Blog Posts by Chris Heilmann

  • Search Monkey Developer Evening in Munich, Germany

    Today around 20 developers assembled in our Munich office to hear about SearchMonkey, get their questions answered and generally get a feel about what Yahoo is up to in the near future.

    SearchMonkey developer event in Munich

    The signs weren't good before we started the developer evening. Munich was brimming with people because of a massive football game and a conference which sent the hotel prices soaring.
    There was a conference about affiliate marketing in nearby Austria, and a big web development conference in nearby Erlangen the next day. Yet all the developers that signed up for the event arrived with German punctuality and followed the presentation of Neil Crosby asking very interesting questions and getting their concerns answered.

    Most questions revolved around the implementation of search monkeys, the issues of abuse and privacy and the promotion opportunities developers have once they successfully created their masterpiece.


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  • Hadoop Community meeting in the Yahoo Korea office

    On Wednesday, the 27th of August around 40 developers met in the office of Yahoo! in Seoul, Korea to talk about all things Hadoop.

    Attendee badges

    Jaesun Han showing off the collective intelligence book

    For 3 hours the attendees listened to different speakers covering uses of Hadoop, an Apache project developing open-source software for scalable distributed computing.

    The different topic and speakers were:

    1) Machine Learning Algorithm using Hadoop Map/Reduce ( Jaesun Han , NexR)
    2) HBase v0.2 Test Result (Hyungjoon Kim, NHN)
    3) Map/Reduce Discussion (Heewon Jeon, Yahoo! Korea)

    There are a lot of photos available on Flickr and we're happy to see that everybody had a great time and came back home schwag-ladden with T-Shirts, notebook bags and even digital photo frames!

    Chris Heilmann
    Yahoo Developer Network

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  • Show off the videos of your favourite band with the Yahoo Music API

    There's a new kid on the API block in Yahoo land: the Yahoo Music API. It comes with programmatic access to the data on Yahoo Music and supports all the goodies you got to know from other Yahoo APIs: XML or JSON output, option to define a callback method for JSON output and filtering via REST parameters. All of this is explained in detail in the extensive API guide and there is also a Music API forum to get help.

    A music video player created using the API and some JavaScript

    The really cool thing about the API is that it allows you to get music videos of your favourite arists and play them immediately in your web site with only a few lines of JavaScript. Want to learn how?

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  • Accessibility 2.0 presentation audio and transcripts

    In April the Accessibility2.0 conference in London, England provided a lot of food for thought for the attendees, taking the discussions around removing barriers and inclusive design further than most conferences.

    The organizers, AbilityNet have now come around to releasing all the audio and transcripts of the Accessibility 2.0 presentations for download and reading. Yahoo's involvement was my presentation "Fencing in the habitat" and Mike Davies as an expert on the final panel discussion.

    This is a great service and a good example of what service you should provide to attendees of accessibility events. We congratulate AbilityNet on this and look forward to next year's conference.

    The next event in terms of Accessibility conferences in the UK is Scripting Enabled which still has a few free tickets available.

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  • YUI Tab views sing ARIAs

    Anyone interested in inclusive design and making the web a more accessible place should check out Todd Kloots' latest post on the YUI blog: Enhancing TabView Accessibility with WAI-ARIA Roles and States. In it Todd explains how you can use WAI-ARIA to turn the YUI Tabview control into tabs that do not only show a visual change but also notify assistive technology of the changes happening to the interface and allow for full keyboard control.

    WAI-ARIA is a technology standard that tries to bridge the issue of HTML not being rich enough to create the web applications we've come to expect. HTML describes documents, not interfaces and there are no native elements for interface elements like menus, tabs or sliders. With WAI-ARIA you can define these using a set of attributes and both browsers and assistive technology like screen readers get notified about what an element is and when there is a change caused by an interaction.

    You can also find more shorter articles on ARIA on the Paciello

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  • Yahoo! Small Business is focused on making Small Businesses successful by providing them with top web hosting and e-commerce hosting solutions.

    We are seeking out interested web site designers and application developers to help us evaluate new features and set the direction for future development. If you are an experienced web site designer and would like to get in on the ground floor of new and exciting developments on our hosting platform, please send an email to the following address:

    Participants will spend approximately 1 to 1.5 hours in an individual feedback session that can take place via a conference call or in-person meeting in Sunnyvale. Compensation will be provided.

    Please include the following contact information:

    1. First Name, Last Name
    2. Email Address
    3. Phone (optional)
    4. Preferred contact method, time.
    5. Skills: Website Designer (tools?), Application Developer (tools?), Links to previous work.

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  • Mashups lost their appeal? How about using them for good?

    I just arrived in the Silicon Valley to work here for a month and synced up with the local colleagues to compare our notes on how we organize developer days, unconferences and our general outreach to universities and partner companies. One of the things I had already expected but didn't get confirmed is that there is a mashup fatigue.

    I've felt that, too, and wondered what to do about it. In a blog post I wrote some time ago I was asking if it is time to use mashups to solve real life issues and the feedback was amazing!

    I worked with some charities that deal with inclusive design and learned from them which kind of barriers keep people from using things we take for granted on the web: Facebook, Flickr, YouTube and so on. In a lot of cases there are only a few small details that keep out blind, mobility impaired or sensory impaired users.

    Asking the maintainers of web sites to change these is quite an uphill battle - everybody is busy - it is a rule in our job. However, a lot of

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  • Ajax and Accessibility – a talk at AbilityNet in London

    Yesterday I went to AbilityNet, a charity dealing with web accessibility and publishers of the "State of the E-Nation report", which tested several social networks in terms of accessibility for users of assistive technology. My talk covered Ajax and Accessibility and was part of their "Rich media and latest trends in accessibility" workshop.

    Abilitynet talk: Ajax and Accessibility

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  • A quick Blueprint how-to – your first widget

    Whether you’re an experienced mobile developer or a newbie in the space, your number one headache is the diversity of mobile platforms and devices -- thousands of devices with different screen sizes and resolutions. Different mobile web browsers require different techniques for rendering and supporting CSS and JavaScript. Did you know that including too many images could cause the mobile OS to crash if it runs out of memory to handle them?

    If decide to develop for a mobile platform (non-web) instead of a mobile browser you are still faced with the same problem of choice: Should you develop for the iPhone, Nokia 60 Series, Blackberry, or just write a J2ME application?

    Now things have changed. The release of Blueprint 1.0 technology offers an alternative solution.

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  • Yahoo Maps on the iPhone

    iPhone is creating a craze in Romania, as it's done all over the world. Since Yahoo is very popular in Romania and, moreover, Yahoo! Maps is considered the API to choose for the detailed view of Bucharest, Mobi One and MB Dragan thought of creating the Yahoo! Maps application for iPhone and iPod Touch.

    Here is what they have to say about it:

    We've created Mobi One Maps because Google Maps (the application available for iPhone) did not have a detailed, street-level map of Bucharest. To do this we used Yahoo! Maps and Mootools.

    One of the issues we encountered was trying to modify the navigation buttons, since the existent documentation did not mention anything about this situation. So as a solution we used map.panTOXY() as follows:

    window.addEvent('domready', function() {
    var container = map.getContainerSize();
    var delta = Math.max(container.width,container.height) / 2;
    var move_up = new YCoordPoint(container.width / 2, container.height / 2 + delta);
    var move_down = new 
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