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The API Hub: Jeff Bezos-Backed Mashape Launches To The Public With 430 APIs (techcrunch.com)
60 points by rigelstpierre on July 30, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 27 comments



I found Mashape via google as I was looking for a simple way to monetize our API (and get some exposure) about a year ago. We posted our Whois API (http://www.mashape.com/nametoolkit/name-toolkit) on Mashape.

In the early days it was quiet but I liked the auto-generated clients. It's really been picking up in the last few months and the hassle-free billing, documentation is great. Augusto is great, he is still personally answering mails when there are issues.

What could be improved on: Better stats for the admin interface, .NET support (I'm aware this has been on their roadmap but customers have repeatedly asked me for this), more payout options like bank transfer would be awesome too.


Not to rain on your parade, but to anyone looking to try this I just wasted 30 minutes getting setup and trying it to find out that Godaddy, for example, returns next to no results through this service so it's no solution to WHOIS woes.


Firstly, yes our whois parser needs work, whois is a dirty protocol with lots of inconsistency and we haven't spent enough time dealing with parsing ALL the data out. Oddly enough it has already proved useful to some customers and some fields are consistently parsed well. What's your use case and which fields are you interested in that we failed to parse?


Do the auto generated clients only return JSON for each client library? Do you still need to write your own parser to parse the JSON?

* Nevermind. Yes they return JSON, I just read the documentation.


The client libraries already parse the returned JSON response. Or you can still consume the API without client libraries and get the raw JSON response.


I think the open source equivalent to this is well worth a mention: http://apis.io/ It's not quite the same feature set but was never designed to be and all the code is on github so you deploy your own if you so wished, https://github.com/apisio/apisio (pull requests welcome)


I spend a lot of time trying to convert the heckyesmarkdown.com service to an API in mashape. It was time consuming and kept on returning me incomprehensible errors. The documentation is unclear on how the APIs are supposed to be documented.

For a purely REST API, this might work, but for something like free-to-find services for which I need a quick-api solution to use, it just does not work. The API documentation editor (seriously, stop calling it documentation and call it specs instead) needs an advanced mode so I can use it better. Another thing I found missing was user help text on the apis themselves.

This might take off to become something like programmableweb, but developers won't rush to it with open-arms unless (a few) major api providers start using this.


Hi, CTO of Mashape here. I'm sorry to hear you had a bad experience when writing the docs, we'll definitely improve the workflow and make it easier to understand.

In the meanwhile, I documented your API with my account, and I would be happy to transfer it to yours if you like. Here it is: http://www.mashape.com/thefosk/heck-yes-markdown

The documentation it is really a documentation, not all the fields are mandatory by the system, except the endpoint URL, and the parameter's name (we need them to auto-generate the client libraries). All the other fields are optional and provided just for the sake of understandability when a third party needs to consume your API.


From the sounds of it the Creators are reaching out to some bigger players in the API game.


Hey there, just adding my two pence here.

I'm Stuart, co-founder of chatterbox.co. We've been using Mashape from the early days when they were back in beta, distributing our Sentiment Analysis API (http://www.mashape.com/chatterbox-co/sentiment-analysis-free). For a startup, getting to market as quickly as possible is great.. what you don't want though is a half baked product. Mashape allowed us to focus on building awesome sentiment analysis, so that we didn't have to bother about billing, rate limiting, etc and all the DB infrastructure that runs behind it. Certainly worth checking out, especially if all your stuff uses JSON anyway (which it should!).


I was fortunate enough to spend a couple days with these guys when I was first getting my feet wet a few months back. Although my chops weren't built enough yet for what they needed, I enjoyed doing a little problem solving with them and getting to see my first glimpse of startup life. They were super nice and they really had a passion and dedication for Mashape. It's cool to seen them finally launch.


Craigslist isn't participating? That's surprising!


I think the idea of putting APIs into a store is a great way for smaller devs to really get their products noticed, and even monetize their hard work easier. And as a developer I totally see the need for this kind of product. I'm tired of searching for an api on google/github/etc and not being totally sure of its quality, and I would love to see if Mashape will grow and perhaps allow people to review APIs, and host examples as well.


I don't know how useful the clients in different languages are when all the client code returns is a JSON object.

I would have thought that the whole point of a custom client would be that it would expose objects and methods that had represented the request and response data for the API.

If I have to interpret and parse the JSON myself then the client code they provide isn't very useful IMHO.


I don't think central API registries are the the long term future of APIs (despite the fact that I bought apinest.com with half a mind to setting one up :).

At some point we are going to move to self-describing APIs, documented at source. Check out the http://restfulobjects.org/ spec for ideas on how this will work.


Which would be great. We strongly believe that self-describing hypermedia APIs are the future, hopefully sooner or later we'll be able to focus more on the experience (buying/tracking/monitoring/bug tracking) and less on supporting thousands different formats/descriptions. Unfortunately it's still a super-fragmented market.


>> When you’re a marketplace, you always fight the chicken/egg problem and the last thing you want to do is open up a marketplace when you don’t have enough supply yet

What's are your views here?

This is a really interesting question for me. I keep putting off a side project that I'd love to do because it suffers this exact problem.

I want to believe there's another way to handle this situation.


Seems the solution is to really market to the creators of quality and useful API creators and build that with the promise of the users coming latter.

They app is really well designed and useful without the users there to the API creator.


Standardizing APIs is a Good Thing. Unfortunately, standards alone don't seem to be enough. (oAuth2 anyone?)

Therefore, offering a proxy that has enough benefits to developers to make them switch to it's standard seems like a more realistic approach.

So, I truly hope Mashape takes off.


Mashape doesn't standardise anything - it "just" provides API billing and management tools.

Saying APIs should be standardized is very naive anyway - APIs often need to offer specific platform-specific features.


Some of these APIs aren't very well developed...the Airbnb API, for example, is just an unofficial one, and so far supports only a "Hello World" endpoint

http://www.mashape.com/john-matt/airbnb


You need to take any community driven site with a grain of salt, there will always be API's that aren't great.


It's a minor nit, but please get your main page to play nice. I opened the Mashape page in a tab to look at later. When the fan sped up I went hunting, and your page was eating 20% CPU.


Thx for the tip. We're on it.


Too much load on launch day? I get a "Oops, an error occured :S" screen

Edit: back now


looks kinda like APIgee


Works in a similar nature except I don't think APIgee has Auto Documentation




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