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Q. Why an API for Newscoop ?

A. Simple, there are users asking for this! People want to build third party applications to display content served by Newscoop. Currently the only way to do it (using templates) is less than ideal! That's why we're asking for your help to specify what it should do.

Q. What could users do with the API ?

A. Right now, pretty much only fetching content, essentially Newscoop articles, organised via Featured Article Lists, Sections and Topics. Users' data could be served as well (like email addresses or biographical information). In the next stages we'd add interactivity, the ability to comment and so on.

Q. Why no write operations via the API now?

A. Because read-only is what's planned for the first version. Write services will come after!

Q. I can see only a few services provided by Newscoop REST API, why so simple?

A. Yes, that's true, and it's on purpose. We don't want to create a bunch of services that we don't really know whether users will use or not. We start off with the basics and scale up (only if required). Another important reason for this is Superdesk...

Q. So, does this have something to do with Superdesk and the REST API framework?

A. No. Superdesk is in a different stage of development at this point. This is a completely different and separate thing, built specifically for current Newscoop users. We don't want to build
and all-inclusive API because it would take much more time, and because at some point Superdesk will start providing the same functionality. We'll be announcing the Superdesk framework and APIs soon!

Q. When there is a request (e.g. GET /articles/{number}), is the article sent as a complete templated web page, in NewsML, or some other format?

A. The initial plan is to support json and some other formats like atom or xml maybe (not yet decided!). NewsML is not in the plan because for this purpose 3rd party developers would have to learn NewsML in order to parse the responses and fetch the data, and NewsML is complex. NewsML works better for exchanging content between Newscoop intances for example, or between Newscoop and Superdesk. We will add NewsML support to this API only if we get to the point where we realise we actually need it.

Q. I have an important question and it is just not here, what can I do?

A. We will be glad to answer any question you have. Post it in the comments here, the forums or over on this blogpost.

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