Blog posts tagged "webservice"

WOE “GeoPlanet”: HTTP/1.1 406 Not Acceptable

November 19th, 2008

not simple polygons

Just putting a note here for the next time I’m working with the Yahoo! GeoPlanet APIs.

The conudrum: a HTTP GET on a given resource ($appid) works in the browser, and works with wget from the command line, but fails from within PHP with a 406 Not Acceptable.

The solution, append format=XML to the resource URL, because the service is blowing out its brains on a missing Accepts header.

And that folks is the magic of REST.

update 2008/12/04: quick scan of my referer logs suggests this is biting folks using lwp-simple and wget particularly hard.

On Book Listing Services

November 6th, 2005

For years I’ve wanted a decent website where I can manage my relationship with books. (not especially complicated, but voluminous)

For a while there was largely nothing, then there was Allconsuming which was wonderful, but slowly died, and went dark before being re-incarnated in the mold of a 43x tool. And I have this memory of there being a nifty little $14/mo tool, back in the days when I didn’t pay for websites, but I wasn’t able to find it.

Last Fall, I started sketching down notes towards building my own, and in the intervening year its become an interestingly crowded space. (who knew so many other people felt the pull) Even in the 6 weeks since I first started jotting down sites for this blog post, the space has evolved with LibraryThing coming out solidly on top as the most active: most actively developed, most actively used, and most actively engaged developer.

That said, in a cursory search (mostly of my links) I turned up 5 other very similar services

Also the Bookshelf example app from 24L, and the intersting related services What Should I Read Next?, and Library Elf

None of them are quite there yet, and I want more, more, more!

Read the rest of this entry »

CommonTimes: Social Bookmarking as Open Editing

September 26th, 2005 is perhaps the beating heart of my web these days, not because I find bookmarks so useful, but because its useful to have a generic service for streaming links. But generic only gets you so far, as an engine for discovery can be painful, flipping through pages and pages of chronologically sorted results. Its comparable to the difference between Google’s search, with its largely generic listing of pages, and Google News which uses its domain knowledge to chunk, categorizes, and summarize the days news.


This is what CommonTimes is about. A project Jeff, Brian, and others launched a few months ago; it iterates on the successful model of to provide news centric “open editing” for the web. A vertical social bookmarking site, with a light touch editorial process to keep the site on topic.

The Web Needs Editors!

CT provides most of what you’d expect, tags, groups, bookmarklets, heat maps, RESTful APIs and some nice touches like an “Add from Bloglines” Greasemonkey script, and an adapted version of the del AJAX browser.

Perhaps more importantly CT points forward to a strategy (among many) for dealing with ever expanding problem of information overload, “smarter clients.” (Do I sound like a Microsoftie?) One approach is the AI-inspired, strong editor approach of a tech.memeorandum .

But personally my gets are on the “many editors makes categorization easy” technique that has got to be the years surprise success story, combined with tools which take advantage of available metadata, either through inference of explicit scoping.

Now that the idea is out there I’m surprised that there aren’t dozens of these vertical bookmarking sites.

Scaling Down, Scaling Up

Of course social sites, do rely on having a community, and there in perhaps lies the key challenge to building a site like CommonTimes. Thankfully there are solutions. Like breaking out of our silos, becoming a consumer as well as a producer of webservices. I want to tell CT about how to fish in my link stream (e.g. subscribe to, and then remix with its own services.

Finally a link to get you started: Ten Ways to use CommonTimes