Blog Posts by Havi Hoffman

  • Developer Spotlight: Not Just A Number homicide mashup

    In YDN Theater this week, we're featuring an interview with Sean Connelly and Katy Newton, creators of the award-winning Not Just A Number homicide mashup produced in partnership with The Oakland Tribune newspaper.

    The Oakland Tribune hosts this amazing community-driven service that attempts to humanize the violence occurring on Oakland's streets. There were 127 homicides officially reported in the city of Oakland, California in 2007 and 148 in 2006. The web site serves the victims' families and helps to tell their story which is often lost in the traditional media process.

    Sean and Katy built what was initially intended to be a simple crime mashup into a deeply interactive Flash user experience. They leveraged the Yahoo! Maps Flash API and Yahoo! Geocoder.

    "We saw how easy it was to integrate the mapping service from Yahoo!. It made more sense coming from a newspaper business where we're always looking to cut corners. And it was so easy. It took me like 5 minutes to get

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  • Developer Spotlight: Not Just A Number

    The award-winning homicide mashup Not Just A Number was produced by Sean Connelly and Katy Newton in partnership with The Oakland Tribune. They built the site using the Yahoo! Maps Flash API and the Yahoo! Geocoder among other things. In this video, Sean and Katy talk to us about the project and how they created the app.

    download (m4v)

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  • It’s Mashup Time In Korea

    Mashup Contest Korea 2008
    Developers in Korea are enjoying a four month long series of events that comprise Mashup Contest Korea 2008 (November 2007 - February 2008). At the first major event in late November, the Yahoo! Korea engineering team introduced the Korean AJAX Maps API and geocoding web service, and helped developers with the Flickr API which has had Korean language API documentation and a consumer front-end since last June. Yahoo! Korea also showed off their beautiful consumer maps implementation based on their AJAX Maps API. The event included a vendor expo and a conference. More than 150 developers and hundreds of users visited the Yahoo! booth at the event where many vendors showed off their API efforts (check out more photos from the expo and the conference sessions). Although the winning mashups for Mashup Contest Korea 2008 won't be chosen until February, you can sample last year's winners here which included this and Y! Search mashup.

    Jason Levitt and Jinho Jung

    Photo by Jinho

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  • Microformats at Yahoo! – A Firefox 3 Opportunity

    Microformats are open data formats that some Yahoo! sites support. You can't see them (unless you do a "view source" on a web page), but they're there -- bits of HTML that describe things like contact information (hcard), a review (hreview), an event (hcalendar), or a listing (hlisting). Microformats make data in web pages reuseable since the data is in a standard, canonical, format instead of just a jumble of HTML. Thousands of sites expose their data in Microformats, and that data is available for developers to use. One of the best opportunities for developers to make use of Microformats is in the forthcoming Firefox 3 web browser which features a new global Microformats object and API. The new API makes finding and parsing Microformats trivial and efficient. Although Firefox 3 is still in beta, you can download the latest version here to start working on extensions.

    Yahoo's Kelkoo online shopping site is the latest Yahoo! site to use Microformats. Kelkoo uses the hlisting

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  • First-ever PipesCamp held in India

    The first PipesCamp unconference was held in India in late December. The event was organized independently by "technopreneurs" Prabhu Subramanaian and Bhasker V Kode, also known as Bosky, and sponsored by their partner Arun Prabhudesai of

    "It'll be interesting to bring the community together and just see can be hacked up, track work being done , and generally see how yahoo! pipes could churn out some amazing hacks and brilliant applications for bloggers, developers and end-users - at the same.

    What: unconference for yahoo! pipes hackers and hobbyists. sessions, workshops and a "hackday" for showcasing pipes.

    Why: why not! building a community around the yahoo! pipes enthusiasts, share ways to maximise the power of the utility itself, learn how your favourite pipes are built, show off neat tricks of your own , and spread some "pipes" love to the community."

    The event included some presentations and time for collaborative hacking and demos. RL.Narayana of Equvia Webservices

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  • Developer Spotlight: Reconcile debts with your friends using Short Reckonings

    Mikaël Gravé, VP Technology at Webmotion Inc. based in Ottawa, Ontario, built a great little tool for reconciling debts with your friends called Short Reckonings.

    "I had the idea of Short Reckonings when I was a student and was often sharing expenses with friends. Having such a tool at the time would have been great but this was before the Web."

    Users of Short Reckonings first create an expense sheet and the group of people associated with it. Then they enter each expense, indicating who paid how much for what and for whom. Finally, Short Reckonings calculates the fewest number of payments needed to even the debts back out for each person.

    Mikaël uses several YUI components such as DataTable, DataSource and TabView to make a very fluid AJAXy user experience.

    "I was conducting some research on Web 2.0 Javascript libraries for my professional needs and I discovered YUI. There are quite a few Web 2.0 libraries out there but I was very impressed by the thorough way YUI was addressing

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  • Yahoo! Maps Go AJAX

    Yahoo! MapsYahoo! MapsYou'd hardly know it by going to, but Yahoo! Maps are now pure JavaScript instead of a hybrid of Flash and JavaScript. Lead Maps Developer Mirek Grymuza and the Maps team have done an amazing job of seamlessly moving the Maps client over resulting in at least double the performance of the previous Flash-based version.

    The good news for developers is that the new Yahoo! Maps client uses an enhanced version of our Maps AJAX API which will be available to developers in 2008. This substantial upgrade of the Maps API will provide access to all the overlay components available in the consumer client and will give developers significant overlay flexibility. It's going to be a great new year for Yahoo! Maps users and developers.

    Jason Levitt

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  • WebKit and Flash in Y! Widgets 4.5 Release

    It's called a ".5" release, but there's so much new developer candy in Yahoo! Widgets 4.5 that it sure looks like 5.0. Core Widgets developer Ed Voas takes us on a tour of the major new features in his recent blog post.

    Ed points out that Widgets now has WebKit in the Widget Engine so that Widgets can be composed of HTML -- great for re-purposing those AJAX apps. Native support for playing Adobe Flash SWF files is now built-in using the ActiveX Control (Windows) and NPAPI (MacOSX) so you can run your existing Flash apps under the control of the Widget Engine. Full DOM support, a new JavaScript interpreter, and a debugger round out some of the significant new features.

    Download the SDK (Windows only) or just get the individual docs and tools (MacOSX or Windows) here and start building.

    Jason Levitt

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  • Hong Kong’s first ever Barcamp

    The participants of the first ever Barcamp in Hong Kong

    Hong Kong's first ever Barcamp on the 15th of December 2007 was a great success. Around 70 Barcampers spread out over four meeting rooms of the Yahoo! offices on the 27th floor in Sunning Plaza to share information and show solutions they've built.

    In comparison to other barcamps I attended (Paris, London, Munich) I was especially amazed by the wide range of topics. Classics like “Seven ways to write better HTML” were covered as well as “Planning a startup in Hong Kong” and “Eclipse as a application framework” right up to discussion rounds covering social aspects of the web, privacy concerns and online community support. The quality of the presentations and the local recognition of the speakers was very high and it felt great to see a community you don't hear that much about shed the suits and go grassroots for a day. There was no overnight stay, just a day of networking and learning about each other. This was a conscious decision of the organizers as they weren't quite sure how the

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  • Lowering Your YUI Footprint

    The minimized size of the YUI libraries is relatively small compared to similar AJAX frameworks, but maybe not small enough for the most demanding applications. If you need to keep the payload tiny, and perhaps not even download YUI libraries until absolutely necessary, Yahoo! Frontend engineer Chris Heilmann explains how to load YUI components on demand. He includes 68 slides from the recent Yahoo! Frontend Engineering Summit, as well as a nifty, ready-to-deploy, implementation example called unobtrusive Flickr badge v2.

    Jason Levitt


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