Earlier this month I eulogized the Yahoo Maps API. It was launched the same week as the Google Maps API and for some time was often mentioned at the same time. The Yahoo Maps API, it appeared, was to be disconnected by now, but it appears the company is going to wait a bit longer.
These days it might be hard to remember that the Yahoo Maps API was ever second fiddle to the Google Maps API. These days, it barely picks up its fiddle. And in less than two weeks, Yahoo will lift its once-mighty mapping API above its head and bang the fiddle repeatedly into the stage like Pete Townshend. The remnants, barely held together with strings and the crumpled instrument neck, will then go in some dumpster in Sunnyvale. It’s okay, after all, because Nokia’s Ovi Maps API will be a fine replacement. It’s only the nostalgic, like me, who’ll have any problem with seeing the Yahoo name disappear.
Flickr has added more real-time goodness to their photo API. Using a publish / subscribe (PubSub) system, developers can now receive real-time updates across millions of photos across Flickr friends, Flickr Commons, and by tags and geo-location using the Flickr Real-Time API.
Yahoo has just released a cool new embeddable media player, Yahoo WebPlayer, that supports MP3 and WMA files, as well as multiple services like YouTube and Yahoo Video. Yahoo has also launched a whole new site to attract publishers and developers and to encourage them to use the player when publishing audio and video across the Web.
It’s been a long year since Yahoo’s major search API changes. One of its popular offerings, the Yahoo BOSS API, was marked for transition to a paid service after integrating search results from Microsoft Bing. In April of this year, Yahoo BOSS V2 was released with pricing details, OAuth support and optional Advertising. Users have reacted positively to the changes and Yahoo has responded back with updates to BOSS V2 and a very short timeline to upgrade apps from V1.
If Yahoo shut down its mapping APIs, would anyone notice? Apparently not, as there’s been little written about the company’s recent announcement that makes official what we’ve all seen for some time: Yahoo will not be a player in Maps, instead relying on its partner, Nokia. As of September 13, the Yahoo Maps API will go away. The company is already suggesting developers migrate to Nokia’s Ovi Maps API.
The most popular API, in terms of mashup count, is far and away the Google Maps API, which accounts for 41% of all mashups. But when it comes to the most popular pair of APIs, Flickr and YouTube mashups are the most common. Not to be outdone, Google Maps joins Flickr in a near second place.
It looked like Yahoo BOSS was dead 18 months ago, when the Microsoft search deal was announced. Behind the scenes, Yahoo has been re-tooling its Yahoo BOSS API, which lets developers Build their Own Search Service. With a re-launch coming next month, it has released technical documentation, which includes changes to authentication, the option to use ads from the service, as well as introductory prices for the service.
Now there’s a date. MyBlogLog has been on deathwatch for over a year. It’s been clear that Yahoo would kill it and its MyBlogLog API, but still it kept dragging on, avoiding an execution date. According to several reports, Yahoo informed MyBlogLog users that the service will be extinguished May 24.
In a world where real-time data streams are becoming much more common, and with the volume of that data continuing to increase, it makes sense that a framework would be developed to increase the ease at which that data can be processed. Yahoo! S4 isn’t the first such framework to be concieved, or even open sourced, but it is likely to massively increase awareness that such frameworks exist, what problems they may help solve and get developers thinking about how they could use the technology and potentially increase the likelihood of somebody moving S4-like capabilities into the cloud and offering it as as service.