Geeks With Blogs



Lance Robinson

Create Your Badge

Lance Robinson is a software engineer in Durham, Chapel Hill, Raleigh, and surrounding areas. More about Lance.


Lance's TextBox » About Me » My Resume »Twitter api There are 27 entries for the tag api
Adventures in Screen Scraping
What I've learned from my adventures in screen scraping: don't do it. Just wait for an API to be released. After all, everybody's doing it (coming out with APIs, that is). :P But you can't tell a client that, can you? So if you have to do it, here are some tips on how to save yourself headaches in maintaining it. Main scraper class to inherit from. Firebug, IE Developer Toolbar. When the site changes, don't throw away your old parsing code ......

Posted On Friday, February 26, 2010 3:59 PM

10 DIY SharePoint Web Parts #8
This post is the eighth in a series of postings, containing examples of SharePoint WebParts that anybody can build all by themselves. To read all posts in this series, or to get started with the RSSBus WebPart, go here. #8 – Twitter Many times since I originally posted about it months ago, I’ve been asked for more details about including Twitter searches and streams inside their SharePoint pages. Thanks to the Twitter API and feeds, this is very simple to do, and to change from showing searches, ......

Posted On Friday, October 30, 2009 3:35 AM

Amazon SimpleDB Developer Tools
According to a recent Amazon survey, “Developer Tools” were the most requested improvement for SimpleDB. /n software’s Amazon Integrator fits the bill for developers building in .NET, ASP.NET, .NETCF, Java, JSP, C++, C++ Builder, Delphi, VB6 (ActiveX), and even classic ASP. You can download a free trial version, which includes demos and API documentation for the SimpleDB component as well as the included AWS, EC2, S3, and SQS components. Technorati Tags: Amazon, AWS, SimpleDB ......

Posted On Tuesday, February 3, 2009 9:46 AM

RSS to iCal Converter
Here is an RSS to iCal converter that I published last week. All it does it take your RSS url, and give you back another one that calls RSSBus, and asks RSSBus to retrieve your URL and convert it to iCAL for you! Recently I came across several RSS feeds of schedules. One was a product release schedule, another a football schedule (go pack!). I was slightly annoyed that RSS was chosen for schedules since no feed readers really know how to handle a future pubDate, but I quickly realized it would be ......

Posted On Monday, September 8, 2008 10:32 AM

Remixing data from Google Docs & Spreadsheets
Right after Google Spreadsheets came out, I got a ton of downloads from a little class library I wrote for interacting with it over HTTP. Problem is, Google didn't provide a true API - the solution was to use HTTP to manually perform the gets and posts required to manage each spreadsheet. Now its much easier thanks to RSSBus! Here is a sample Google spreadsheet, it looks like this: A B C D 1 Name Hours Items IPM 2 Bingley 10 2 0.0033 3 Captain Carter 200 75360 6.28 4 Dawson 200 100000 8.3333 5 Colonel ......

Posted On Thursday, May 15, 2008 12:34 PM

Google Calendar to Twitter
A few months ago, Charlie pointed out how it might be useful to have a script that would automatically post Google Calendar events on Twitter. Then he found someone that had already done it. Well, at the time I filed a note to do this with RSSBus - but then I got busy and never got to it - until today! :) Let me say that I did the RSSBus script first, and then I looked at how the other guy did it (he used a 200 line php script + Yahoo Pipes). Here's my roughly 20 line RSB script (using the RSSBus ......

Posted On Wednesday, August 8, 2007 4:26 PM

Twittering around
If you are using Twitter, let me know so I can follow you. Yep, I'm on Twitter now, finally. I decided to give it a shot and see what all the hoopla is about. Is it really that great? We'll see. While I'm checking it out - I decided to look at its API and look into whether or not I should throw together a Twitter connector for RSSBus. The API is very compact - simple and to the point. All simple HTTP get and put. All of the API methods return data in several formats - it looks like all of the gets ......

Posted On Wednesday, August 8, 2007 1:27 PM

Shipping APIs - FedEx

an introduction to adding FedEx shipping to your desktop and web applications using the IBiz FedEx Integrator

Posted On Wednesday, July 18, 2007 1:49 PM

Shipping APIs - USPS and FedEx

How to to automate and manage shipping through USPS and FedEx.

Posted On Wednesday, June 27, 2007 12:45 PM

Adding support for credit card/paypal to your website/application
In the latest installment of MSDN Magazine "Toolbox", Scott Mitchell wrote a few paragraphs about how a developer can add to his applications/websites the ability to accept online credit card payments. The process does seem complex and a bit intimidating at first, but with the right tools it can be pretty easy. Scott points his readers to Authorize.Net (Internet payment gateway through which one can process the charges), and also mentions the availability of some third-party shopping cart products ......

Posted On Friday, May 11, 2007 12:55 PM
Featured on Programmable Web a couple weeks ago was an API from the Institude On Money in State Politics that allows you to track campaign contributions for candidates. It is pretty neat, and should come in quite handily in 2008. Here is their a view of their data for North Carolina. A while back I posted about Project Vote Smart, and the news that they are planning to make an API available "well before the 2008 elections". With the massive amount of information available at Project Vote Smart, this ......

Posted On Thursday, November 9, 2006 4:23 PM

Generating KML with RSSBus
RSSBus is good for more than just generating RSS feeds or helping you easily create an API for your data or services. Its also useful in easily outputting other formats as well, such as KML (an XML format for Google Earth). For example, recently Tim posted an example of using XmlTextWriter to generate KML. For most of ius, its not rocket science, but compare his code and the ease of writing it with how it can be done with RSSBus. With RSSBus you can just literally write the XML and plug-in the values ......

Posted On Monday, October 2, 2006 9:23 AM

Top 10 most useful extensions to use in syndication feeds
In August, the Google Reader Blog posted a list of the most commonly used extensions in feeds. Here is my list of the top 10 most useful extensions for syndication: 10. iTunes This one really shouldn't even be on this list, but I include it because it did make a big splash when it was released. It also generated a lot of frustration and anger amoung podcast producers. The iTunes namespace extension was created to allow podcast feed producers to integrate their feeds with Apple's iTunes music player. ......

Posted On Tuesday, September 26, 2006 3:26 PM

Feeds are APIs
Nick Bradbury, in his post Feed My Attention, says he views feeds as an "alert system" and that we should demand more feeds from the services we use. Nick is trying to make the point that feeds are for more than just blog reading, but he fails to make this point fully because he is restricting his ideas to typical feed reading applications like his own FeedDemon. Not only are feeds for more than just blog reading, but they're for more than just the simple "retrieve and display" feed readers of today ......

Posted On Monday, September 25, 2006 9:10 AM

Easy API creation
There is all kinda of data that I wish were made available through some API, such as the congressional voting data that I mentioned previously. There are lots of businesses and organizations that have data, but not necessarily the resources to create an API. This is another great use of RSSBus. You can create RSSBus scripts that can take advantage of things like SqlOps and OracleOps, ExcelOps, CcOps, QbOps, FileOps, S3Ops, etc. Through these scripts you can expose an API for your data that is stored ......

Posted On Wednesday, September 13, 2006 7:18 AM

VoteSmart API
In a recent post, I commented how it would be awesome if there was an API for the United States Congress. I spoke to Lisa Coligan, National Director at Project Vote Smart, and asked her if they had any plans for an open API. Somewhat surprisingly, her answer was yes! Lisa says that does "not currently have API but we're planning to in the future. We won't have it in time for 2006 elections but we hope to have it up and in place well before the 2008 elections." Now that would be really ......

Posted On Friday, September 8, 2006 4:10 PM

Salesforce to Google, Google to Salesforce
The GoogleToSalesforce and SalesforceToGoogle RSSBus scripts can now be downloaded from the RSSBus blog. Note that limits access to their API to Enterprise Edition or Unlimited Edition customers only. Yes, you can access it with a Developer Edition account as well, but of course with that you can only have a small number of users and a small amount of storage. Technorati : atom, google calendar, rss, rssbus, ......

Posted On Friday, September 1, 2006 10:40 AM

US Congress: The single-most API needy organization in the world
Who is it? Who is starving for an API or a set of dynamic feeds? Why, the United States Congress, of course! Think about you know what your state senators did last summer? Or your house representative? You might know their positions on the big issues - but what about the ones that don't get big attention in the press? Are they just a pawn voting down the party lines? Are they hiding something? Are they acting contrary to how they campaigned? Are they ignoring the opinions of their constituents ......

Posted On Tuesday, August 29, 2006 9:44 AM

Flickr Geotagging
Tim pointed out to me yesterday that Flickr was adding some official support for geotagging. In the past, Flickr members just used regular Flickr tags to geocode their photos (ie, tags like lat:36.45 and long:-79.34). Now Flickr will let you go to the Organize page's "Map" tab and literally drag and drop your photos onto a map to geotag them. This is very cool, IMHO. What they've not done yet is make this information available via their API, but they say that functionality is coming soon. So what ......

Posted On Tuesday, August 29, 2006 9:29 AM

Flickr urls changed for the worse
Lets say you wanted to get the RSS feed for a particular Flickr Group called "MyGroup". All you had to do to know the URL for this feed was: " + MyGroup + "/pool/feed/?format=rss_200" Easy as pie. No matter the group name, it was always very easy to find the URL for its feed. No longer. Now, the urls look like this: (the format parameter can also be atom_03). On top of the fact that ......

Posted On Friday, August 25, 2006 7:11 AM

Where are Tim, Jeff, John, and Joseph?
Jeff, John, Joseph, and Tim are going to South Carolina Code Camp 2.0. No word on whether Waldo is going or not. These guys want to do something nerdy along the way. Great idea, and I'm always up for nerdy games. :) We can easily create one RSS feed that shows their real-time location (using Where's Tim), the weather they are experiencing (yahoo weather), local events happening in the area that day (, and area restaurants in case they are hungry (yahooLocal). I don't know anything about ......

Posted On Tuesday, August 22, 2006 12:33 PM

News feeds vs Data feeds (and Yahoo)
Some feeds have no use, at least for the majority of us, outside of a regular feed reader like Bloglines or FeedDemon. I call these "news feeds" whether they are feeds of world news from or Shelley Powers' personal blog postings. Perhaps "news feeds" is not the best name and I should change this habit. Now that I'm an a-lister I should be more precise, maybe. ;) I don't like to just use the word "feeds" to describe them all, because I think feeds that have more granular data in them need ......

Posted On Monday, August 21, 2006 10:29 AM

Buzzword soup: web 2.0, hype, and other random thoughts
Today I pieced together some random thoughts on web 2.0. Here they are, sloppily weaved together. Calcanis "gets it". His blog post about paying digg diggers was digged, flickr'd,'d, and even TechCrunch'd (hey, even bad publicity is still good publicity). Before its all over with, this will probably be IT Conversation'd (or should I say GigaVoxed? Conversation Networked? I'm not sure which it is these days) by Doug Kaye and PodTech'd by Robert Scoble (or John Furrier) too. Bloggers, vloggers, ......

Posted On Wednesday, July 19, 2006 12:15 PM

Don't use Google Maps for pushing drugs
I was reading about signing up for a Google Maps API key, and I just thought this was funny(from There are some uses of the API that we just don't want to see. For instance, we do not want to see maps that identify the places to buy illegal drugs in a city, or any similar illegal activity ......

Posted On Friday, June 23, 2006 8:09 AM

Google Spreadsheets API: Library and Demo
Ready for some feedback. Download the library and let me know what you think. There is a csharp winforms demo included that shows how to use the GSheet class that is contained in the dll. Contents of the zip: csharpDemo - Folder containing the csharp source code of the demo GoogleSpreadsheetsAPI.dll - Library containing the GSheet class. nsoftware.IPWorksSSL.dll - IP*Works! SSL library for communications code Update: Download it here, source included. Update 2: The library is no longer available. ......

Posted On Thursday, June 8, 2006 2:14 PM

Google Spreadsheets API
Lots of people are talking about Google Spreadsheets. Yesterday I wrote some c# code to enable me to access my Spreadsheets account from my .net applications: a Google Spreadsheets API. So far I can authenticate, list all my existing spreadsheets, create a new spreadsheet, edit individual cells, delete a spreadsheet, rename a spreadsheet, import from a local XLS file, and export to a local XLS or CSV file. I will post some code later today. properties: string Email string Password string CurrentSheetKey ......

Posted On Thursday, June 8, 2006 7:05 AM

The Conversations Network - My feedback
I realize that The Conversations Network is young, but here are my first thoughts and constructive criticisms anyway. The recommendations page should have an "Add to queue" link right there beside the program listing, so that I don't have to click on the program detail link and visit another page in order to add a program to my queue. Sometimes I can tell by the title that I want to add it right away. Also on the recommendations page, I'm not sure what the “relevance“ graphic is - since ......

Posted On Tuesday, January 31, 2006 8:00 AM

Copyright © Lance Robinson | Powered by: