Hacks/Hackers Paris discusses APIs

For its second session hosted by Qunb, Hacks/Hackers Paris focused on APIs. The first presentation, by Aurélien Fache from faberNovel explained what is an API and what it will be in the years to come. Afterward, Radio France and UPIAN showed an innovative use of the Storify API for their website “Clichés de campagne.”

“Everything is API, API is everywhere” could be a good summary for Aurélien Fache’s presentation. “An API is a interface to share information between two systems,” he said. Then, he showed some examples: withings.fr converts weight via API, and Cosm uses and API to monitor radioactivity in Fukushima, Japan. “There will be 250,000 APIs in 2014. The main output formats are xml and json, they are both machine-readable and user-readable,” he said. He then showed some tools to make JSON easier to read: Json Parser Online, and Mr. Data Converter by Shan Carter of The New York Times.

To conclude, Fache talked about “liquid medias” and “media as an API”: “The media should be liquid to be readable on all platforms: mobile, web, print, TV, etc.”

The second presentation was about “Clichés de campagnes” and other websites made by UPIAN and Radio France this year using the Storify API. “We thought we could mix professional photography with social media content. Better than a live-tweet, Storify was the tool for that. It’s a curation, made by a journalist. We could have used the API of each social media website, but Storify is already doing that,” the presenters said. Storify was a great tool to gather Twitter, Youtube, Soundcloud, text and more. “The good thing is that we could make a tool without thinking about the CMS. One of the side effect is that Storify can have some problems. So we downloaded the json given by Storify’s API.”

The result was so great, said Xavier Meunier of Radio France, that they decided to use it on other subjects. It’s not random content, it’s curated content. “This tool won’t replace breaking news or analysis, but it’s a new thing to keep in our toolbox. It was an opportunity to incorporate sounds, Radio France’s trademark. The result worth the work, as we continue for the elections in the USA,” he said.

After that, Webshell, which calls itself API of the APIs, presented their product and ToS;dr, a website they made to highlight complexity of terms of service for APIs.

The API will be discussed in Paris during Apidays, Dec. 3-4.

No tags for this post.