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
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
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.