Simon Willison’s Weblog


The YDN Python Developer Center

8th August 2006

I recently had the opportunity to put together the Python Developer Center for the Yahoo! Developer Network. YDN is one of my favourite parts of Yahoo! so I jumped at the chance, and the resulting mini-site is now online (YDN blog post here).

The bulk of the content is the HOWTOs, which discuss ways of accessing Yahoo! APIs using Python:

I had a lot of fun playing around with different ways of accessing the APIs and working out which ones were the most natural fit. The HOWTOs use urllib, urllib2 and xml.dom.minidom from the standard library, but also discuss httplib2, ElementTree and simplejson as third party libraries that are worth investigating. Naturally, feedparser is the recommended tool for accessing Yahoo!’s multitude of RSS feeds.

Python really is a fantastic language for exploring web service APIs. All of the example code for the HOWTOs was first written in an interactive prompt and then copied to a file once it was working. Test-first development is certainly an important technique, but the power of interactive development should never be underestimated.

This is The YDN Python Developer Center by Simon Willison, posted on 8th August 2006.

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