Feeds

Yahoo!'s 'interwebs MySQL' crunches four years of Twitter

Ask the InfoChimp

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Velocity Yahoo! has plugged its YQL web query language into a third-party API that lets developers access and analyze a sea of Twitter data dating back to 2006.

"This is the real strength of YQL," Yahoo! technical evangelist Tom Hughes-Croucher told The Reg this morning at the net-infrastructure-obsessed Velocity conference in Santa Clara, California. "It's not that YQL does everything. It's that we make it easier to use services that do the things you want."

YQL — the Yahoo! Query Language — is an umbrella API that lets app developers query, filter, and join data across disparate web services offered up by Yahoo! and the web at large. InfoChimps — yes, InfoChimps, a startup based on Austin, Texas — recently introduced a beta Query API that includes several calls for crunching old Twitter data, and Yahoo! has teamed with the startup to provide a Chimpified YQL interface.

InfoChimp offers, for instance, a call dubbed Trstrank, which uses an algorithm "similar to Google PageRank" that attempts to determine the influence of a particular Twitter user. "A developer could use YQL to generate search results from Twitter, pass them through a call...to order them...and reveal not just what's being said on Twitter, but what's being said by the Twitter big guns," InfoChimps' Sarah Nordquist said of the new YQL interface in a blog post.

As the name implies, YQL mimics MySQL. "Rather than thinking about specific databases, we're thinking about an SQL-like language that treats the internet as one big database," YQL product lead Jonathan Trevor previously told The Reg. But as Hughes-Croucher tells us, there are times when the analogy breaks down. "It's really like SQL, but there are a few differences because we're dealing with web services," he said. "We can't, say, do joins unless the web service supports it."

But the language can enable joins by plugging into services like InfoChimp's. According to Hughes-Croucher, InfoChimp has moved all sorts of data — including Twitter data and US census data — onto number-crunching Hadoop clusters, and then, with YQL, you can make calls that let you tap pre-crunched data. "They'll let you do queries without hosting the data yourself," he said, "and we give you an interface in order to plug into that system."

The YQL API is available as its own web service, and the service includes a web console here (sign-in required), where you can browse example queries and test your own. YQL now offers access to about 800 data tables, including data from Yahoo! services like Flickr, plus The New York Times, Facebook, Yelp, Microsoft Bing, and Twitter. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email
Print this article out and give it to someone tech-y if you get stuck
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Entity Framework goes 'code first' as Microsoft pulls visual design tool
Visual Studio database diagramming's out the window
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.