Simon Willison’s Weblog


106 items tagged “yahoo”


All I can say, looking back, is that when history takes a look at the lives of Jerry Yang and David Filo, this is what it will probably say: “Two graduate students, intrigued by a growing wealth of material on the Internet, built a huge fucking lobster trap, absorbed as much of human history and creativity as they could, and destroyed all of it.”

Jason Scott

# 26th December 2010, 3:57 pm / jason-scott, yahoo, recovered

I am, frankly, a mixture of disappointed and sad that after Yahoo! shut down Geocities, Briefcase, Content Match, Mash, RSS Advertising, Yahoo! Live, Yahoo! 360, Yahoo! Pets, Yahoo Publisher, Yahoo! Podcasts, Yahoo! Music Store, Yahoo Photos, Yahoo! Design, Yahoo Auctions, Farechase, Yahoo Kickstart, MyWeb, WebJay, Yahoo! Directory France, Yahoo! Directory Spain, Yahoo! Directory Germany, Yahoo! Directory Italy, the enterprise business division, Inktomi, SpotM, Maven Networks, Direct Media Exchange, The All Seeing Eye, Yahoo! Tech, Paid Inclusion, Brickhouse, PayDirect, SearchMonkey, and Yahoo! Go!… there are still people out there going “Well, Yahoo certainly will never shut down Flickr, because _______________” where ______ is the sound of donkeys.

Jason Scott

# 26th December 2010, 3:54 pm / flickr, jason-scott, yahoo, recovered

A predictable web of data—the why of YQL. Christian Heilmann is moving from Yahoo! to Mozilla to head up their evangelism team, and has marked the occasion by releasing the first chapter of a proposed book on YQL.

# 30th October 2010, 7:44 am / christian-heilmann, evangelism, mozilla, yahoo, yql, recovered

Yahoo! Developer Network: Important API Updates and Changes. Some important (and potentially worrying) news about Yahoo! APIs. The BOSS (Build your Own Search Service) API will no longer be free—not an enormous surprise, and hopefully the pricing will be sensible. Most of the other search APIs (including web, news and image search) are being turned off with no replacement, while term extraction and spelling suggestions will be YQL-only. Most worrying, changes to Geo, Maps and Local APIs will be announced in September, with some set to close. I really hope this doesn’t affect the GeoPlanet APIs.

# 17th August 2010, 6:14 pm / apis, boss, geoplanet, yahoo, yql, recovered My last day at Yahoo! Tom Coates on four years at Yahoo!

# 15th May 2010, 10:14 am / fireeagle, tom-coates, yahoo, recovered

Of Building Blocks, Rosetta Stones and Geographic Identifiers. Yahoo! GeoPlanet is now mapped to identifiers from other gazetteers such as GeoNames, FIPS and IATA—and those identifiers are available via the GeoPlanet API.

# 11th April 2010, 9:53 pm / geoplanet, yahoo, geodata, geonames

GeoPlanet Explorer. Chris Heilmann’s YQL powered explorer for the invaluable Yahoo! GeoPlanet / WhereOnEarth dataset. Every API deserves an explorer of some sort.

# 2nd March 2010, 8:14 am / geoplanet, christian-heilmann, yql, yahoo, apis


GeoPlanet data available again (via) Good news: the Yahoo! GeoPlanet data dump is available again. An issue with one of their data providers meant they had to remove that supplier’s data from the dump, but it’s now been separated and the dataset is live gain. By the end of 2010 they intend to derive all of the data from completely open sources.

# 11th December 2009, 8:17 am / geoplanet, yahoo, geo, mapping

Yahoo! OpenID: Now with Attribute Exchange! The nice thing about this is that an e-mail address obtained from Yahoo! via attribute exchange has already been verified, so you don’t need to perform the e-mail roundtrip yourself. I expect a lot of OpenID consuming sites will end up with internal whitelists of OpenID providers who they trust to provide verified e-mail addresses, with users of sites not on the whitelist still getting e-mailed a verification link.

# 5th December 2009, 5:25 pm / verification, email, openid, yahoo, attributeexchange

Introducing the YUI 3 Gallery. Write a plugin for YUI3, BSD license it and sign a CLA and Yahoo! will push your module out to their CDN and make it loadable using the YUI().use() statement. They’re coordinating the submissions using GitHub.

# 4th November 2009, 11:14 pm / cla, bsd, github, javascript, git, open-source, yahoo, yui, yui3

Traffic Server. Mark Nottingham explains the release of Traffic Server, a new Apache Incubator open source project donated by Yahoo! using code originally developed at Inktomi around a decade ago. Traffic Server is a HTTP proxy/cache, similar to Squid and Varnish (though Traffic Server acts as both a forward and reverse proxy, whereas Varnish only handles reverse).

# 1st November 2009, 12:15 pm / trafficserver, yahoo, inktomi, mark-nottingham, open-source, apache, http, cache, proxy, squid, varnish

This shouldn’t be the image of Hack Day

I love hack days. I was working in the vicinity of Chad Dickerson when he organised the first internal Yahoo! Hack Day back in 2005, and I’ve since participated in hack day events at Yahoo!, Global Radio and the Guardian. I’ve also been to every one of Yahoo!’s Open Hack Day events in London. They’re fantastic, and the team that organises them should be applauded.

[... 445 words]

YUI 3.0.0: First GA Release of YUI’s Next-Generation Codeline. YUI 3 has some very neat ideas—everything is dynamically loaded, so you start with a tiny bootstrap script and call YUI().use(’module-name’) to load just the code you need. Congratulations to the team.

# 29th September 2009, 11:38 pm / yui, yui3, yahoo, javascript, libraries

OpenID: Now more powerful and easier to use! The OpenID+OAuth hybrid protocol (where a user can sign in with OpenID and grant an application access to their OAuth protected resources such as a contact list at the same time) is now supported by Google, Yahoo! and MySpace—this feels like OpenID finally coming of age.

# 25th September 2009, 9:08 pm / openid, oauth, hybrid, google, myspace, yahoo, identity

By Popular Demand, We’re Keeping the Term Extraction Service. Yahoo! aren’t shutting down the term extractor after all. On the one hand, this is a great decision—but this kind of back and forth (dare I say flip-flopping?) really doesn’t help encourage people to build against hosted APIs.

# 19th August 2009, 11:44 am / yahoo, ydn, termextractor

Yahoo! Term Extraction and Contextual Web Search services to be discontinued. The official closure date is August 31st. Term extraction was really useful—thankfully there are a number of decent alternatives such as Zemanta, OpenCalais and topia.termextract.

# 12th August 2009, 11:57 am / topia, zemanta, opencalais, yahoo, web-services, termextractor

Today’s News and Yahoo!’s Developer Program. “For SearchMonkey and BOSS, we currently do not have anything concrete to tell you” ... “We wanted to let you know that today’s news does not affect these products [YUI, YQL, Pipes]”.

# 30th July 2009, 12:20 pm / searchmonkey, boss, yahoo, ydn, yui, yql, yahoopipes, pipes

YQL: INSERT INTO internet. insert into twitter.status (status,username,password) values (“Playing with INSERT, UPDATE and DELETE in YQL”, “twitterusername”,“twitterpassword”)

# 8th July 2009, 8:19 pm / twitter, yql, yahoo, apis, sql

Yahoo! proposal to open source “Traffic Server” via the ASF. Traffic Server is a “fast, scalable and extensible HTTP/1.1 compliant caching proxy server” (presumably equivalent to things like Squid and Varnish) originally acquired from Inktomi and developed internally at Yahoo! for the past three years, which has been benchmarked handling 35,000 req/s on a single box. No source code yet but it looks like the release will arrive pretty soon.

# 7th July 2009, 12:37 pm / trafficserver, yahoo, open-source, caching, proxy, squid, varnish, apache, asf

geocoders. A fifteen minute project extracted from something else I’m working on—an ultra simple Python API for geocoding a single string against Google, Yahoo! Placemaker, GeoNames and (thanks to Jacob) Yahoo! Geo’s web services.

# 27th May 2009, 10:02 am / geocoders, github, projects, geocoding, placemaker, google, yahoo, geonames, jacob-kaplan-moss, python, web-services

JS-Placemaker—geolocate texts in JavaScript. Chris Heilmann exposed Placemaker to JavaScript (JSONP) using a YQL execute table. Try his examples—I’m impressed that “My name is Jack London, I live in Ontario” returns just Ontario, demonstrating that Placemaker’s NLP is pretty well tuned.

# 23rd May 2009, 12:36 am / placemaker, yahoo, christian-heilmann, javascript, jsonp, yql, yqlexecute, nlp, geospatial, geocoding

Flickr Shapefiles Public Dataset 1.0. Another awesome Geo dataset from the Yahoo! stable—this time it’s Flickr releasing shapefiles (geometrical shapes) for hundreds of thousands of places around the world, under the CC0 license which makes them essentially public domain. The shapes themselves have been crowdsourced from geocoded photos uploaded to Flickr, where users can “correct” the textual location assigned to each photo. Combine this with the GeoPlanet WOE data and you get a huge, free dataset describing the human geography of the world.

# 22nd May 2009, 6:12 pm / flickr, shapefiles, geospatial, geo, geoplanet, yahoo, maps, creativecommons, crowdsourcing

Yahoo! Placemaker. Really exciting new API from Yahoo!—Placemaker accepts a block of text (or a URL to HTML or RSS) and extracts and returns geographical locations mentioned in the text. I just ran my djng blog entry through it and it pulled out “Prague” as the only location mentioned. This should be really useful for adding geodata to existing textual content.

# 20th May 2009, 9:34 pm / yahoo, geo, gis, placemaker, geocoding

Yahoo! Geo: Announcing GeoPlanet Data. The Yahoo! WhereOnEarth geographic data set is fantastic, but I’ve always felt slightly uncomfortable about building applications against it in case the API went away. That’s not an issue any more—the entire dataset is now available to download and use under a Creative Commons Attribution license. It’s not entirely clear what the attribution requirements are—do you have to put “data from GeoPlanet” on every page or can you get away with just tucking the attribution away in an “about this site” page? UPDATE: The data doesn’t include latitude/longitude or bounding boxes, which severely reduces its utility.

# 20th May 2009, 9:12 pm / attribution, creativecommons, data, geoplanet, geospatial, gis, whereonearth, yahoo

With YQL Execute, the Internet becomes your database. This is nuts (in a good way). Yahoo!’s intriguing universal SQL-style XML/JSONP web service interface now supports JavaScript as a kind of stored procedure language, meaning you can use JavaScript and E4X to screen-scrape web pages, then query the results with YQL.

# 29th April 2009, 10:50 pm / yql, yahoo, apis, sql, javascript, xml, jsonp, json, e4x

Bring bandwidth and disks. Help me save Geocities. Not because we love it. We hate it. But if you only save the things you love, your archive is a very poor reflection indeed.

Jason Scott

# 26th April 2009, 10:30 am / yahoo, geocities, archiveteam, jason-scott

Yahoo! Query Language thoughts. An engineer on Google’s App Engine provides an expert review of Yahoo!’s YQL. I found this more useful than the official documentation.

# 9th February 2009, 10:29 pm / google, yahoo, appengine, yql

YQL opens up 3rd-party web service table definitions to developers. This really is astonishingly clever: you can create an XML file telling Yahoo!’s YQL service how to map an arbitrary API to YQL tables, then make SQL-style queries against it (including joins against other APIs). Another neat trick: doing a SQL “in” query causes API requests to be run in parallel and recombined before being returned to you.

# 9th February 2009, 9:08 pm / yql, yahoo, apis, sql

New Gearman Server & Library in C, MySQL UDFs. Gearman, the job queue written for LiveJournal and now used by Digg and Yahoo!, has been rewritten in C. Looks like a good candidate for an easily configured lightweight message queue. Also includes hooks for writing MySQL functions that can interact with queues.

# 13th January 2009, 4:41 pm / mysql, message-queues, digg, gearman, livejournal, queues, scaling, yahoo, ericday

A Snapshot of The Yahoo! Photos Beta (from 2006). Scott Schiller shares an internal retrospective on the Yahoo! Photos interface from 2006, which was years ahead of its time (they started building it before the term Ajax had even been coined). The material on memory management and event delegation is particularly interesting.

# 12th January 2009, 10:21 pm / eventdelegation, scott-schiller, yahoo, yui, yahoophotos, ajax, javascript