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Software United States

Is the Flickr API a National Treasure? 101

First time accepted submitter somekind writes "Over the past few months Twitter imposed restrictions on the use of its client API, and Facebook shut down the facial recognition API supporting face.com after acquiring the company. Mathew Ingram noted these and other examples (Google starting to charge for high-volume use of Google Maps) as evidence that 'open APIs' published by a single vendor can't be trusted by outside developers. Worried about the possibility that Yahoo! might do the same with Flickr, Dave Winer has just launched a petition to Obama asking the President to declare the Flickr API a National Historic Landmark, thus (by Dave's reckoning) legally protected from arbitrary withdrawal or wholesale changes by its corporate masters."
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Is the Flickr API a National Treasure?

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  • Interesting problem (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ilsaloving ( 1534307 ) on Sunday December 16, 2012 @10:46AM (#42306949)

    On the one hand, yes, anyone who complains about a company that stops providing a free services is a whiner who deserves the scorn people send them.

    On the other hand, there are a lot of sites that make use of all the various APIs going around. Some of which may not even be maintained anymore. If google dropped it's maps api tomorrow, a massive number of websites would break, or parts of them would break. It's the internet equivalent of the world economy. There is functionality now that other sites *can't* replicate, because it's not worth doing so on the scale of an individual website. But I have yet to see a single one of these APIs that could be considered essential. The web worked just fine before all these APIs appeared.

    People will have to learn that these services are not actually free, and start paying for the privilege of using them, or they should learn to do without.

  • Re:No it is not (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Omestes ( 471991 ) <omestes@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Sunday December 16, 2012 @06:56PM (#42309079) Homepage Journal

    I don't know, it seems Google+ is slowly replacing it, a lot of my photography friends have either ditched Flickr, or haven't touched it in months now. There are also better services out there, like Smugmug (also might be suffering a bit), and 500px. Yahoo has pretty much forgotten about Flickr, and they really don't garner much confidence. When was the last time Yahoo really saved, or improved, something? Hell, when was the last time anything of relevance was connected to Yahoo?

    I used to use Flickr a lot, my hobby was colorizing and restoring old images, and I managed to find some good communities there full of people with like interests, and more experience, willing to help me and critique my work. Lately, since venturing into macro photography, I was looking for a like experience. Flickr didn't really fit, it seemed more Instagram-y now, Facebook-y even. Lots of "Wow!", and "Great Job!", and very little "Good, but your framing is a bit off", "Good framing, but you need more/less light/exposure" Useful, and meaningful criticism, not just empty social blurbs and group ego massaging. Flickr feels like a dying community, not like it was a few years back.

    The serious people, who want a good UI, and better templates have moved on to 500px. The people who want community first, and a good UI and display, have move to G+. The casual crowd has moved on to Facebook. Why niche does Flickr fill, that these other sites can do better?

"I'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens." -- Woody Allen