Let's JAM!

Why I Want To See the Evented Web

With current web API's and data, it is very much a pull (or is it poll) environment. If I want to get data in realtime, there are not very many options available. Some API's have implimented webhooks or sockets as a way of creating a realtime API, but the number of API's which support this is very slim. What I wish and hope to see as time goes on is that API's will TELL you, the programmer, when an event happens through webhooks or some other simple mechanism.

 

This is useful because as technology has improved, the want (and apparent need) for "realtime" things has grown. For example, in the 1800's letters and the Pony Express was the fastest way to move data. Then, the telegraph was invented. Soon, phones and email and instant messaging was invented. Humans have started trending towards faster and more realtime methods of communication. I feel that the same should (and will) happen to API's.

 

An example of the usefulness of this is the ability to recieve an event (through a webhook, socket connection, etc.) which happens when you recieve a comment on your blog. If/when that happens, you can intellegently and programatically respond to this event. Maybe you are not at a computer, but you have an Android phone. You could create a naitive Android notification on your phone that says, "New comment. Click here to read." rather than sending an email. When events happen, they can be properly responded to. The next step in the Programmable Web is the Evented Web.

 

Now that I have explained what the Evented Web is, I will get to the meat of this post; why I want the Evented Web to happen. With the evented web in place, my ability to act upon events increases dramatically. I can now do things like automatically respond to people's text messages. No, I am not talking about the lame "Hi, how are you?" automated responses. I am talking about programmable, cool shit; all happening because of the Evented Web. For example, when some one texts me, "Hey, where are you?", it will grab my GPS location and use my contact's addresses and/or a phonebook like service to respond with, "I am at #{contact}'s house." These kind of events are extremely powerful.

 

The Evented Web is something that I want to see happen. When events are published from API's that I can subscribe to, many cool and interesting things can happen. My applications can respond in a much more realtime fashion. Many things which were previously unacheviable now are. If you are an API developer (creating or consuming API's) I highly reccomend watching the slideshare at http://www.slideshare.net/progrium/sxsw-evented-web. The Evented Web is an event that I have subscribed to.