So it seems google's new API has everyone going all gaga over it. Well I for one am sick of hearing about it.
You see before they decided to release this, they had a nice simple XML API. Instead of sending your query to http://google.com/search?q=foo, you sent it to http://google.com/xml?q=foo. Simple huh? The results you got back were always well formed XML. The syntax though was horrible, with single-letter tag names. I'm guessing the guy who designed it hated XML and thought it was overly verbose and wasted bandwidth.
Yet now we have an "API". Apparently having an API makes it much easier for everyone. I'm forced to agree with this because Google's original XML query output format was horribly terse to the point of being unusable. XML is supposed to be self documenting - if the tags had been named things like <results><result>..., it would have been dead easy to use. And guess what? You would have seen Java, Perl and other language APIs popping up left right and center to make use of these simple HTTP queries. Because this isn't rocket science. And it doesn't require large fat modules to build something around this.
But SOAP has "mindshare". And it's a "standard". So I'm obviously wrong, right? I do have a talk on this for OSCon, so I'd be very happy to solicit pre-conference feedback.