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Mining the data in ProgrammableWeb for Design Patterns in Mashups

In chapter 9, I look in detail at some individual mashups. I also want to know more about mashups in general, to do a macro-analysis of mashups. That is, I would look at the broadest range of mashups to look for design patterns that cross many examples.

One way forward would be an analysis using ProgrammableWeb, probably the single best compilation available of mashups and corresponding APIs available on the public web. There are some patterns that are immediately obvious from a study of the site; I say immediately obvious because John Musser, its creator has surfaced these elements in the interface. Let me point out some of the data about mashups:

  • You can get an overview of the mashup world, newly registered ones, what's popular at the Mashup Dashboard.
  • "mapping" is the most popular tag associated with mashups, followed by "photo"
  • The Web 2.0 Mashup Matrix displays mashups by their use of every combination of 2 APIs in the ProgrammableWeb database.

In addition, to what is obvious in the data, I would like to pose more questions that should be derivable from what is in

  • How many APIs are used by the mashups? That is, what's the distribution — how many use 1, 2, 3, etc. APIs.
  • What's the most common pair of APIs being used? Most common threesome?
  • Is there any correlation between the popularity of an API and the popularity of mashups that use that API?
  • Are there broader correlations among usage patterns of APIs if we cluster them by categories? Are mashups likely to use more than one API in the same category or across categories?

As of the writing of this book, there is no formal API to — so answering these and allied questions require some other form of access to the data. I'm working with John to get such access.

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