So I guess it’s simply the time of year. Many big releases today… software, APIs, and more!
The other biggest buzz of the day was from Yahoo, in announcing the beta of their Fire Eagle service, an API for broadcasting your physical location to the web. I wouldn’t call it earth-shattering, but I think that there’s a good chance a number of cool things are built with it. Watch the video of it’s introduction, and then take a look here to quickly get an idea of the details. It would appear from the details that it was written in a highly usable way.
Of more direct importance to me, Google has announced their Contacts API. I despise when sites ask me to enter my username/password for other sites. The most offensive request is for Gmail. I don’t have any interesting emails, let me tell you… but I certainly don’t want to let others read them. The Contacts API is a safe way for distribution and use of your Gmail contacts, without threatening the security of your Gmail account or your other Google-stored information. With this, I should be able to sync my Gmail contacts with my desktop mail contacts. I’m very happy about that.
Heading up the long-since-overdue category, AOL has announced they’ve opened their Instant Messenger Protocol, OpenAIM. Finally. I remember ages ago when… well, it’s all in the past now. That’s one big wall that has been broken down between protocols, and hopefully Yahoo and Microsoft will fall in line. It will be great if other apps can finally use the features that have been limited to the AIM client for all this time. I use Adium and Pidgin most of the time (Adium, I believe uses Pidgin’s core), and look forward to seeing what they do with the new open protocol. (On a personal note, hopefully this doesn’t spell any negative news for my friends who work on AIM.)
And to round things off, here’s two smaller releases today (one based on IE8’s Activities):
- The Firefox Operator plugin (for Microformats) has already given a go at implementing Activities, which were announced at today’s IE8 overview.
- The New York Times has contributed a perl module to CPAN. Looks like a useful profiling tool, especially since it profiles line-by-line.