Blog Posts by Yahoo! Developer Network

  • BrowserPlus Source Code Available Now on Github

    Today we're pleased to announce that the BrowserPlus platform source code is on github, available under the Mozilla Public License. BrowserPlus is open source technology for web browsers that allows developers to create rich web applications with desktop capabilities.


    In addition to making the code available, we've launched an all-new developer portal which gives you a snapshot of the latest happenings in the project: including irc discussions, recent commits, forum posts, tweets, and headlines from our developer blog. is the new developer dashboard for the project and we'll be refreshing and migrating all of our documentation to that site in the coming months.

    Releasing the platform source code marks a final milestone on our journey to open up browserplus, still it's not the only thing we've been working on these past months. The browserplus user on github contains over 15 different repositories including implementations of most Yahoo!-maintained services for

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  • An Engineer’s Guide to DNS

    This article is the second in a series and part of ongoing research on web app performance. Get updates on the latest YDN articles via Twitter, follow @Yahoo! Developer Network.

    The Domain Name System (DNS) is part of the "dark matter" of the internet. It's hard to observe the DNS directly yet it exerts an obscure, pervasive influence without which everything would fly apart. Because it's so difficult to probe people tend to take it for granted, which I think is a mistake. DNS problems can hurt the speed and reliability of your applications without you even noticing. In this article we'll take a look at the behavior of the DNS and walk through some experiments you can run to gather valuable data about your users' network performance.

    A Clever Shambles

    Before two computers can talk to each other on the 'net, one of them has to know the numeric IP address of the other. Using the DNS is often compared to looking up a number in the phone book. But that can give the impression the

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  • YUICONF 2009 Impressions

    I'm afraid to say that the organizers of the first annual YUICONF are at risk of being sued for negligence. Had they been more responsible, they'd have warned attendees to bring helmets in order to keep their minds from being blown. Two presentations in particular that melted my brain from their sheer bodacity were Luke Smith's "Events Evolved" and Satyen Desai's "A Widget Walkthrough." Now, don't get me wrong, the entire day was packed with great presenters covering really interesting topics. Though because the conference was split into two tracks, I couldn't attend everything. But all is not lost, since everything was recorded and will find its way to the YUI Theater very soon, I'm sure.

    My "I should have brought my helmet" moment started when Luke walked us through YUI 3's new events architecture. I have to be honest with you, when he got to the part about custom event bubbling, I think I felt my frontal lobe explode. Not only does YUI 3 normalize and simplify event handling like

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  • A Report from BarCamp Blackpool

    On October 17th, YDN sponsored yet another grassroots (un)conference, this time BarCamp Blackpool. I went along to talk and mingle and talk some more.

    Blackpool is a great place for an event. For those who don't know, it is a seaside tourist town in the North of England. It is known for its yearly illuminations, tower and amusement park. This explains why directly outside my hotel room window was the UK's largest roller coaster.


    There was a good turn out, but as usual with free events many people who asked for a place didn't come along. If you are one of these people and you didn't let the organisers know then shame on you! Seriously, people who don't get paid put a lot of hard work in to organising these events. We need to fix the problem of non-attendance somehow.

    There was a nice variety of subjects covered on the day, from the non-technical but geeky talk on Geocaching from Alistair MacDonald to the more hardcore techy Amazon EC2 and Mono framework talk from Tim "tagwalk"

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  • Peer-to-Peer Inside the Browser: Lloyd Hilaiel from BrowserPlus interviews Alex MacCaw about MachSend

    There is a lot of talk about the blurring lines between the desktop and the web--the notion that most of the desktop programs we use will be transparently replaced with web applications in a silent revolution. Recently Alex MacCaw, co-founder of Lead Thinking, LLC, and frequent Rails hacker, showed us that this revolution is already upon us.

    MachSend is a web application that lets you share files using peer-to-peer technology. The fact that no tools exist to build peer-to-peer applications inside the browser didn't stop Alex. Having heard about BrowserPlus, an open platform from Yahoo! which makes it possible to extend the web, he used it to drop NAT traversal technology into popular browsers, and then went and built MachSend on top. We were extremely impressed with Alex's work, and spent a little time talking with him to get the details on how he put this app together.

    Lloyd Hilaiel
    Yahoo BrowserPlus team


    1. Tell us a little bit about MachSend? What is the product and why is it

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  • Report from Carnegie Mellon University Hack Day

    The HackU team spent last week at CMU in Pittsburgh. CMU has just opened their new Gates-Hillman building and we put it to good use. Hadoop was a big topic throughout the week with multiple talks and plenty of interest. YQL, as always during Hack, was popular as was Twitter and Flickr.

    The 24-hour Hack period went from Friday at 2pm to Saturday at 2pm this time. Many students stayed all night. Erik Eldridge kept them company working all night on Hadoop. Phillip Tellis appeared on his magic JetBlue carpet from somewhere and helped out as well which allowed Paul and I to get some sleep for a change.

    We ended up with 17 hacks being presented on Saturday afternoon.

    Notable hacks included a Flickr Activity Notifier which let you put your email address in a photo note and get notified about activity on that photo. The hack removes the email address, for privacy and spam reasons, and keeps track of who to notify.

    CreepyChat - uses GeoLocation in FF3.5 to do location-aware chatting with random

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  • Speeding up Hadoop – Arun C. Murthy

    Subtitled "Winning the 2009 Sort Benchmarks," Yahoo!'s Arun C. Murthy gives a little background on past benchmarking methods and describes his own process and tools for speeding up Hadoop and winning the benchmark in 2009.

    For a better quality version, higher resolution, click below:
    iPodDownload NOW

    DesktopDownload NOW

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  • Hadoop Summit – Welcome Presentation

    The opening presentation from the 2nd annual Hadoop Summit, presented by Shelton Shugar, Yahoo!'s SVP of Cloud Computing. You can also watch the video presentation in full.

  • UIUC Hack Day Results

    The HackU team spent last week at the University of Illinois in Champaign. This is the 4th year there for HackU.

    The enthusiasm was high throughout the week. I kicked it off on Monday night with an intro to Hack and some short examples of our various APIs including Flickr, Context Extraction, GeoPlanet, Placemaker, YUI, YQL, and BOSS.

    Tuesday, Paul Tarjan talked about SearchMonkey and the Semantic Web.

    Wednesday was YQL/YUI Tech Night led by Tom Hughes-Croucher where he walked the students through YQL step by step.

    Hacking began Thursday night at 6pm. The hacking atmosphere was good with snacks and food for all. For some reason people had particular problems with AJAX and JSON this time around and we spent a fair amount of time explaining same-domain policy and trying to debug Django/JQuery issues since a number of students chose to use those.

    In the end, we got a number of high quality hacks, and also a fairly high number of unfinished hacks, many of which never even presented.

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  • Open Government and Yahoo! OpenID

    Yahoo! is glad to support the President's Open Government initiative by participating in a pilot program to OpenID-enable many government websites. Websites accepting OpenID can streamline or even eliminate their registration flow by enabling users to sign-in using identities that they already have, without having to create yet another username and password. By accepting OpenID, government websites lower the barrier to participation, making it easier for citizens of the United States to communicate with their government online, resulting in a government that is more collaborative, open, and transparent.

    As the largest single provider of OpenID accounts, Yahoo! is eager to pave the way for further OpenID adoption. This is why Yahoo! has led the effort to make OpenID easy to use and understand for non-technical consumers around the world. And by meeting the U.S. government standards for security and reliability, we believe OpenID will continue to be the most convenient and Read More »from Open Government and Yahoo! OpenID


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