Ask Not What Google Can Do For You…

The Google API is a two-way street. Google’s new SOAP API seemed to follow a boom-and-bust trajectory. Everyone was excited about it until it arrived. Then doubts arose. “Bah,” scoffed Edd Dumbill in an O’Reilly Network column (, “what a waste of space for something that can be done in one line of shell script.” Edd’s point — that an HTML-screenscraping alternative to the Google SOAP API is easy to hack together — is quite correct. But the conclusion — that Google’s SOAP API is silly — is, I think, very wrong. Full story at [Jon’s Radio]

Jon Udell is becoming one of my favorite hackers (in the best sense of the word). Not only does he work at molding his environment to meet his needs, but he documents the thought process behind it and gives you tangible results. In this article at, he lays out how Google can benefit from better web publishing (an idea I’d given thought to a few weeks ago, but had no idea how to accomplish) and what we can do to benefit from Google’s new API. Bravo, Jon. Keep it up!

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