Yahoo to offer new mashup tools

Company plans to release four application program interfaces for photos, calendar, shopping and bookmark sites.

In a nod to the Web's flourishing mashup culture, Yahoo on Tuesday announced four new application program interfaces for developers interested in building custom programs using its photos, calendar, shopping and bookmark tools.

The APIs will be available "in the coming months" through the company's site, which already hosts developer forums, libraries of code and galleries of applications others have schemed up using its services, a Yahoo press release said.

Web sites called mashups are a burgeoning Web phenomenon that allow ordinary surfers to create programs without necessarily having programming skills. The idea behind Yahoo's new offerings is to give users "an open, easy-to-use platform to build applications and use Yahoo technology in innovative ways," said Jeffrey McManus, director of the Yahoo Developer Network.

The company also plans to launch an Application Gallery--described as a one-stop site for viewing all programs created using APIs across Yahoo properties, including its Flickr photo operations.

The APIs for the Yahoo Photos and Calendar sites appear to be entirely new, while those for Shopping and MyWeb 2.0--a bookmark manager site--will feature "enhanced" capabilities, according to the press release.

Yahoo--along with Google and Microsoft--has already released the code behind its mapping service to the public, inspiring projects such as a live earthquake map using data from the U.S. Geological Survey and one developer's favorite San Francisco Bay Area sneaker shops.

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