Skip to main content

Why YQL?

Content, & to a degree data, has become ubiquitous in this post-Web 2.0 revolution era. Having mounds of content is not only common, its expected. However, you’ll be hard-pressed to make a business around simply serving data (outside “Premium” content like TV shows ala Hulu.) What you can do is take the hoards of distribution channels and make something meaningful out of all this mess.

Making something meaningful, however, is tricky. With an never-ending array of technologies, formats, standards and groups, collecting content is sometimes harder than figuring out how to make it meaningful. Wouldn’t it be lovely if there was a system that simplified the management and manipulation of data around the web?

That’s where the Yahoo! Query Language (YQL) comes in. For those of you unfamiliar, YQL is system that allows you to work with RESTful web-services in a syntax similar to SQL. YQL has three key elements:
  • Basic YQL - a system for “SELECT”ing or polling web-services. 
  • YQL Open Data Tables - a directory system for web-services. 
  • YQL Execute - a way to modify data on the web, really the last piece of the puzzle. 
From a intellectual-curiosity point of view, YQL sounds interesting. However, many technologists argue that YQL is just a niche product and cannot be used for anything commercial. I claim that YQL is much more.

YQL provides two important abilites: managing web-services and manipulating data they serve. I really like how zembly manages available APIs, but wouldn’t it be great for Zembly if they just needed a single XML file? Then, once someone selects three APIs or so, how awesome would it be to write 3 uniform lines to get the data they need?

So far, the only downside to YQL is that it goes through Yahoo!s proxy. But, with a 100,000 call per app, per day limit, most projects are good to go. I looked for frameworks or libraries that cloned YQL’s syntax, but no dice. As of of now, you gotta go through Yahoo!. If you find a framework or library, let me know below.

All that said, I’d suggest trying out YQL. I’m currently working on a full OpenSocial Open Table. Try to find an API you’re passionate about and make table for it. :-D

Thoughts? Blurb it in the comments.

./BBK

Popular posts from this blog

My weekend project: an Arduino, Raspberry Pi & Node.js robot

Yes I know, I'll get more buzzwords when I my JavaScript creates Cloud Synergy - but after I Pivot.




I've been spending my wee few hours a week designing, tinkering and finally building my little robotics platform. I've had ideas brewing for a while but haven't had enough time outside of work to start hacking.

It all started when I first saw Rick Waldron's Johnny Five framework for Node.js.
Sensors are asynchronous, so, ya, a node.js robot framework makes sense. A few months later I started sketching designs, reading up on firmata and buying my arduino & Pi.

Before the what & why, here's the basic BOM:
1 Arduino Uno R3 running firmata1 original Raspberry Pi with Raspbian, Node.js & 4gb of storage1 Magicians chassis1 SN754410NE Quad Half H-Bridge to drive the motors1 dual-output mobile battery backA custom mount for the Pi & some custom USB cabling for power Why Raspberry Pi The main controller is a Rpi. It turns 2 small motors by delegating instru…

A Maker's Equipment List

I've been building up a nice supply of tools and components so I decided it is high-time to build a small workspace in my tiny SF apartment. There were things I knew I still needed but wrestled with some tough choices (like which Oscilloscope to buy.) I wanted either a nice Wishlist on Amazon or at least a great list to start my journey. I found a few decent starting points in the form of video & blogs:
How to set up an electronics lab/workshop at homeSo You Want to Build ElectronicsHow to equip your EE lab The first link is actually a transcription from +EEVblog /by +Dave Jones (EEVblog is an awesome blog and YouTube channel, you should subscribe.) The second blog /by +Kenneth Finnegan covers more of the components side.

What I couldn't find is a complete compiled list with links to purchase. So I made one! I put together a simple Amazon Affiliate store called Maker Workbench Equipment List. I merged what I thought made sense and added a bunch of items I think any good Mak…

Google+ Pages, Events and Hangouts On Air for organizers (part 1)

If you run a conference, meetup or event, you're probably thinking about increasing your presence on Google+. I've recently helped a few folks set up their Google+ presence in haste so I thought it would be worth typing notes on what you need to know.

I've observed 3 types of events being organized on Google+:
A yearly conference or unconf that it is a stand-alone brand, such as CES.An umbrella conference with several related or affiliated events, like JSConf.A broad collection of many local communities, such as the Google Developer Groups. In this multipart series, I'll dive into each main part:  Google+ PagesEvents & Hangouts On Air, starting with Google+ Pages. I'll also touch on YouTube channels. Google+ Pages In the past, organizers would create a brand new email for their event, like myconf-needs-a-gmail@gmail.com. You don't need to do that anymore. Actually, DON'T CREATE ONE OFF GMAILS ANYMORE! Using you're existing gmail is easier to manage…