Christian Heilmann

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Archive for November, 2008

WordPress Plugin to add Yahoo Keywords to your posts

Friday, November 14th, 2008

Continuing my playing around with Yahoo BOSS, I’ve put together a quick WordPress plugin to add keywords to any of your blog posts.

Simply Download the plugin unpack it to your plugin directory and activate it.

Once activated you can use two commands in your blog posts:

[ yahookeywords:parisweb]

This will be replaced by a list of keywords – an HTML list of 10 terms with a CSS class called “yahoo-keywords”.

[ yahootags:parisweb]

This will be replaced by the same list, but each of the terms will be linked as a tag back to your blog.

Live examples:


Paris Web – Working in the now

Friday, November 14th, 2008

Yesterday I was one of the speakers at Paris Web and my talk was “Working in the now”:
[slideshare id=749394&doc=workinginthenow-1226584706289320-9&w=425]

me showing the slimming benefits of crowded trains. Photo by Xavier Borderie
Originally I meant to talk about HTML5 goodies and how to simulate them with Flash and DHTML right now (writing a small abstraction library) but seeing the latest rounds of crashes and layoffs I changed my stance and talked about things that we could be doing now to both secure our jobs and not lose all the momentum the standards movement got in the last few years.

I’ve explained the reasons and my thoughts on the subject in detail in another post here. In the talk I advocated re-using components and systems we already have to work faster, deliver better and have less hardware and software overhead in doing so.

These are:

The feedback so far was great, but there was also a lot of “yeah this is open source, but what if the company running it goes down and how can I trust it” questions. I will write something longer abut this soon, it is just very interesting to see that there is a big problem with free things and trust.

Yahoo BOSS keyword extraction API wrappers (JS/PHP)

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

One of my favourite “old school” Yahoo APIs is the term extractor which is a service that extracts relevant keywords from a text you give it.

Yahoo BOSS is now supporting this feature for indexed web sites. While you’d normally just get a list of sites with for example:{appid}

You can get the keywords for each of the pages returned by adding the (so far undocumented) view=keyterms parameter:{appid}

This can be pretty useful to get a list of keywords related to a certain term.

In order to do this, I’ve written a small API in PHP and JavaScript that gets you the related terms from the first ten search results and returns them as an array.

The PHP API wrapper

The PHP version takes three parameters: the mandatory term to search for, an optional callback method name to wrap around the JSON return value and an optional format parameter that can be set to HTML to return an HTML list instead of a JSON object.

The JavaScript API wrapper

The JavaScript wrapper uses dynamically generated script nodes to retrieve the data and can be used by simply calling a BOSSTERMS.get() method with a search term and the name of a callback method. The return object has a term property, the keywords as an array and a string that is an HTML list of the terms.

Get the lot

You can download the whole BOSS keyword API here. As always, it is BSD licensed, so go nuts using it :)

Making Yahoo BOSS easier with yboss

Monday, November 10th, 2008

Having had a lot of hackers at the Open Hack Day Brazil get confused on how to use the JavaScript output of Yahoo’s Open Search platform BOSS I’ve spent a short while to write a wrapper library for it. You can now easily search the web, images and news of Yahoo in one go with a few lines of code:

The wrapper does all the work for you: creating the different script nodes calling the BOSS API with the right parameters and either returning a JSON object with all the mandatory search data (links in a certain format) or returning a bunch of HTML lists that can be printed out as innerHTML anywhere you like.

Check out the yboss homepage and download the script for yourself. The hackers at the Hack Day loved it and the winning hack in the BOSS category was based on it. Also check out the presentation I’ve given on BOSS at the hack day to learn all about the system itself:

[slideshare id=733718&doc=javascript-and-boss-open-hack-day-brazil-2907&w=425]

Again telling people about evangelising – this time in Sao Paulo, Brazil

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

I just arrived in Sao Paulo, Brazil for the upcoming Open Hack Day. The dent to my trip (and my laptop) was that someone dropped my bag on the flight over which means that my MacBook now looks like a hollywood premiere (floodlights from below):

Mac Book display fail

In any case, in a few minutes I am giving a presentation in the Yahoo office here about evangelism in general and how it fits in with the company structure.

[slideshare id=725389&doc=evangelizingbrazil-1225938652275731-9&w=425]