XooMLe: The Google API in Plain Old XML

Getting Google results in XML using the XooMLe wrapper.

When Google released their Web APIs in April 2002, everyone agreed that it was fantastic, but some thought it could have been better. Google’s API was to be driven by Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), which wasn’t exactly what everyone was hoping for.

What’s wrong with SOAP? Google made the biggest, best search engine in the world available as a true web service, so it must be a good thing, right? Sure, but a lot of people argued that by using SOAP, they had made it unnecessarily difficult to access Google’s service. They argued that using simple HTTP-based technologies would have provided everything they needed, while also making it a much simpler service to use.

The irony of this was not lost on everyone—Google, being so well-known and widely used, in part because of its simplicity, was now being slammed for making their service difficult to access for developers.

The argument was out there: SOAP was bad, Google needed a REST! Representational State Transfer (REST) is a model for web services that makes use of existing protocols and technologies, such as HTTP GET requests, URIs, and XML to provide a transaction-based approach to web services. The argument was that REST provided a much simpler means of achieving the same results, given Google’s limited array of functionality.

REST proponents claimed that Google should have made their API available through the simpler approach of ...

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