Igor's Blog

01-Jan-2017
A simple OpenWeatherMap example in Java
I've had my JPhotoFrame project using the OpenWeatherMap API for some time now, at least since Yahoo messed up its own weather service. I thought it would be useful to share a bit of code on how to use the OWM API, so here it is.
16-Oct-2016
Taking SMTP out of your web app, a quick start with SendGrid
After struggling with emails not being being delivered to subscribers using SMTP over at travelblog.ws I started to look at alternatives to sending email and came across SendGrid. With SendGrid it's possible make use of your existing code that sends emails while taking SMTP completely out of the picture, at least on your end.
15-Aug-2016
OpenWeatherMap 2.1 version API is now officially dead
Not long ago I've written that OpenWeatherMap crippled its 2.1 version API by returning data for the same city no matter what the request was. Now it looks that OWM has completely killed off the 2.1 API endpoints in favour of its (paid) 2.5 version of the API.
09-Aug-2016
Why "Browser API keys cannot have referer restrictions when used with this API" error happens
After Google started to force developers to use API keys I changed my code accordingly and for a while everything was working fine. It wasn't until I tested my application on a real server that I started to get the 'Browser API keys cannot have referer restrictions when used with this API.' error. It didn't take too long to figure out why this happens and how to fix it so read on to find out.
07-Aug-2016
Introducing the jQuery UI Photoboxr Plugin
After going away on a trip to the mountains and testing out my Travel µBlog software for the first time it was clear that some improvements were needed in terms of how photos are displayed. The main issue I noticed was that photos taken on a Galaxy S6 were 1080p and hence wide screen. This didn't play well with the 4:3 aspect ratio sized photo boxes used on the blog.
06-Jul-2016
OpenWeatherMap cripples its 2.1 version API
I've noticed that for the past few weeks my Photo Frame has been reporting odd weather. Instead of Brisbane, Australia it was giving me weather for Whitby, GB. I didn't pay much attention to it at first but then it got to me, I checked the configuration and that hasn't changed so I figured there must be something odd going on with OpenWeatherMap and turns out I was right.
24-Jun-2016
Google Maps now forcing developers to use an API Key, returning MissingKeyMapError
I've noticed that whenever I was using the Google Maps API recently it was displaying an error in the JavaScript console and the API was not functional. This seems to be due to Google forcing developers to use an API Key whenever they access their Maps API now. This change is not huge and is easy to implement so read on.
22-Jun-2016
A good way of passing around latitude/longitude when using Google Places Autocomplete API
Google Places Autocomplete is an excellent addition to a web application that needs to have its users enter a location. I've been using this API quite a bit on my travelblog.ws project and have written about ways of implementing it with jQuery. This article shows how I am passing around the latitude/longitude coordinates that Autocomplete returns so that I can make use of them in other parts of my code.
02-May-2016
How to change unit type (metric vs imperial) for Yahoo Weather API with YQL
This is a short example on how to change unit type for Yahoo Weather YQL query. This may be an overlooked bit of information but is covered quite well in the Yahoo! Weather Documentation. Mind you this is the RSS feed documentation but since YQL uses this feed as a backend service, you can pass the same parameters into it as you would if you were using the RSS feed directly. This is done using a feature called remote filters.
15-Apr-2016
Example Yahoo Weather YQL to fetch forecasts and render with JQuery
After writing that Yahoo! has restored it's Weather API to public access I had a number of people asking me for example code so here's an example that uses the new YQL enabled API to fetch the weather and renders the results using jQuery.
14-Apr-2016
Yahoo returns its Weather API to public access, switches to YQL for query
Not long ago I wrote that Yahoo effectively shut down its Weather API by forcing OAuth 1.0. After what seems like an uproar by many developers Yahoo reversed it's decision (in a way) and re-enabled public access to the Weather API, but there is a catch. You have to use the new YQL way of fetching data and it seems very slow to respond.
01-Apr-2016
A better way to initialise Google Maps Places AutoComplete API
Not long ago I've written about how to use Google's Map AutoComplete API. Now I've been going through my code and refactoring it. The new method is more flexible and easier to use.
27-Mar-2016
Yahoo effectively shut down its Weather API by forcing OAuth 1.0 and crippling it
Yahoo has effectively shut down it's Weather API by forcing everyone to use OAuth 1.0 in order to access its data. Not only has this been done for the YQL API but it also applies to the Weather RSS feed! Previously this has been a public API but as of a few days ago it stopped working completely and requires authorisation.
14-Feb-2016
Get user's location with HTML 5 Geolocation and Google Maps Reverse Geocoding API
Facebook does it, so you can do it too. I'm talking about getting the user's location when they are interacting with your website. Whereas previously you had to rely on IP address based solutions, now the modern web browsers that support HTML 5 allow you to get this information easily. Combine that with the Google Maps API and you can get some very detailed location data. Here's how.
10-Jun-2015
What to do when the Google Plus Moments API is no longer supported
I've noticed a couple of weeks ago that my Google+ auto-posting on my blog stopped working and was giving me a 500 server error. At first I ignored this thinking it's just a temporary outage, but when it persisted for days I decided to investigate it. Turns out Google stopped supporting the Moments API and all of a sudden it stopped working too!
08-Jun-2015
A quick start with the PayPal PHP SDK for the REST API
PayPal's REST APIs are a very easy way to add e-Commerce functionality to your web project. There is a PHP SDK available for it, and there is a very good API Samples site that covers just about anything you would want to do with the SDK. However something that I thought was missing from this documentation was how to create your PayPal App and Sandbox accounts as well as the autoload.php file that's references but never actually included in the package.
26-May-2015
Share a link to a web page using a Google Plus app activity
I wanted to have a way of automatically sharing my blog posts directly to my Google+ stream for a while. After starting work on this feature I quickly hit multiple road blocks. However, I was able to come to some sort of compromise with the Google+ API and can now share links for my blog articles to my Google App's feed, here's how I did it.
21-May-2015
Example of using the Google Plus OAuth refresh token
If you want to avoid prompting the user to give permission to your app every time it tries to use their Google+ account for authentication/authorisation, you probably want to use the refresh token to gain the same access.
20-May-2015
How to configure the Google Plus API to use with your web application
If you want to use the Google Plus API in your project, you have to create an app first. This is a relatively easy process and is described in the quick-start sample apps that Google provides, however here's another version with screenshots, because pictures are easier to follow than blocks of text.

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