December 27, 2005
@ 05:40 PM

Niall Kennedy has a blog post entitled Exclusive: Google to offer feed API where he reveals

Google plans to offer a feed reader API to allow third-party developers to build new views of feed data on top of Google's backend. The new APIs will include synchronization, feed-level and item-level tagging, per-item read and unread status, as well as rich media enclosure and metadata handling. Google Reader PM Jason Shellen and engineer Chris Wetherell both confirmed Google's plans after I posted my reverse-engineering analysis of the Google Reader backend.

The new APIs will allow aggregator developers to build new views and interactions on top of Google's data. Google currently has at least two additional Google Reader views running on current development builds.

Google may offer public access to the feed API as early as next month. Shellen said the team wants to nail a few more bugs before publicly making the service available to the world.
Google's new offering is direct competition to NewsGator's synchronization APIs but are easier to code against (no SOAP required). Google currently does not have the same reach across devices as NewsGator but an easy-to-use API from the guys who brought you the Blogger API and "Blog This!" might really shake up the feed aggregator ecosystem.

As someone who's been thinking about synchronization between RSS readers for a few years I definitely see this as a welcome development. The Bloglines sync API is too limited in its functionality to be useful while the NewsGator API is both complex and designed with too many assumptions to be widely usable. However, unlike Niall, I blame the complexity of the NewsGator API on the data model and expected data flow than on whether it uses SOAP versus Plain Old XML (POX) as the wire format.

Once the Google Reader API ships, I'll definitely investigate the feasibility of adding support for it to the Jubilee release of RSS Bandit.