Christian Heilmann

Posts Tagged ‘creativecommons’

The book that never was – the why of YQL

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

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!

TTMMHTM: Yarn about CSS on mobiles with free music (or summat)

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

Things that made me happy this morning:

Retrieve and display Flickr photos the easy way with getFlickrBy

Saturday, May 9th, 2009

As part of my talk on YQL for Open Hack London I’ve thought of an easy way to get Flickr photos that you are allowed to display in your products and hacks.

The wrapper API getFlickrBy works around the somewhat convoluted data returned from Flickr’s API methods and uses YQL to cut the information you want down to the bare necessities. Furthermore the API only returns photos that are licenced with Creative Commons’ “By” license to avoid you using photos you have no right to use (which is a big thing with the Flickr crowd).

The API endpoint is:

You have several parameters to play with:

The location you want photos of as defined in the Yahoo Geo API
A word you want to search for
The format of the returned data, XML, HTML or JSON - preset is XML
A name of a JavaScript function call to wrap the JSON data in, in case you want to use the API in a script node
The amount of photos returned, max is 100 – preset is 20
the photo size, “s” for 75×75px, “t” for thumbnail, “m” for medium, omit to get big size

The API returns only what you need: the image title, the owner, the url of the image and the link to Flickr. If you use html as the output format it returns an HTML list of linked images. For output demos and explanations simply call the API without any parameters

Here are some examples how to use the API:

TTMMHTM – CSS3, good job offer, awesome coffee place

Friday, December 12th, 2008

Things that made me happy this morning:

The Opera Web Standards Curriculum is live!

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

The last few months Chris Mills from Opera was busy gathering a lot of great web development experts around him (with a lot of pimping by yours truly) to assemble probably the most thorough and up-to-date web standards curriculum on the web: The Opera Web Standard Curriculum

Several dozen articles, all licensed with Creative Commons will be available to cover the tasks of web development: from understanding the principles of the web up to Ajax interaction. During the whole course the main focus is on usability, accessibility and writing maintainable code. We deliberately left out browser hacks and backward facing solutions and build on the ideas of progressive enhancement and unobtrusive JavaScript.

I wished this would’ve been out when I started, it’d have saved me a lot of time learning bad practices and un-learning them (which is always a painful process).

So, read it, use it and teach younglings the way of the standards Jedi: The Opera Web Standard Curriculum