Yahoo opens its Web site to outside developers

Yahoo has furthered opened its service, but perhaps it could go a step further by open sourcing its code?

Yahoo! has taken a step beyond Google by opening up its website and other services to third-party developers, the Wall Street Journal is reporting.

The efforts...range from allowing users to search other content -- such as classified-ad sites -- from within Yahoo Mail to allowing them to access online music download services like that of Amazon.com Inc. from within Yahoo Music...[as well as] redesigning [Yahoo!'s] home page to make it easier for users to tap these third-party services.

It's a good move toward an "open-source web," one that may prove to be a key wedge to driving developers away from Google and toward Yahoo!, but still leaves Yahoo! and other cloud-based applications vulnerable to obsolescence .

In other words, it's good to see Yahoo! becoming more permeable to outside development, but it would also be nice to see its applications outlive the company's attention span or life span. Perhaps open data, open APIs, and open source are the right recipe for a robust web?

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About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.

     

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