API New Year!

To help ring in the new year, we’ve been hard at work on a major new requested feature. (Well, several actually, but one at a time….)

We are pleased to announce that the NearlyFreeSpeech.NET API is about to enter beta. What is the NearlyFreespeech.NET API? In a nutshell, it’s a way to control your hosting services from a program or script.

The API platform we’ve created is fairly robust and very easy to use. (Here’s a shocker: it’s a web-based!) But since we’re just getting started with this, the functionality currently available is somewhat limited. However, the four most requested API functions are supported: adding and removing site aliases and email forwarding addresses.

We’ll add more functionality based on demand. Over time, we’ll also be migrating our own user interface to use the API, so someday it should be possible to use it to do pretty much anything you can do from our site, and plenty of things you can’t! (But don’t hold your breath waiting for a “increase account balance” API call. 😉 )

While we get this up to speed, beta space will be very limited, so if you want to try it out, drop us a Secure Support Request asking for your API key. You can access the API directly from the CGI or programming language of your choice, or use an example PHP class library that we’ve developed.

There’s also a documentation experiment attached to this. To document the API, we’ve created our first Wiki. We have a mountain of technical information about our service that we need to communicate to our members, and we know we need to find a better way to do that than our dauntingly-large FAQ. However, putting information out there in the form of a world-writable Wiki is a bit nerve-wracking, so we’re giving it a try with a special Wiki for the API. Check it out here. We’ll see how that goes.

Note: We are using a self-signed certificate for the api.nearlyfreespeech.net SSL site, because there are some license issues for us to explore with using a single SSL certificate on multiple servers. This means you’ll need to accept a certificate certified by an unknown authority (that’s us) to see the API site. A future version of the PHP library will include the NFSN CA certificate and use it to verify that you’re talking to the real API, but we don’t recommend importing it into your browser or anything.

As always, your feedback is welcomed and encouraged!


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  1. This looks like a good start. I’m going to start hacking a Ruby interface for it to explore what it can do.

    Comment by dsymonds — January 2, 2007 #

  2. Awesome.

    Did I hear someone whisper “Drupal Module”?

    Comment by Douglas Muth — January 2, 2007 #

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