Using JIRA's REST API to Create a Dashboard

If you read this blog often, you'll know that I am:

  • crazy about APIs
  • living with some accessibility issues

Put these two things together and what do you get? Actually don't answer that! Today what you get is an example of integrating with JIRA's REST API, because their recent "upgrade" locked me out of the issue listings pages completely and I really do need to be able to see a list of bugs! Their bug editing screen is quite usable, so it's just the list that I need here, but you could easily call their other API methods as you need to. Continue reading

Google OAuth 403 Response

I had an issue this week on a system which has been working fine for a while, but stopped fetching some data from google's user account API. I was getting a 403 response from the API, which seemed odd. Luckily I was logging OAuth::getLastResponse() to my error logs (this is PHP code, and you need to call OAuth::enableDebug() before you make the request to get this output) so I could see that I was getting the following back from Google:



  
    GData
    sslRequired
    SSL is required to perform this operation.
  

Closer inspection shows that for one of the google endpoints, I had a prefix of http:// rather than https://. Those single-character bug fixes that take hours to find are my favourite!

Building a RESTful PHP Server: Output Handlers

This is the third installment in my series about writing a RESTful web service in PHP (the previous entries are about understanding the request and routing it. It is probably the last one but there are a few other things I'd like to cover such as error handling, so I might keep adding to it, especially if I get any particular requests or interesting questions in the comments. So far we've covered parsing requests to determine exactly what the user is asking for, and also looked at routing to a controller to obtain the data or perform the action required. This post gives examples of how to return the data to the client in a good way. Continue reading

API Serving JSONP

disclaimer: I am not a client-side developer, and I don't write javascript. However I am committed to supplying useful APIs of all kinds, and JSONP falls into this category

Early in the development of the new Joind.In API, someone else started consuming the service to populate the javascript widgets they were making*. Since these scripts are intended to be used on many external pages, and they retrieve data from the joind.in API, cross-domain issues were a problem. Continue reading

QR Codes with Google Charts API

I'm a big fan of the google charts API - it draws much better-looking graphs than I would ever manage and all I have to do is assemble the right URL to make it work. I recently got a feature request to add QR codes to joind.in, so that speakers and event admins could easily allow people to link in to a particular talk page.
Continue reading

PHP Returning Numeric Values in JSON

When I wrote about launching a prototype of a new joind.in API, quite a few people started to try it out. My friend David Soria Parra emailed me to point out that many of the numbers in the API were being returned as strings. He said:

It's just a standard problem of PHP REST services. When I try to access it with java I have to convert it over and over again to ints.

I did have a quick look at the PHP manual page for json_encode but I didn't see anything mentioning this. A few weeks later (my inbox is a black hole and it takes a while to process these things) I fell over a throwaway comment to an undocumented constant JSON_NUMERIC_CHECK, and I added the constant name to my todo list. In the time it took for me to actually get around to googling for this, some wonderful person updated the PHP manual page (this is why I love PHP) to include it as a documented option, and someone else had added a user contributed note about using it.

It turns out, this constant does exactly what I need. Here's a simple use case:

echo json_encode(array('event_id' => '603'));
echo json_encode(array('event_id' => '603'), JSON_NUMERIC_CHECK);

and the output:

{"event_id":"603"}
{"event_id":603}

There are probably some situations in which you don't want all your looks-like-a-number data to be returned as a number, but for now it seems to be a good fit for api.joind.in.

A Prototype API for Joind.In

Following the principle of "release early, release often", I put live a very early version of the v2 API for joind.in today (so that I can use it in another project!). I haven't updated the documentation yet but in case anyone was thinking of consuming data from joind.in, this at least gives you an idea of the direction of the project so I thought I'd share.

Things you need to know:

  • The service is an HTTP Web Service. Meaning it's RESTful apart from when it isn't
  • The endpoint is here: http://api.joind.in
  • You can fetch data about events and talks (read-only) at this point
  • Formats available are HTML or JSON. The service will guess from your accept header but you can override it with ?format=json or ?format=html
  • If you need more columns than you get by default, you can add ?verbose=yes to your request
  • Pagination is available, with parameters resultsperpage (default 20, set to zero for no limits) and start (default zero)
  • The service supports OAuth1.0a, which isn't useful at this point as we're read-only but it will come into play as we add functionality

Examples

Events list: http://api.joind.in/v2/events

Information about DPC11: http://api.joind.in/v2/events/603

Talks at DPC11: http://api.joind.in/v2/events/603/talks

Your Thoughts

Comments are welcome on this post. Bugs and feature requests should go to http://joindin.jira.com, read more about Joind.in and its community at http://joind.in/about

Invalid Protected Resource URL in Pecl_Oauth

I had a funny (funny weird, not funny haha) problem the other day when working with pecl_oauth in PHP to talk to a service. I'd gone through all the handshaking steps, got the acces token and was ready to start talking to the service itself. However when I tried to call OAuth::fetch, I got an error message:

Fatal error: Uncaught exception 'OAuthException' with message 'Invalid protected resource url, unable to generate signature base string'

There are two things to notice about this. The first one is that I should be catching exceptions thrown by this code :) The second is that I could see nothing wrong with my url, http://api.local. It turned out, after some experimentation, that what is missing here is a trailing slash, and if I supply http://api.local/, everything works perfectly nicely! I'm unclear if this is intended functionality or not, but if you see this error message and you're requesting a URL with no path info, make sure you have a trailing slash.