/ api

Introducing Springback: A Java API for Formspring

I’m sure a lot of you have heard of a little website that has been gaining popularity recently named “Formspring”. Recently, they release their API (Application Programming Interface) which allows programmers like myself to write apps that interface with their website. I spent a good portion of my time last spring working on one of these apps, and I may complete it yet. However, I’ve decided to release the Java API that I wrote to anyone who is interested in working with it via Google Code Project Hosting. And it’s called Springback.

Springback is short for “Formspring Backing” — and that’s a pretty good description of what it does. The Springback API provides a clean way to interact with Formspring without having to worry about the underlying OAuth handshakes, HTTP communication, or caching. You just call the methods you want and it does the work on its own. Although it was originally written to run on Android, I think that I did a pretty good process of writing the code in such a way that it would be easily portable to other platforms.

Currently, Springback is a little bit obsolete, and doesn’t have very much documentation yet. I wasn’t planning on releasing it, but changed my mind when I realized that I didn’t have much in the way of time to complete my Android App. Although Formspring has updated their API since some of the methods were written, this API still serves as a pretty good starting point for anyone interested in incorporating the Formspring API into their application.

This project has been released under the MIT License, which is incredibly permissive. I made the decision because I expect there will be some improvements that will be made in library that would not make much sense outside of one particular application, so I have no desire to compel people to do so. However, my hope is that if you do make improvements that others would find useful that you would submit a patch with your changes.

The project is by no means dead. I will probably work on the API some more and update it on my own time. I do know there is a lot of work still to do on this project so I’m willing to accept any help I can get. If you’re a Java coder and think this is something you might be interested in, let me know. I’d love to hear from you.

As always, feel free to leave me some comment love. As my semester winds down I’m looking forward to getting back into blogging on a more regular basis. That feeling in your stomach at the thought of that… is excitement.