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Identi.ca implements the Twitter API

Friday, July 18, 2008 by Dave Winer.

Recall that identi.ca is an open source Twitter-like "micro blogging" service. When it appeared, earlier this month, I wrote: "First thing --> looking for an API." I wanted to see an implementation of the Twitter API, so that all the code that I had written for Twitter would automatically work with identi.ca.  Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named sawyer.gifBeing compatible with Twitter is the developer-friendly thing to do, it means we will only have one code base to maintain. It's good for users, because they have choice, they can use either Twitter or identi.ca, and not have to make a choice on tools. It's good for identi.ca because they instantly get a base of apps that work with their service. I'd argue that it's even good for Twitter, because it helps to solidify a standard with them as the market leader. The second guy into a market sets the standard, by ratifying the API designed and deployed by the first to market, who is in this case, obviously, Twitter. Had identi.ca blazed their own trail and made an API that did what Twitter's did, but was gratuitously incompatible, everyone would have suffered. Too often in the tech business, this is what happens, even though it's such a disrespectful and non-optimal thing to do. Permalink to this paragraph

Yesterday I got an email from Evan Prodromou at identi.ca saying that they had implemented the Twitter API; he asked if I would test my apps against their implementation. I did, and I'm happy to report that I was able to run all my code, unmodified, except for substituting identi.ca/api where ever twitter.com appears in an address. That's what I call compatible! It all "just worked" (so far, knock wood, I am not a lawyer, Murphy-willing, etc). Permalink to this paragraph

So we can check a very important item off identi.ca's to-do list. Next items: 1. Allow any developer to hook into the full flow of identi.ca through XMPP, and 2. Demonstrate interop across a federation of identi.ca deployments.  Permalink to this paragraph

See also: The docs for the "Twitter-compatible API." Permalink to this paragraph

See also: How to think about identi.ca, Plan BPermalink to this paragraph


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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

"The protoblogger." - NY Times.

"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.

One of BusinessWeek's 25 Most Influential People on the Web.

"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.

"The father of blogging and RSS." - BBC.

"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.

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