the other co-founder, their vision for HubTag is “everyone using tags relevantly and seamlessly to maintain better connections online”.

Great stuff – if anyone else is using the API for anything I’d love to hear about it!