Yahoo! in cloud OR Hadoop? (Яху в облаках) by Alexander & Natalie
Wow, what a pleasant surprise! Woke up this morning to this story on TechCrunch about 20 new services they’d added to Yahoo Profiles (here’s mine). Lo and behold, SmugMug is one of them! In fact, in Yahoo’s blog post about the new features, SmugMug was the one mentioned for photos. Cool!
As far as I know, we haven’t talked to Yahoo about this at all – which is part of what makes this so great. Microsoft was supposed to have rolled something like this out to Windows Live profiles awhile ago, but I still haven’t seen it drop. We’re very excited about that, too, but the two company’s approaches were very different: Microsoft came over, chatted with us about the product, then had us sign a contract to participate. That was months ago, and I have no idea when it’s actually coming. Yahoo, on the other hand, seems to have just built it and shipped it.
I can see the arguments for both approaches: Microsoft is probably being extra careful about privacy, and working through their internal rules and regulations about re-using user generated content. Yahoo, on the other hand, is scrambling to catch up now as the underdog. I assume Yahoo realized that SmugMug already has strong privacy controls around our feeds and simply hit the gas – full speed ahead.
Either way, what’s especially heartening is the number of sites, services, and pieces of software that now support SmugMug. At The Crunchies last week, we weren’t nominated (we won for Best Design last year), but it still felt like we were winning – many of the winners use or integrate with us: Google Reader, Windows Live Mesh, Cooliris, lots of companies using Amazon Web Services, lots of apps on the iPhone 3G, and FriendFeed. Very cool.
(And all of that despite what we *know* is terrible and/or nonexistent documentation around our feeds. Yes, we’ll work on that.)
SmugMug’s API now supports OAuth! We actually rolled out support a few weeks ago, but our documentation has turned into such a mess, I delayed announcing it. Finally, though, I just couldn’t keep quiet – I’m so excited I just had to tell someone!
So I’m sorry the docs are all messed up – they’re in multiple locations and out of date. We’ve been working hard on re-writing them to make them easier to understand and more clear but we’re not quite done yet. David, though, has a great excuse for why we’re behind – you’re looking at her! His beautiful daughter, Caitlin Ann, was born at roughly the same time as our OAuth support shipped. He’s had his hands full. 🙂
So go read the new docs on OAuth, the old docs on the rest of the API, and the dgrin API forum so you can get cracking on your own OAuth services and apps. Hopefully lots of the 1200+ apps our awesome developers have already created will adopt it quickly.
For those who don’t know, OAuth is an open standard for secure authentication. It allows applications and services to authenticate to SmugMug and other OAuth-enabled APIs without needed to know or store the users’ sensitive login and password information. I imagine at some point OAuth might become the *only* way to authenticate to our API, so I’d at least start playing with it now.
Your photos are yours, not ours – long live open standards and data portability!
UPDATE: I should have noted that this is totally useable now, you don’t have to wait for the docs update. It’s just mildly painful to go between a few different locations to find all the documentation. This is on a new Beta API branch, 1.2.2, so you’ll need to use 1.2.2 endpoints.
I’ve been getting a little flack for not joining DataPortability.org and want to set the record straight:
- SmugMug has believed since the beginning that your photos and metatdata are yours to do with what you will. We view them as being on loan to us for safekeeping, and we take that role very seriously.
- SmugMug has emailed DataPortability to see about joining, contributing, whatever. No response. Don’t ask me why – ask them. I imagine they’re busy.
- SmugMug already supports OpenID (and better support is coming), XFN & FOAF, RSS, Atom & KML, and has a rich API to both store and retrieve your data.
- We’re committed to all of the ideals that DataPortability.org is pushing, and hope to see this stuff become the rule, rather than the exception.
While I’m on my soapbox, I think it’s important to note that many of the participants in the DataPortability project have been making their data portable for many years. I’m not sure why the media is trumpeting each new company that joins as if it’s just gotten religion, but companies like Flickr and SixApart (and us) have been doing more than talking about this for a long time. Give credit where credit is due.
Anyway, whenever we figure out how we can contribute, we will. We love the idea of our customers’ data being portable. It’s the right thing to do.