We’re excited to announce two new client libraries for the Wordnik API: an official Ruby gem and a Python package.
The Ruby gem is available on github and rubygems, and the Python package is on github and pypi.
To illustrate the use of these libraries we’ve also put together “Hello Dictionary” apps in both Rails and Django. Both apps live in the wordnik/api-examples repo on github (here are direct links to the Rails app and the Django app). The README for each project shows some example usage, and for the Rails and Django apps, the README is a tutorial that takes you from scratch to a fully-functional dictionary app in about 15 minutes.
As always, let us know if you have questions or find bugs, and let us know what you build! Code contributions are gratefully appreciated, and we’d like to sincerely thank Martin Marcher and Vince Spicer for their contributions to the Python library, and Jason Adams for inspiring the Ruby work. We’re currently working on a full-fledged PHP library, and plan Java and Objective-C libraries down the line (in the meanwhile basic examples are available in all those languages). If you have suggestions or requests for support in other languages, please let us know.
Photo from The Library of Virginia collection on Flickr.
If you’re developing applications with the Wordnik API, are interested in doing so, or just want to eavesdrop on people who are using it, please join our new Wordnik API Google Group. It’s open to anyone and will be regularly monitored by the API developers. Use it to ask questions, discuss projects, find collaborators, and promote your work.
Today we’re happy to announce the alpha version of our new Wordnik APIs! UPDATE: See the video of the announcement we made at the Web 2.0 Summit.
Wordnik’s goal is not just to collect at least some information about every word in English — it’s also to make great information about words widely available, and our alpha APIs are a first step towards that goal.
Our new APIs include:
- a definitions server, with definitions from The Century Dictionary (other dictionaries will be coming soon);
- a “frequency” API, which returns a frequency number based on our initial API corpus*;
- an “examples” API, which will return up to five example sentences for any word that appears in our initial API corpus;
- the Wordnik word-of-the-day API (so you can create your own word-of-the-day wrapper or widget);
- and it’s not really a standalone API, but we’re also throwing in an autocomplete API that is useful for making stuff with the other APIs.
You can sign up for our APIs here. Depending on demand, we may have to stagger approvals so as not to overwhelm the servers. If you want a better chance of being approved, give us as much detail as possible about how you plan to use our APIs. Coolness counts (but spelling doesn’t — since we haven’t released a spelling API yet).
Rudimentary documentation is here.
This is just a start — we’re hoping to release new APIs at regular intervals, so if there’s a kind of word data you’re longing to have access to, please let us know!
(* Our initial API corpus is about 3 billion words of running text. The API corpus is slightly different from the corpus that drives the Wordnik web site.)
Today’s word of the day—initialism of the day, if you prefer—is API, which stands for “application programming interface.” It’s how software, such as that which runs a web site, can make its data available in a raw form to other software so that new uses can be made of it. We’re launching ours today.