Note: The competition has been extended to 4/17/11.
[Disclosure: Tim O’Reilly is an investor in Fluidinfo.]
Unlike a normal API that provides access to read-only data, a “writable API” is a shorthand for one whose underlying data is openly writable. That’s the fundamental property of Fluidinfo’s data model. We’re very curious to see what developers make of it. In other words, instead of the usual case in which a read-only API is released and programmers are encouraged to simply consume its data or contribute only in anticipated ways, the new API allows programmers to add additional data to the exact same objects that are holding the O’Reilly data, and the new data can be anything at all. There’s no need to stop to ask permission, and there’s no need for anyone to have anticipated what an application writer might want to do.
The writable nature of Fluidinfo-based APIs opens the door to a richer world of data and applications. A single application could add new data and combine it with the existing data. A second application could further enhance and mash up the O’Reilly data and that of the first application, and so on.
To give very simple examples, an application could tag book objects to indicate that a user owns them or is reading them, could add users’ current page numbers, add links to the book elsewhere, or add any other metadata it pleases. Applications can also add tags (with values) to the author objects. These could indicate things like the author’s Twitter name, a link to their profile on LinkedIn, a measure of influence, a tag to show that the author is known by a user or is someone the user would like to meet, etc.
While we want you to develop an application however you see fit, we imagine entries will fall into three rough classes. None of these are required in an entry and they are independent of the judging criteria:
- Uses of the basic O’Reilly book and author data, such as building a different UI to books and authors.
- Interesting data added to the Fluidinfo book and/or author objects. Entries in this class would not build applications.
- Mashups of original and new data: add to the original data, and write an application that combines both in a provocative way.
In total, three prizes will be awarded:
- 1st prize: An OSCON package that includes a full conference pass, coach airfare from within the US, and 4 nights hotel accommodation.
- 2nd prize: Choice of either one 3G iPad 2 64GB or one Xoom tablet 32GB (second prize includes device only, no wireless service is included).
- 3rd prize: $500 worth of O’Reilly ebooks and/or videos; selection to be at third prize winner’s discretion.
The competition opens today (12:01 a.m. Pacific, March 21, 2011) and runs until 11:59 p.m. (Pacific) April 17, 2011. Winners will be announced on Radar on or around May 1, 2011.
Employees of O’Reilly Media and Fluidinfo are not eligible to enter the competition.
Huge apologies to our international friends, but this contest is OPEN ONLY TO DEVELOPERS WHO ARE LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE 50 UNITED STATES AND DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. Our legal folks worked valiantly to include everyone, but rules governing contests in each of your countries have to be followed. In the end they could not conjure up the legal magic necessary to draft rules for each of them; things are sticky enough between the boundaries within the United States. We’re really sorry on this one!
How to enter and get going
Get a Fluidinfo account
Get a Fluidinfo account
You’ll need to create a Fluidinfo account for your application and use its credentials to make calls to the API. If you build an application hosted on its own domain, you can use your domain name as your username in Fluidinfo.
Let the world know you’re entering
As a warm-up exercise in using the Fluidinfo API, we’re going to get you to tag a Fluidinfo object to indicate that you’re entering the competition.
Here’s what you need to do: Suppose your application’s username in Fluidinfo is “myapp.com.” You create a tag named “myapp.com/entry” and put an instance of it onto the Fluidinfo object whose about value is “O’Reilly Fluidinfo API competition.” The value of the tag should be the URL of the home page of your contest entry. If you are just adding book and/or author data to Fluidinfo, the URL you provide should describe the data you’ve added.
The tag therefore serves two purposes: its existence indicates that you’ve entered, and its value points to your entry. Note that your tag must be on the object when the contest closes in order to enter. If it is not, we won’t know you have entered.
The O’Reilly data in Fluidinfo
The details of the Fluidinfo objects holding the O’Reilly book and author data, and the tags on them, are described in a post on the Fluidinfo blog. On the blog you’ll also find a post showing example queries against the O’Reilly API.
You can also take a look at the O’Reilly namespace in the Fluidinfo Explorer (click on the oreilly.com namespace in the left panel to see our top-level tags and the sub-namespaces), and can also look at individual book and author objects. For example here’s the Fluidinfo object for Python in a Nutshell, Second Edition and the object for its author Alex Martelli.
Other tags on O’Reilly book data in Fluidinfo
The O’Reilly book objects also have other tags on them to give you some extra initial material to work with, and also to give you ideas. If you look at the object for Python in a Nutshell mentioned above, you’ll see that as well as lots of oreilly.com tags, it also has tags from Amazon, Google Books, LibraryThing, and Goodreads.
A simple example Chrome extension
There’s also a simple Chrome extension for O’Reilly books. This is intended to illustrate how a browser extension can pull additional information about a book from Fluidinfo and show it to the reader. If you’d like to build a browser extension, you can grab the code from Github and take it from there. If you’re using Chrome, you can install the extension by following these instructions. The Fluidinfo blog has details on how to use it.
Fluidinfo object model and API
You can find out more about the Fluidinfo object model and its API on the developer’s page. You can also often get help in real time by joining the #fluidinfo channel on irc.freenode.net (in fact you can even join the channel with a web-based client right from this web page).
Here’s the fine print.
O’REILLY WRITABLE API CONTEST OFFICIAL RULES
REVISED RULES AS OF 4/8/11 — NOTE NEW END DATE OF 4/17/11.
NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND NECESSARY TO ENTER OR TO WIN. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING. CONTEST OPEN ONLY TO DEVELOPERS WHO ARE LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE 50 UNITED STATES AND DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND OF THE AGE OF MAJORITY IN THEIR STATE OF RESIDENCE AT THE TIME OF ENTRY. VOID OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES AND WHERE OTHERWISE PROHIBITED BY LAW. DO NOT ENTER IF YOU ARE NOT ELIGIBLE AND LOCATED IN THE UNITED STATES AT THE TIME OF ENTRY.
Important: Please read these Official Rules before entering the O’Reilly Writable API Contest (the “Contest”) sponsored by O’Reilly Media, Inc., and Fluidinfo, Inc. (each a “Sponsor”, and collectively “Sponsors”).
1. BINDING AGREEMENT: In order to enter the Contest, you must agree to these Official Rules (“Rules”). Please read these Rules carefully; these Rules will form a legally binding agreement with respect to this Contest and you will be bound by them. You may not submit an Entry (as defined in Section 4 below) unless you agree to these Rules. You agree that participation in this Contest and/or submission of an Entry in the Contest constitutes your full and unconditional agreement to these Rules and Sponsors’ decisions, which are final and binding in all matters related to the Contest.
2. ELIGIBILITY: Contest open to all developers who are legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, who are located in the United States or the District of Columbia at the time of entry, and who are of the age of majority in their state of residence at the time of entry. Employees, directors and officers of Sponsors, their respective subsidiaries, affiliates, distributors, retailers, agents, advertising and promotional agencies, and members of their immediate family (spouse, parents, children, sibling and their respective spouse) are not eligible to participate. Void outside of the United States and where otherwise prohibited by law. Contest is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations.
3. CONTEST DESCRIPTION & GUIDELINES: During the Contest Period, developers have the opportunity to develop their own API (the “Application”) using the Fluidinfo API for O’Reilly books and authors developed by Fluidinfo (http://doc.fluidinfo.com/fluiDB/api/index.html) (“Fluidinfo O’Reilly API”),
Unlike a normal API that provides access to read-only data, a “writable API” is shorthand for one whose underlying data is openly writable. That’s the fundamental property of Fluidinfo’s data model, and we are very curious to see what developers make of the FLUIDINFO O’REILLY API (http://doc.fluidinfo.com/fluiDB/api/index.html). In other words, instead of the usual case in which a read-only API is released and programmers are encouraged to simply consume its data or contribute only in anticipated ways, the new API allows programmers to add additional data to the exact same objects that are holding the O’Reilly data, and the new data can be anything at all. The writable nature of Fluidinfo-based APIs opens the door to a richer world of data and applications. A single application could add new data and combine it with the existing data. A second application could further enhance and mash up the O’Reilly data and that of first application, and so on. To give very simple examples, an application could tag book objects to indicate that a user owns them or is reading them, could add users’ current page numbers, add links to the book elsewhere, or add any other metadata it pleases. Applications can also add tags (with values) to the author objects. These could indicate things like a measure of influence, a tag to show that the author is known by a user or is someone the user would like to meet, etc. While we want you to develop the Application however you see fit, here are some suggestions on what you may want to develop, none of these are required in an entry and are independent of the judging criteria: (a) best use of the basic O’Reilly book and author data (the challenge is to take the O’Reilly book and author data and do something interesting with it – such as building a different UI to books & authors); (b) most interesting data added to the Fluidinfo book and/or author objects (what most interesting data can be added to the Fluidinfo objects that hold the book and author information — this could be something exotic, such as information computed about authors or alternate covers for O’Reilly books), or (c) best mashup of original and new data (how does the application best add new data and present).
- Create a Fluidinfo Account: To develop your Application, you will need to create a Fluidinfo account for your application and use its credentials make those calls to the API. (Note that if you’re building an application that will have its own domain, you can use your domain name as your username in Fluidinfo.)
- The O’Reilly data in Fluidinfo: The details of the Fluidinfo objects holding the O’Reilly book and author data, and the tags on them, are described in a post on the Fluidinfo blog (http://blogs.fluidinfo.com/fluidinfo) . You can also see some example command line queries against the API in this post on the Fluidinfo blog. You can also take a look at the O’Reilly namespace in the Fluidinfo Explorer (click on the oreilly.com namespace in the left panel to see our top-level tags and the sub-namespaces), and can also look at individual book and author objects.
- A simple example Chrome extension: There’s also a simple Chrome extension for O’Reilly books. This is intended to illustrate how a browser extension can pull additional information about a book from Fluidinfo and show it to the reader. If you’d like to build a browser extension, you can fork the code on Github and take it from there.
- Fluidinfo object model and API: You can find out more about the Fluidinfo object model and its API on Fluidinfo developer’s page. You can also often get help in real time by joining the #fluidinfo channel on irc.freenode.net (in fact you can even join the channel with a web based client right from this web page).
4. HOW TO ENTER: Contest begins at 12:01:00 a.m. Pacific Time (“PT”) on March 21, 2011 and will end at 11:59:59 p.m. PT on April 17, 2011 (the “Contest Period”). During the Contest Period, developers may develop their own Applications using the Fluidinfo O’Reilly API. To enter the Contest, please visit the Contest landing page at /2011/03/api-competition.html (the “Website”) and follow the directions on how to enter the Contest and upload your Application on Fluidinfo. You must tag a Fluidinfo object with your application’s username with a value of the URL of the homepage of your entry. If you are only adding book and/or author data to Fluidinfo (as described in these Rules), the URL should describe the data added. The tag must be on the object by 11:59:59 p.m. PT on April 17, 2011 for your entry to be eligible for the Contest. In order to be eligible to win, you must provide all information requested in the Contest Entry Form. The Contest Entry Form, the Application and any other documentation and materials submitted in connection with the Contest will together constitute your entry and are collectively hereinafter referred to as “Entry”. Automated Entries are prohibited, and any use of automated devices will cause disqualification. Entries must be received by 11:59:59 p.m. PT on April 17, 2011 to be eligible for the Contest. You may enter as many times as you wish, but please do not submit duplicate or substantially similar Applications.
5. WINNERS SELECTION: All Entries will be judged by a qualified panel of experts who are employees of Sponsors (“Judges”). Eligible Entries shall be judged by the Judges based equally on the following criteria: (1) overall appeal; (2) overall creativity; (3) innovation of quality and features; and (4) overall usability. The entrant with the Application that receives the highest total score among all judging criteria will be the potential First Prize Winner, subject to verification. The next entrant with the Application with the next highest score will be the Second Prize Winner subject to verification, and the next entrant with the Application with the next highest score will be the Third Prize Winner subject to verification. In the event of a tie, tie breaker will be based upon the highest score in the first judging criteria, continuing thereafter to each judging criteria in order, as needed, to break the tie.
6. WINNER NOTIFICATION: Potential winners will be notified by email on or about May 1, 2011. Potential winners are subject to verification, including verification of age. Sponsors are not responsible for any change of entrant’s email address. Any prize or prize notification returned as undeliverable or otherwise not claimed within seven (7) days after notification of prize award will be forfeited and awarded to an alternate winner. Each Winner may be required to execute and return an affidavit of eligibility and publicity, liability and other release within seven (7) days of notification attempt or prize will be forfeited and an alternate Winner will be selected. If a potential winner is found not to be eligible or not in compliance with these Official Rules, the potential winner will be disqualified. In the event that a potential winner is disqualified for any reason, Sponsors reserve the right to award the prize to an alternate Entrant even if the disqualified potential winner’s name may have been announced.
7. PRIZES: One (1) First Prize Winner, One (1) Second Prize Winner and One (1) Third Prize Winner will each receive the following:
First Prize Winner (1): First prize winner will receive a trip to the O’Reilly 2011 OSCON Conference to held on July 25-29, 2011 in Portland, Oregon. Prize includes round-trip, coach class air transportation for First Prize Winner from a major commercial airport near First Prize Winner’s home within the U.S. to Portland International Airport in Oregon; one (1) double occupancy standard hotel room for four (4) nights; one (1) Full Conference Pass. Approximate retail value (“ARV”): $3,500. Actual value of trip may vary based on point of departure and airfare fluctuations. Any difference between stated approximate retail value and actual value of First Prize will not be awarded. Selection of airline and hotel are solely within Sponsor’s discretion. Meals, gratuities, luggage fees, incidental hotel charges and any other travel-related expenses not specified herein are the sole responsibility of First Prize Winner. All travel must be taken on dates specified or First Prize will be forfeited and may be awarded to an alternate winner; no alternative travel dates are available. Exact travel dates and arrangements subject to availability. First Prize Winner must have all necessary identification and/or travel documents (e.g., a valid U.S. driver’s license) required for travel. Airline tickets are non-refundable/non-transferable and are not valid for upgrades and/or frequent flyer miles. All airline tickets are subject to flight variation, work stoppages, and schedule or route changes. If in the judgment of Sponsor, air travel is not required due to winner’s proximity to Portland, Oregon, ground transportation will be substituted for roundtrip air travel at Sponsor’s sole and absolute discretion. The difference in value will not be awarded to the First Prize winner. Sponsor shall not be responsible for any cancellations, delays, diversions or substitution or any act or omissions whatsoever by the air carriers, hotels, venue operators, transportation companies, prize providers or any other persons providing any First Prize-related services or accommodations. Additional prize award details and travel information to be provided to the First Prize winner at the time of notification. First Prize winner is also responsible for obtaining travel insurance (and all other forms of insurance) at his/her option and hereby acknowledges that Sponsor has not and will not obtain or provide travel insurance or any other form of insurance. Lost, stolen or damaged airline tickets, travel vouchers or certificates will not be replaced or exchanged.
Second Prize Winner (1) will receive a choice of either one 3G iPad 2 64GB or one Xoom tablet 32GB (Second Prize includes device only, no wireless service is included). ARV of Second Prize is $800.
Third Prize Winner (1) will receive $500.00 worth of O’Reilly ebooks and/or videos, selection to be at Third Prize Winner’s discretion. ARV of prize is $500.
Total ARV of all prizes: US $4,800. All prizes amounts are in US dollars. ARV is as of the date of printing of these Rules. The difference in the value of the prize as stated herein and value at time of prize notification, if any, will not be awarded. Prizes are not transferable. No cash redemptions. No substitutions or exchanges of the prizes will be permitted, except that Sponsors reserve the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value for any prize that becomes unavailable for any reason. The prizes are awarded “as is” and without warranty of any kind, express or implied (including, without limitation, any implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose). Acceptance or use of Prizes is at Winners’ own risk. All federal, state, and local taxes are the responsibility of the winner. Limit one (1) prize per person/household. Prize winners may be issued an IRS 1099 form.
8. GENERAL CONDITIONS FOR PARTICIPATION: By submitting an Entry, each Entrant warrants that (i) the Entry does not violate any law or regulation or any right of any third party, including those laws, regulations, and rights related to copyrights, trademarks, publicity, or privacy, (ii) the Entrant has followed the Rules and has the right to grant the rights to the Entry as provided in these Rules, (iii) the Entry has not been published or submitted in any other competition; (iv) the Entry is his or her original work; (v) the Entry has not won previous awards; and (viii) publication of the Entry via various media including Web posting, will not infringe on the rights of any third party, including without limitation, third party rights in intellectual property, publicity or privacy rights. Any such entrant will indemnify and hold harmless, Sponsors and Released Parties (as defined below) from any claims to the contrary. Entry must comply with these Rules and any Terms of Service on the Website and cannot: be sexually explicit or suggestive, unnecessarily violent or derogatory of any ethnic, racial, gender, religious, professional or age group, profane or pornographic, contain nudity or any materially dangerous activity; promote alcohol, illegal drugs, tobacco, firearms/weapons (or the use of any of the foregoing), any activities that may appear unsafe or dangerous, or any particular political agenda or message; cannot be obscene or offensive, endorse any form of hate or hate group; defame, misrepresent or contain disparaging remarks about Sponsor or its products, or other people, products or companies; contain trademarks, logos or trade dress owned by others, or advertise or promote any brand or product of any kind, without permission, or contain any personal identification, such as license plate numbers, personal names, e-mail addresses or street addresses; contain copyrighted materials owned by others (including photographs, paintings and other works of art or images published on or in websites, television, movies or other media) without permission; contain background artwork unless it is an original work of the entrant, any artwork, murals, etc. that can be seen in Entries must be created solely by the entrant or entrant must be the sole owner of all copyright interests therein; contain materials embodying the names, likenesses, photographs, or other indicia identifying any person, living or dead, without permission; communicate messages or images inconsistent with the positive images and/or goodwill to which Sponsor wishes to associate; and cannot depict, and cannot itself, be in violation of any law. Sponsors do not permit the infringement of others’ rights and any use of materials not original to the entrant (except copyrighted materials owned by Sponsors) is grounds for disqualification from the Contest. Do not copy your favorite movie, book or photo or include materials, images, graphics, music or trademarks belonging to any third parties or incorporate the names, voices, likeness or personas of any party other than yourself unless you have obtained all rights necessary to permit you to use same in connection with your Entry and grant the rights herein granted to Sponsor. By submitting an Entry, entrant acknowledges that his/her Entry may be posted on Sponsors’ websites, in Sponsors’ discretion. Further, by submitting an Entry, the Entrant grants permission for Sponsors and their respective licensees and assigns to publish, post, edit, adapt, display, and otherwise use the Entry in any form, in any manner, in perpetuity, and in any and all media, without compensation of any kind to Entrant. Entrants acknowledge that Sponsors have no obligation to use or post any Entry you submit. By submitting an Entry, you agree that your submission is gratuitous and made without restriction and will not place Sponsors under any obligation, and that Sponsors are free to disclose or otherwise disclose the ideas contained in the Entry on a non-confidential basis to anyone or otherwise use the ideas without any additional compensation to you. You acknowledge that, by accepting your Entry, Sponsors do not waive any rights to use similar or related ideas previously known to Sponsors, or developed by their employees, or obtained from sources other than you. Except where prohibited by law, by submitting an Entry into the Contest, you authorize Sponsors and their agents, to use your name, likeness, Entry and all Entry submission materials, and/or prize information, in any and all media without territorial or time limitation, for any advertising, promotional, or any other purpose without further compensation to, or permission from, you. If you think that any Entry infringes your intellectual property rights, click http://oreilly.com/terms/#copyright if you wish to report it.
9. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY: Sponsors and any of their respective parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, directors, officers, professional advisors, employees, and agencies (collectively, the “Released Parties”) will not be responsible for (1) any late, lost, or misrouted entries or errors in transmission; (2) any disruptions to Internet connection, injuries, losses, or damages caused by events beyond the control of Sponsors; or (3) any printing or typographical errors in any materials associated with the Contest. The Released Parties are not responsible for technical, hardware, software, or telephone malfunctions of any kind and shall not be liable for failed, incorrect, incomplete, inaccurate, garbled, or delayed electronic communications utilized in this Contest which may limit the ability to participate in the Contest. If for any reason, including infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other cause beyond the control of Sponsors, which corrupts or affects the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of this Contest, the Contest is not capable of being conducted as described in these rules, Sponsors shall have the right, at their sole discretion, to modify and/or cancel the Contest and determine winners from Entries already received or as otherwise deemed fair and equitable by Sponsors. By entering the Contest, submitting an Entry and/or accepting a prize, you release the Released Parties from any liability whatsoever, and waive any and all causes of action, for any claims, costs, injuries, losses, or damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the Contest or acceptance, possession, use and/or misuse of any prize (including, without limitation, claims, costs, injuries, losses, and damages related to personal injuries, death, damage to or destruction of property, rights of publicity or privacy, defamation or portrayal in a false light, whether intentional or unintentional) whether under a theory of contract, warranty, tort (including negligence, whether active, passive, or imputed), strict liability, product liability, contribution, or any other theory. As a condition of entering, entrants agree (and agree to confirm in writing): (a) under no circumstances will entrant be permitted to obtain awards for, and entrant hereby waives all rights to claim, punitive, incidental, consequential, or any other damages, other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses; (b) all causes of action arising out of or connected with this Contest, or any prize awarded, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action; and (c) any and all claims, judgments, and award shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, excluding attorneys’ fees and court costs.
IN NO EVENT WILL THE RELEASED PARTIES BE RESPONSIBLE OR OTHERWISE LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES OR LOSSES OF ANY KIND, INCLUDING DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL OR PUNITIVE DAMAGES RELATED TO THE CONTEST, INCLUDING ANY ACCESS TO OR USE OF THE WEBSITE OR ANY DOWNLOADING FROM OR PRINTING MATERIAL FROM THE WEBSITE. EVERYTHING ON THE WEBSITE IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, OR NON-INFRINGEMENT.
10. GOVERNING LAW: The Contest will be governed, construed, and interpreted under the laws of the United States. Participants who violate these Rules, tamper with the operation of the Contest, or engage in any conduct that is detrimental to Sponsors, the Contest, or any other participant (as determined in Sponsors’ sole discretion) are subject to disqualification. By entering the Contest, you agree that all issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Rules, your rights and obligations, or the rights and obligations of the Sponsors in connection with the Contest, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of State of California, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules (whether of the State of California or any other jurisdiction), which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of California. Participants further consent to the jurisdiction and venue of the federal, state and local courts located in San Francisco, California.
12. SPONSORS’ ADDRESS: O’Reilly Media, Inc., 1005 Gravenstein Hwy N., Sebastopol, CA 95472.
Fluidinfo, Inc., 416 West 13th Street, New York, New York, 10014