Ming the Mechanic:
Weblog APIs

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Weblog APIs2003-05-10 15:06
8 comments
by Flemming Funch

I still haven't gotten around to finish writing a program interface to this newslog program, but I've better pay attention to what is going on in that field. For the uninitiated a "weblog API" is the standardized way any program can interface with a weblog. With that in place, you might post to your weblog from an assortment of different programs, and it becomes easier to transfer postings or quoted excerpts from one place to the other. When I first looked at the Blogger API and the MetaWeblog API, I was sort of puzzled that they only seemed to do part of what I'd want, and were of no help with the more advanced features. Anyway, here is good overview of what is going on, Weblog APIs: Stating the obvious:
Something's buzzing online about weblog APIs. Someone posted a comparison between the Blogger and the MetaWeblog API on his weblog. Then Dave Winer is getting pretty riled up about Google's plans to develop a new version of Blogger API, which should better be based on the MetaWeblog API instead.

First things first, Diego Doval is correct when he says that a weblog API should provide access to all the functionality offered by the product (be that Blogger, Radio, or MovableType). Now, clearly the Blogger API and the MetaWeblog API are quite different, even though the latter is actually based on the former. Comparing the two is pointless, because that is not really the issue. Having to deal with a variety of weblog APIs is a curse on the intrinsically open nature of weblogs themselves. One of the most interesting aspects of weblogs is the ability to not only to share information relatively quickly, but to make it widely accessible (Joi's Ivan story is a great illustration). While developing Kung-Log, I stumbled across so many differences between each weblog system's implementation of whatever Weblog API they endorsed. It's even worse. Weblog systems may differ in how they implement, for example, the Blogger API. pMachine's version of the Blogger API is, to phrase it mildly, ridiculous and clumsy. Only one weblog system has provided a nearly all-functional, self-explanatory, and straightforward implementation of a weblog API (there's a hint of subjectivity here, but still, the point remains). MovableType not only implements both the Blogger and the MetaWeblog, it provides a variety of extra API routines, that make client access to MovableType weblogs incredibly easy. An illustrative example is the getTrackbackPings method, which can be used to retrieve the list of TrackBack pings posted to a particular entry...
Sounds like the MovableType version is what I'd want to pay most attention to.



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