Christian Heilmann

The book that never was – the why of YQL

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010 at 1:21 pm

YQL is great, it is a technology that turns the web into a database and allows you to mix and match and filter before writing your first line of code. It also allows you to release an API without any infrastructure, knowledge of authentication and access control. In essence you can use Yahoo’s server infrastructure and processing power to unleash the awesome of the web into your products or the awesome of your data on the web.

There is a truckload of documentation, forums and blog posts about YQL on the YDN web site but as it is people love books so I was asked to write a YQL guide for Yahoo Press.

Specifically I was asked to write a demo chapter for the book to pitch to O’Reilly over Christmas, which I did. I then waited for the paperwork to be signed off and so on and time came and went until I was offered to write the YQL Guide for O’Reilly together with my colleague Tom Hughes-Croucher (as he had also sent in a proposal for a YQL book). We agreed on some collaboration and then Tom moved on to write another book.

As I am leaving Yahoo and yet have to see a contract about this book to sign, I announced that I am not going further with this project. Being the techno-hippie that I am though I thought it would be a waste to not give the first chapter to the world, so here it is:

You can read the chapter online, download the PDF or browse the “source” on GitHub in case you want to translate or quote it. I licensed it with Creative Commons so go nuts!

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