Slideshow: 10 Essential Google+ Tips
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Google+ is unveiling an initial set of application programming interfaces, focused on providing access to public information on the service, with authorized access to private data presumably to follow.
Chris Chabot of Google developer relations made the announcement on Google+ and on the Google Code blog.
This is not everything developers have been waiting for, which would also include a standardized container model for embedding applications inside Google+. Eventually, Google is likely to build a container model that incorporates OpenSocial, a standard that Google originated.
[For expert analysis on what Google+ is missing, see 5 Ways Google Should Expand Google+]
For example, a call to retrieve a user profile would look something like:
Google also released documentation and code libraries on the Google Developers site. Coder starting kits are available for Java, GWT, Python, Ruby, PHP, and .NET. Using one of the code libraries, you would invoke a function that executes the REST call and retrieves the results, rather than interacting with the API at the HTTP protocol level.
Chabot began his Google+ post with a quote from the ancient Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu: "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." This is a small step toward the rich API, or set of APIs, developers expect from Google.
Already, the discussion forums are filling up with questions like, "How do I get a list of the users in one of my circles?" and "How do I fetch content for a user without already knowing that person's ID number?" Neither of those questions has a completely satisfying answer just yet, although an app can go through OAuth to identify the current authenticated user (https://www.googleapis.com/auth/plus.me).
It's a start.
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