It is not just Google that gives developers lots of free things like free hosting for open source projects, and tasty APIs into data. Yahoo employs many of the best developers in the industry and contrary to popular belief they are not sitting round sipping new media cappuccinos. This week Yahoo has released Fire Eagle, a service that allows you to share your location with applications and a preview release of YUI 3.x, the Yahoo User Interface Library.
Fire Eagle is a service that allows applications that you authorise to be aware of your location. You can either update your application with Fire Eagle directly, or you can use an authorised third party application to update Fire Eagle with your location.
The relatively simple idea is developer focussed and has very good documentation on how to use the API. There are code examples for all of the major programming languages and uses OAuth for authentication. This is a simple, secure protocol for allowing applications access to protected data. I’m really looking forward to getting into the API and playing with it. Fire Eagle looks like a well executed service. The focus on developers is unusual for a web service and is a refreshing change. Usually API documentation is tucked away in the back somewhere.
Yahoo’s decision to publish their production code under a BSD License is a generous move and developers can really benefit from understanding the YUI Library. Frameworks are not without their problems but the YUI Library can solve many common problems in layouts and interaction design.
The documentation is extremely clear with links to working examples, making it easy to understand how to deploy the YUI. Even if you don’t agree with the methodology, reading through the code used in CSS Reset, CSS Fonts, CSS Grids, and CSS Base will make you a better CSS coder. This is the production code that is used on one of the highest traffic websites on the internet so it is well worth a read.
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