Yahoo continues to open itself to developers with the April 29 release of YQL Execute, which gives them full control of how data is fetched into Yahoo Query Language and then presented back to the user.
Originally launched in October 2008, Yahoo Query Language is a Web service API that makes both Yahoo- and Web-based data universally accessible via a single interface. It is just one component of the Yahoo Open Strategy, under which the company has attempted to unify its disparate user networks while allowing outside developers to create their own applications.
Yahoo Open Strategy launched at a moment when other major Web properties, such as Facebook, began opening themselves to increased tinkering by developers. Yahoo followed up October’s rollout with the release of ODT (Open Data Tables), through which any developer can make data YQL-accessible, in February 2009.
“Developers can call multiple services and data sources within Execute to join and mash up data however they desire, letting [Yahoo] do the work rather than their applications,” Jonathan Trevor, Yahoo’s YQL Lead, said in a statement. “Data can be tweaked and manipulated into an optimal format for applications to consume.”
On April 29, Yahoo also released updates for YSlow, its developer solution for crafting high-performance Websites. The new updates include integrating YSlow with Smush.it, which finds the images on a Web page and optimizes them without visual quality loss.
Yahoo has been struggling to regain prestige and market share, despite the headwinds of the global recessionary environment. In the first quarter of 2009, the company reported revenues of $1.58 billion, down 13 percent from the same quarter in 2008, and during an April 21 conference call suggested that it would slice 5 percent of its global work force in a bid to streamline.
As part of that streamlining, Yahoo announced on April 25 that it was shutting down GeoCities, which it purchased in 1999 for some $3.6 billion. The rise of social-networking sites such as Facebook, which make setting up a profile easier than coding a traditional personal home page, helped eclipse the service.
Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz has refused to comment about the possibility that Microsoft, which made a hostile takeover bid for Yahoo in 2008, would engage her company in an agreement over search or advertising. Rumors have suggested, though, that the two companies have been in negotiations.