Wikidot: API — A New Age
27 Jul 2011 06:09
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27 Jul 2011 06:09
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Edited: 06 Nov 2011 11:49 by: James Kanjo
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Many many moons ago, Wikidot released something that they hoped, would change the future of Wikidot: Wikidot XML-RPC API.

I know right, I've never seen hyphenated acronyms before… and it uses the scary looking letter “X” and yet a third unknown acronym “API”.

API means “Application Programming Interface”. In a nutshell, an API lets programmers create programming code that communicates with something (a web server, another program, a piece of computer hardware, just to name a few).

XML-RPC is an API with the specific task of sending and receiving information from servers.

Wikidot created an API that allows us to request information about Wikidot sites. This “Wikidot API” uses the XML-RPC API to actually communicate with the Wikidot servers. So when we program with the Wikidot API, we are writing code that talks to an API that talks to another API. But you didn't have to know that part!!!

Anyway, at the time, the Wikidot API only had reading privileges, and was only compatible with the Python programming language1. But only in June last year, Wikidot upgraded their API to provide writing privileges to Wikidot sites. It wasn't until then that things really started to kick off! Because we now have writing privileges, some Wikidot users created libraries for the Wikidot API in other programming languages.2


It was around this time Wikidot expert Shane Smith (leigerleiger) started work on a “Shane's Text Editor” (STE), a simple Java-based text editing application. Shane invited me to try it out, and I did. At the time, I wasn't too excited about it. I mean, come on! It's a text editor! What's the big deal? I already have “TextEdit” and “Notepad” on my computer.

That's to say, it was a pretty simple app at the time, a bare boned functional editor.

So then I neglected interest. Little did I realise that STE was evolving into something much bigger. Due to the newly upgraded API, Shane created a library to make the Wikidot API compatible with the Java programming language. He then started using the Wikidot API with STE.

It wasn't until April this year that I decided to revisit the STE website and see how his editor was coming along.

WOW!!! No seriously, f*cking WOW!!!

STE is not just a Text Editor. It's a Wikidot Tool. It's allows you to import your Wikidot pages, edit them offline, save them to your computer (metadata included) and export it to the web when you're online.
You can even preview your documents using HTML preview!

Since then, I've taking a big interest in the development of STE, because it is simply an essential Wikidot tool. And from the rumors I've been hearing lately… version 4 is going to blow us away!

Thankyou, Shane, for making this remarkable tool!

λ James Kanjo

PS. This blog post was posted via STE

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