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Two new Yahoo goodies

Two new goodies worth a look were released this week. The first Fire Eagle allows applications to access details of your location. The second is a preview of the update to the YUI the Yahoo interface library.

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Another Sugar Daddy

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

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.

Fire Eagle

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.

YUI 3.x Preview Release 1

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.

YUI 3.x Preview Release 1

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.

The strength of the library is not limited to the CSS frameworks but is also very strong on the JavaScript side. Yahoo boasts many of the best JavaScript developers around and this comes through in an unobtrusive, cross-browser compatible, feature rich library. Many developers, including myself, find that for smaller projects jQuery is a better fit, but as with all frameworks it really depends on your project. So if you haven’t checked out the YUI library yet or haven’t visited for a while have a look at the 3.x preview.

Have an update or suggestion for this article? You can edit it here and send me a pull request.


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