Google's SOAP API
Thursday, April 11, 2002 by Dave Winer.
A very quick piece today, a story, a question, an answer and a pointer.
The story -- 1995. A new release of Netscape. Can't get through to their servers. This thing is exploding. A mind bomb every minute. Wow. I love this. End of story.
The question: Can it happen again?
This afternoon Google opened a public SOAP 1.1 interface.
Now, from scripts, we can call Google as if it were a script running locally.
What comes back? Data.
What questions should we ask?
That's where the mind bombs will come from.
We've been in the loop with Google, privately, for the last few weeks, so we've had a chance to play with ideas and actually have some.
Yesterday, as a tease, I put a Google Box on Weblogs.Com. Every hour it recalcs, showing the top 10 hits on Google for the term weblog. To my surprise, it changes, it's not constant. And it took me to places I didn't know about. The serendipity of queries that run for a long time. That, imho, is where the juice is in the Google API; and probably many or most of the APIs that are sure to follow; because Google is so popular.
Google hits the ball over the net, then we return the volley. Finally, once again, signs of life. Let's hope we learn from the past -- and keep the spark going -- welcoming competition and learning from it instead of snuffing it out. The intoxication of a new idea every day is too good to not want to be there once again.
Maybe the dark ages are over? I hope so.
It's happening in real time. As I write this I'm waiting for the embargo to lift. As soon as that happens, we'll start releasing new parts and samples for Radio and Frontier users that connect to Google's SOAP interface, with simple but geekish instructions for getting started.
Later today Google Boxes will start showing up on Radio weblogs, which you can follow through Weblogs.Com. You'll see SOAP developers, on all platforms, getting to work, creating and publishing the glue that turns the Internet, finally, into a fantastic scripting environment. Google is just the juice we need.