Google’s Ajax Feed API Interview with Mark Lucovsky

Google recently announced an extension to its Ajax API to include an Ajax Feed API. I spoke with technical director Mark Lucovsky about the Ajax Feed API to learn what it was about, and what it means for web masters.

The very cool thing about this API is that it enables you to easily access RSS and Atom feeds, and create mashups of the feeds. While this is something that you can do on your own any way, doing it on your own can be difficult, and Google does a lot of the heavy lifting to make this task easier. For example, it’s one thing to find out how to read someone’s RSS feed, and it’s another to deal with a whole variety of feeds running on different versions of the feed standards.

For example, will your code still work if the feed you are reading changes from RSS1 to RSS2? Google virtualizes all of this interaction. Google also creates simple constant Javascript properties in JSON format for elements in the feed such as the author, the title, the link to the full content, and the description. Other elements are made available in XML format.

The goal of the program is to reduce the amount of programming required to integrate information from feeds onto your site. An advanced programmer might require the assistance, but probably can still benefit from it. Now, however, people who are not professional programmers, but have basic Javascript development skills can manipulate these feeds much more easily.

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