Using The Delicious API With Yahoo Accounts

On October 19th, Delicious announced that they began support of Yahoo IDs. Unfortunately, that blog post did not mention how this affects using the Delicious API. At the time of writing this, there is no mention at all in the Delicious API docs either.

I am working on integrating Delicious within an existing application, so I decided to create a test account. That’s when I first ran into issues with the Yahoo integration because I was required to go through the ridiculous Yahoo registration process instead of the previous Delicious sign up. After trying a million different usernames and getting the initial CAPTCHA wrong, I had an account and my testing could begin.

My script was not successfully adding a bookmark, so I tested it directly in the browser and realized I couldn’t log in. I tried the username and the username@yahoo.com, but neither worked. I was able to sign in via Yahoo, so I know I was using the right password. I tried my old Delicious account from 2006 that I never associated with Yahoo, and it worked fine.

I ran into a thread of people having the same issue, and then I stumbled across a Yahoo developer forum thread that clued me in on the comments that appeared in the blog post about the integration. A comment from “Chris” revealed a bit more:

Apologies. It looks like our help pages didn’t get updated.
For accounts created with a yahoo ID, you can use pretty much the same api’s except:
1) You need to use OAuth, as per http://developer.yahoo.com/oauth/, with Delicious as a scope
2) use /v2 as the path rather than /v1
3) You can use http rather than https

The problem with this (well, one problem with this) is that it requires two different ways of handling user authentication for the same service. There is currently no indication of best practices (e.g., should the user self-identify as being a standard Delicious account holder vs. a Yahoo account user or do we check submitted IDs to determine which method should be used to access the API?). There is also no indication of whether developers should expect to support two types of IDs forever.

The biggest reason this is so frustrating is because an API change so significant should be planned months in advance with plenty of forewarning for all developers. Instead, the effect to the API isn’t even mentioned in announcement blog post nor is anything posted in the API docs. Disappointed wouldn’t accurately describe how I felt when I stumbled into these issues….

About Ian G. Clifton

Ian currently works as the Director of User Experience for A.R.O. in Seattle, WA where he also leads Android development. Previously, he has worked as an Android developer, web developer, and even a Satellite, Wideband, and Telemetry Systems Journeyman in the United States Air Force. He created the Essentials of Android Application Development LiveLessons video series and wrote Android User Interface Design: Turning Ideas and Sketches into Beautifully Designed Apps. He spends his off time on photography, drawing, developing, and doing technical review for other Android developers. You can follow his posts on this blog or his ramblings on Twitter.
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6 Responses to Using The Delicious API With Yahoo Accounts

  1. Techachino says:

    Do you have any example of how to set up OAuth with delicious API?

  2. I don’t have any specific examples. I’ve put forth some inquiries to try to get more information, but I haven’t heard anything back yet.

  3. I was only beginning to grasp the Del.icio.us API when the OAuth cliff appeared on my way. OAuth is a good thing, but such additional complexity is quite dissuasive toward novices such as me, so I was disappointed to find that there is no sample code demonstrating basic interaction with Del.icio.us using OAuth. But the it was astonished that I felt when I discovered how little Yahoo has been communicating about this evolution. Since the success of Del.icio.us depends on keeping a critical mass of users and developing an ecosystem of applications around it, I wonder why Yahoo flunked change management so badly.

  4. Wiekannich says:

    o men… my old delicious works with the v1 api.. but for yahoo accounts i need v2 and I also have no idea how to use this oauth, even if i am experienced php developer… so, I have to buy a book now and learn everything about oauth to just post a link to delicious… no thanks. :)

  5. reda says:

    hi all,
    I would like to use delicious data for making some experimentation, but I dont know how to use delicious API using YahooID:( Can someone give me her delicious login and password or help me to use the YahooID API. It is just for making research experimentation on folksonomy!!

  6. gina says:

    i for one am upset with the way delicious changed now! I could only get through delicious THROUGH my yahoo account and now that i cant anymore, i lost 4000+ bookmarks. i cant remember all of them (obviously) and i would really like to have it back. anyone know how?

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