I'm pleased to announce that in the last week, we've successfully deployed our latest site update. Read along to see what we've been doing to make things a bit easier for you.
Optional Domain Verification
One of the biggest pain points for developers wanting to use Yahoo! APIs and services was that you had to verify your domain before you got Consumer Keys for our services. This security restriction was especially annoying at events like our HackDays, when developers told us they really wanted to start coding as quickly as possible. We've now relaxed this requirement and made domain verification optional. You can still verify your domain when you sign up for a key if you want, but we now offer the option to skip this process and let you verify later from the 'My Projects' dashboard. This makes it much easier to start building apps on Yahoo! services, like our Updates and Contacts APIs.
'My Projects' dashboard
As well as the changes to the domain verification process, we also made some other changes to the 'My Projects' dashboard.
- 'My Favorite' module link. If you are a YAP developer, you can now update the destination link that your app uses in the 'My Favorite' module, when installed on the Yahoo! homepage. This option is found in the application details tab and gives you more control over how users interact with your Open Applications.
- Update primary email address. If you submit your Open Application for inclusion in our galleries, we may need to contact you. This feature helps ensure we've got the correct email address on record.
Create Consumer Key API
The Create Consumer Key (CCK) API allows developers to easily provide Yahoo!-issued Consumer Keys, Consumer Secrets, and Application IDs to their users. You can find out more about it in this introduction.
In the last few weeks, we've made several improvements to the YDN Forum, both of which make it easier to use.
- Email notifications: You can now subscribe to a forum thread and get notified by email when someone replies, or subscribe to a board and get notified of a new topic.
- Improved the RSS feeds: These now include replies to threads, rather than just the opening post.
New navigation bar
If you are a regular YDN user, you will probably have noticed this change already. We have made some tweaks to the navigation bar, making sure that it is easy to browse to the most popular and most used sections of the site. You can now navigate to Yahoo! Query Language, YUI, Hadoop and our Pattern Library in just one click, as well as get support from our forum. We also made some of the descriptions and names a little clearer. For instance, now you don't need any inside knowledge to know that YAP is our apps platform (Yahoo! Application Platform).
In case you were wondering, these changes are based on the results of a usability study done here at Yahoo! We invited some developers, some YDN users and some not, into the Yahoo! office here in Silicon Valley and watched them use the site through a 2-way mirror in our usability lab. We learned quite a bit from the exercise and are using the findings to make some site design decisions. The participants did know they were being spied on of course.
Bugs, bugs and more bugs
Last but not least, the YDN engineers closed a plethora of bugs (over 100). These ranged from resolving browser compatibility issues, to fixing incorrect 'new message' counts on the forum, to performance optimizations on the 'My Projects' dashboard. We'll continue to fix bugs each release.
The eagled-eyed amongst you may already know this, as YAP developers should see a module entitled Spring 2010. Yahoo! to introduce support for OpenSocial 0.9 on their 'My Projects' details page. We are currently working on supporting the OpenSocial gadget XML spec in YAP. This upgrade means soon you will be able to modify your application via a gadget XML file hosted on your server, rather than having to enter all your app meta-data into a form. Once deployed, you'll also be able to take full advantage of the OpenSocial APIs and increase your application's portability to other OpenSocial-compliant containers.
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