Blog Posts by Tom Hughes-Croucher

  • Using Public Data for Good With the Power of YQL

    The problems I work on every day at Yahoo! are mostly interesting intellectual challenges. In one way or another, these challenges benefit Yahoo!'s users; you, our developer audience; or our shareholders. However, sometimes I get the desire to do more, as I suspect many of you do too. Being a developer gives you an amazing power of creation. You are not a sheep. You have the ability to change things, from small incremental changes to, perhaps, the whole world. This project was big one for me: I really hope I am sowing the seeds of something much bigger, and with your help I will be.

    So what exactly are we releasing? The first part is a new batch of YQL tables providing data on the U.S. government, earthquake data, and the non-profit micro-lender Kiva. The second part is an incredibly easy way to render YQL queries on websites. After all, what good is data that no one can see? There's a lot to talk about so I'll go through it piece by piece.

    I was incredibly excited when was

    Read More »from Using Public Data for Good With the Power of YQL
  • Fork me! YQL Open Tables!

    You might have heard about the Yahoo! Query Language (YQL) by now. I know I've been banging on about it enough. As we say in Britain: it's the mutt's nuts. Get Web data but do it like calling a database. That's pretty sweet.

    With YQL Open Tables you can contribute back to YQL by sharing your own tables for web services you like. Currently we have almost 100 community Open Tables. You can see them in the YQL console by clicking the "Show Community Tables" link.

    Read More »from Fork me! YQL Open Tables!
  • Titanium App: My Personal Highlight from JSConf2009

    Guest post by Greg Ferrell (@gregferrell)

    A couple weekends ago (April 24-25, 2009), I had the great fortune to attend JSConf2009, "The First Conference Just for JavaScript Developers". Chris Williams and his wife Laura, spent much of 2008 and the beginning of 2009 putting together one heck of a conference. I have been to a few conferences that were all middle management or salesmen trying to sell a product but JSConf2009 was refreshingly different. Most presenters were actual project developers or experts on the techniques they were showing.

    Read More »from Titanium App: My Personal Highlight from JSConf2009
  • JSConf Retrospective

    Guest blogpost by Brian LeRoux (@brianleroux, Nitobi Software)

    Such a fantastic conference is hard to bottle up into text and static images. To get a real sense you had to be there, however, in lieu of time travel, I invite you to grab a cold brew, spicy empanada and start trolling through the blog posts, slides on Slideshare and various imagery available on Flickr.

    I am one of the PhoneGap guys from Nitobi software so it wouldn't be fair to give all the love to PhoneGap. (Though PhoneGap is awesome and everyone loves the mobile web.) I am also a Canadian and as such I love hockey. It's not a stereotype, in fact, it's essential for our national identity. Part of the hockey tradition is to name the three stars of the game. Here's my three stars:

    Read More »from JSConf Retrospective
  • If you read about one conference this year, read about Star Wars JSConf

    I'm writing this at 30,000 feet, I have jet lag, and I'm worn out; but JSConf was worth it! If you don't believe me you should check out twitter on the subject. I don't think I've ever seen a community so excited by a conference, and rightly so.

    Tech conferences can be such grand affairs, with thousands of attendees. JSConf squeaked in at a mere 150. There were representatives of every major JavaScript framework (except one, you know who you are). The JavaScript community doesn't get together often, but when it does, it's incredibly fun. The 2 days in DC were so chock full of conversation and presentations, the only complaint people had was that they couldn't be in all of them.

    JS Conf Crowd shot on Flickr

    JSConf was like a who's-who of JavaScript practitioners - Photo by @voodootikigod

    At many conferences, the crowd can be very mixed. It wasn't that JSConf wasn't diverse (I saw everyone from sys-admins to designers), but the focus was very clearly on JavaScript. The talks didn't beat around the bush, it was all

    Read More »from If you read about one conference this year, read about Star Wars JSConf
  • My HackU Experience

    My goal for HackU was to do cool things with maps the hard way. I knew I could do something with maps online. I knew I could access YQL XML through PHP and Python. I knew I could make something interesting with normal Web technologies. For those reasons I specifically ignored normal Web technologies and decided that I would do all of that and more on an iPhone. And that is where my journey began.

    It was Wednesday night. I had just heard talks from the creators of SearchMonkey and PHP. I had heard about Where On Earth (WOE) IDs, YQL, and various other Yahoo! APIs. Now I just needed to figure out what in the world I was going to do with it all.

    Points of WOEI came into the event with my first set of goals: get a a native map with Yahoo! tiles working on my iPhone, then proceed to figure out WOEIDs. The first was non-trivial but I had been working on an open source mapping library for the iPhone, Route-Me, for the past few months which allowed me to simply write up a way to access the tiles. The next

    Read More »from My HackU Experience
  • Michigan gets a-hacking

    My wife is from Michigan so this wasn't the first time I'd been to Ann Arbor. Last week was the most geeky (and interesting) trip thus far. I spent almost the whole of last week in Ann Arbor (A2), meeting local A2 geeks and students at the University of Michigan. It was great to see such a vibrant tech community.

    Coffee House Coders at work on FlickrI spent quite a bit of time hanging out with the A2Geeks and the Coffee House Coders, who have a lot going on, from start-ups like Zattoo and to weekly coffee shop hack meets. I was thoroughly impressed with the people I met and the ideas they were working on. Startup innovation is alive and well beyond the Silicon Valley.

    Hack-U itself was, as always, a little slice of hacking heaven. Four of us Yahoos gave a total of seven lectures to probably 400+ students. You can take a look at the slides for my 101 engineer class below. It's an introduction to accessibility and some ideas about how it applies to all engineering.

    A video or other embedded content has been hidden. Click here to view it.

    We also talked about Search Monkey and structured

    Read More »from Michigan gets a-hacking
  • YDN Silverlight Developer Center Gets an Update

    We updated the Silverlight Developer Center today for Silverlight 2.0. The goal of our update is to cover the basics and provide a reference for common tasks that developers will come across during RIA (rich internet application) development.

    Topics covered: include integration with the browser, access to HTTP web services, and consuming both XML and JSON data. As a bonus, we've got a page on how to get up and running with the Silverlight unit testing framework. As usual, each page contains links to the official documentation and other helpful resources. Code samples are provided in both C# and Visual Basic.

    Tom Hughes Croucher
    Yahoo! Developer Network

  • Get more done – an update on documentation

    We're pretty busy here at YDN so we understand the need to get stuff done. That's why we've been putting some extra effort into our Yahoo! Open Strategy documentation -- to help you get more done. Since we launched Y!OS, there's been an incredible wealth of information to digest.

    We've just released a new batch of documentation starting with a Y!OS docs landing page, to make it easier to find the information you need. We've split the page into 2 easy sections. The first section includes the stuff to quickly get started: overviews of the terminology, tutorials, examples, and other quick-start guides. Don't worry though, the second section contains an index of all technology references you'll want to use day to day.

    We released a number of new Y!OS tutorials, Y!OS code examples, and a Y!OS FAQ. The tutorials cover everything from getting start with your first application to accessing data using YQL. These all come with ready-to-use code. Tutorials are complemented by code examples to

    Read More »from Get more done – an update on documentation
  • The Open Stack: An Introduction

    Last week Digg hosted a great introduction to the Open Stack at their offices in San Francisco. The event included a ton of well-known speakers and advocates of the Open Web like David Recordon, Joseph Smarr, Eran Hammer-Lahav, and Chris Messina. Video coverage should be going up on the Social Web TV shortly, but until then, here's Tom's 5-minute intro to the Open Stack.

    The "Open Stack" refers to a set of technologies that work together to make it easier for web developers and users to manage access to user data across the Web. The Open Stack looks like this:

    A stack of technologies. Open ID is at the top.  Working down the stack, XRDS-Simple is next, followed by OAuth, Portable Contacts, and finally Open Social. The layer along the top of the diagram includes some implementors of the Open Stack: MySpace - DataAvailability, Yahoo! Y!OS, Google FriendConnect, and Plaxo Pulse.

    Read More »from The Open Stack: An Introduction


(61 Stories)