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Walter api


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Walter api

  1. 1. API Hackery: Customizing Your Library’s Services Using APIs Nicholas Schiller Presentation site: WSU Vancouver Library Test the app: Online Northwest 2013 C o d e o n G it H u b : htt p s: // February 8, 2013 Corvallis, OR
  2. 2. Desired Outcomes: You will be able to explain how APIs work. You’ll leave with ideas on how APIs can help your patrons. You’ll leave energized to make things.
  3. 3. This Talk is Not: A step-by-step tutorial or walkthrough. (There will be gaps.) A coding lesson. (My role there is student or peer not instructor.) A technical treatment of the subject.
  4. 4. APIs are: Application Programming Interfaces Specifications and standards Keys to the silo How to ask a service for what you want.
  5. 5. APIs are about sharing data. Librarians are about sharing information. APIs and Librarians should be friends.
  6. 6. APIs are a key part of library systems’ movement from closed “black-box” tools to truly open systems.
  7. 7. Examples: Google Maps API With an authentication key and latitude & longitude coordinates, you can put a map on your page. WorldCat Search API Twitter APIs Instructions for capturing tweets and hashtags.
  8. 8. We’ll want a guide to lead us through this. For technology optimists: he will be our Beatrice. Our Beatrice
  9. 9. For technology pessimists he will be our Virgil.
  10. 10. Dr. Walter Bishop Our guide for building wonderful things with APIs
  11. 11. I am forming a hypothesis. Would you like to hear it?
  12. 12. The relative difficulty* of 1/6 making library tools with APIs. 2/3 1/6 the problem & solution the code the design
  13. 13. The caveats: *Two Relative Difficulty Levels* 1. I made these ratios up. They don’t 1/6 reflect my time invested. 2/3 1/6 2. What we don’t know how to do (yet) seems much harder, but we can learn & we can find help. “Pseudo-code is your friend” or follow Anne Lamott’s advice on first drafts. the problem & solution the code the design
  14. 14. Write code Articulate your using an API to problem and identify a + generate the desired solution. solution. Wrap the solution code in + a user friendly format.
  15. 15. Articulate Information API + scripting language (PHP, Need, form + JavaScript, Ruby, Boolean Queries, ID Appropriate Python) + HTML 5 Data Sources HTML 5, CSS 3 & + jQuery Mobile
  16. 16. “Let me introduce you to test subject #6.”
  17. 17. Practical example of an API solving a real library problem. Our WorldCat Local discovery layer presents obstacles to students who are looking for ebooks. The ebooks facet doesn’t use the same definition of ebook that our students assume.
  18. 18. “We need her to help us understand this skill.”
  19. 19. To Successfully find an eBook in our collection: Type the following into our WorldCat discovery tool: kw:NASA +mt:ebk -mt:gnp -mt:cpb -mt:deg Also consider excluding material types upw, upc, cdc, dct
  20. 20. Don't you understand this is Greek to me? Except that I speak Greek. This is Aramaic to me. Not the western dialect, I do speak it.
  21. 21. What we need is: something to automatically do this for eBook searches. to get the user’s search query, add our Boolean logic phrase to the query, get the results and present them to the user. the WorldCat Search API.
  22. 22. While we’re at it Let’s format our tool for tablets and mobile devices. Let’s connect the user directly to the full text right on their tablets and/or mobile devices or whatever screen they prefer. (I’m working on the assumption that eBooks and tablets go together.)
  23. 23. Core Librarian skills: information API + scripting language (PHP, need articulation, + JavaScript, Ruby) + Boolean queries, data source HTML 5 expertise HTML 5, CSS 3 & + jQuery Mobile
  24. 24. WorldCat Search API Request a key. (Keys denote permission to access the service.) Submit your requests formatted in either opensearch or SRU standards. Specify how you want the data returned.
  25. 25. WorldCat Search API Opensearch: from A9 basic structure, kw indexes only returns RSS or Atom SRU: enables complex queries of multiple indexes returns XML or MARC
  26. 26. For Our Example we can use both The WorldCat Search API can return formatted citations using opensearch. Opensearch only searches keyword indexes but our search requires the material type index. If we want to search the mt: index and get formatted citations, we’ll need to use opensearch with SRU formatting. The API allows this.
  27. 27. catalog/search/worldcat/opensearch? %22&format=rss&cformat=chicago &wskey=[insert your API key here]
  28. 28. A friend from Washington State invented these glasses in order to be able to see a URL’s aura.
  29. 29. webservices/catalog/search/ worldcat/opensearch? +”biofuel””ws2””ebk” +any+”gpb” +”cnp””deg” &format=rss&cformat=chicago &wskey=[insert your API key here]
  30. 30. Let’s Celebrate, Because the Hard Part is Done.
  31. 31. API + scripting language (PHP) + HTML 5
  32. 32. Excellent. Let’s make some <?PHP ?>
  33. 33. Do You Remember? Slide 17: “What we need is to get the user’s search query, add our Boolean logic phrase to the query, get the results and present them to the user.” Our code will do EXACTLY these three things. As a n00b coder, I was only able to succeed by keeping a razor-sharp focus on exactly these goals.
  34. 34. Audience Choice: Look at the code Look at the web app (beta)
  35. 35. Special Thanks to: Jason Clark with Montana State University Libraries Bruce Washburn with OCLC Research They shared their code under FreeBSD and GNU open licenses, allowing me to borrow freely.
  36. 36. HTML 5, CSS 3 & jQuery Mobile
  37. 37. Either a green unicorn just raced across the lab, or I accidentally used jQuery Mobile.
  38. 38. jQuery Mobile automates: The buttons, pickers, & search inputs The theme and color scheme The behavior in diverse screens and browsers
  39. 39. Image Credits John Noble / Walter Bishop / Walternate images are from the Fox TV series Fringe and are used under fair use as set forth in the Code of Best Practices for Fair Use in Online Video. See especially #6 SIX: Quoting in Order to Recombine Elements to Make a New Work That Depends for its Meaning on (Often Unlikely) Relationships Between the Elements. The images from Dore’s engravings of Dante’s Divine Comedy are in the public domain.
  40. 40. Demo the Web App (beta) Code Repository on GitHub: easy_api
  41. 41. Further Reading OCLC Worldcat Search API search-api firstsearch/z3950/z3950_databases/specs/ materialtypes.htm api-tips-and-tricks
  42. 42. Further Reading Opensearch search-api/opensearch-responses SRU search/sru?wskey=[YOUR WCS API KEY IS REQUIRED]
  43. 43. Further Reading Tutorials beginner-en-EID4t Code trunk/webservices_php_libraries/ wcapi_opensearch.php basic/code.txt
  44. 44. API Hackery: Customizing Your Library’s Services Using APIs Nicholas Schiller Presentation site: WSU Vancouver Library Test the app: Online Northwest 2013 C o d e o n G it H u b : htt p s: // February 8, 2013 Corvallis, OR