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XML-RPC update

Wednesday, December 03, 2008 by Dave Winer.

A picture named icbm.gifIts been a long time since I written about XML-RPC, it's one of those things that when I do, the flamers show up and get all personal. I shouldn't let that get in the way, of course; and while I wasn't looking, for example, Mozilla baked-in support for XML-RPC. Not sure what you can do with that, but I'm sure someone will explain. Permalink to this paragraph

The other day when I asked about an XML-RPC interface for ImageMagick, Justin Walgran took me up on it, and deployed one on Google AppEngine. Now that makes sense for so many reasons. A perfect application for AppEngine, and since its native language is Python, and Python has great XML-RPC support (we upgraded ours in Frontier based on their inspiration, the highest form of respect), it was not a very large programming project. Permalink to this paragraph

Hopefully I'll be able to test it out today, once we know the name of the procedure, what server its running on, and what parameters it takes. Permalink to this paragraph

I made a suggestion in the comments that where the procedure calls for the image itself, that it accept the URL of the image. This would work better for my app because by the time it needs the thumbnail it has already uploaded the image to an HTTP-accessible server. It would work better to not have to upload it twice. ;-> Permalink to this paragraph

So the procedure would look something like this: Permalink to this paragraph

imageMagick.createThumb (image, height, width) returns binary Permalink to this paragraph

Where image can either be a binary type containing a JPEG, GIF or PNG graphic; or a string that contains an HTTP URL to the graphic. Height and width are numbers that reflect the desired height and width of the thumbnail. It returns a binary type containing a PNG (?) thumbnail. Permalink to this paragraph

Of course if there's an error it uses the XML-RPC exception mechanism. Permalink to this paragraph

Needless to say this is a very interesting project to me. And if someone wants to create an equivalent REST application, I will promote it alongside the XML-RPC application. Permalink to this paragraph

Update: Imagin appears to be exactly what I was looking for. It's fast, flexible, takes a URL as an image parameter. Very nice. What's not clear is how hard you can drive it without pissing him off. Permalink 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.

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