As the Yahoo! Application Platform (YAP) matures and is introduced into new drop zones throughout Yahoo!, many questions have come up about developer support and the best new features. There have been numerous suggestions from our community and we have looked into many of the questions and concerns raised by our users. To that end, we have implemented significant technology upgrades to make the lives of YAP developers much easier, and that is what I want to outline in this post. I want to highlight some of the best updates to the platform and additional tools that developers may find useful.
We have heard from developers that you would like to allow the small view of a YAP application to be more dynamic, or build content each time the user views the application. This was a valid concern and is one that we have addressed with the yml:include tag. This tag will allow you to automatically make a server-side request for content once the application loads. In doing so, you can incorporate fresh data into the small view or set up a deferred content load on the large view to speed up the perceived application load time. A delay feature is also available within this tag. This will allow you to defer the loading of content by a certain number of seconds. Using this tag, you can create an application interface that refreshes automatically at timed intervals.
A full overview and code samples of this new feature can be found here: http://www.nakedtechnologist.com/?p=393.
New OpenSocial Support
Additional Social SDKs and Upgrades
The Yahoo! Social SDKs wrap our Social API endpoints and handle all the OAuth magic needed by the backend of an Open app, i.e., authenticating a user with the application platform, updating an apps small view content, publishing updates in response to user activities, fetching the users social data, etc. These SDKs provide the easiest way to dive into backend development for your Open App.
You may be aware of our standard PHP, AS3 and Objective-C SDKs, but did you also know that we have a few new additions and new methods for providing them to the community? Our SDKs have all moved to a new home at http://www.github.com/yahoo and are listed under yos-social-LANGUAGE. These SDKs are all released under the BSD license, so feel free to use them in your projects. Adding to the repertoire of SDKs, there has been a release of a new Python SDK for developers to use.
For more experienced developers, an experimental iteration on the PHP SDK is also available on github. Some of the more noteworthy features of this version are simplified token management, which gives the developer more control over session handling, and use of YQL internally for data fetching (see getProfileLocation() and getGeoPlaces() in lib/Yahoo/YahooOAuthApplication.class.php). Although not required for Open app development, another feature of this SDK worth mentioning is its support of OpenID + OAuth hybrid auth. Please feel free to fork these projects and send us pull requests.