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Web Action URL APIs


web action URL APIs (AKA web action handlers) are URLs that act as APIs to handle web actions from another site.

Web-based actions are invariably http:// URLs, whereas native actions (well-known and custom) often utilise other URI schemes. These vary from the well known (e.g. mailto:) to custom schemes, e.g twitter://.

On sending a GET request to an Action endpoint, the typical result is to display an interface for carrying out the relevant action, optionally preloaded with text provided in query string parameters.

A list of web (and native) services currently providing URLs which could be made the basis of a Web Actions implementation.

Contents

Web

IndieWeb Support

Aaron Parecki

Aaron Parecki has a URL endpoint for posting new notes/replies which he forces twitter to use for him as demonstrated here.

  • A particularly interesting aspect of this implementation is that the only query string parameter is in_reply_to URL, and it looks like he's parsing twitter usernames out of that server side

Barnaby Walters

Barnaby Walters has a URL API for creating new notes, which accepts several query string params, inReplyTo, text and tags

  • I have plans to add more, and more dynamic functionality (e.g. loading text from h-entry markup of an inReplyTo URL so I can quote it really easily) --Waterpigs.co.uk 11:30, 2 March 2013 (PST)

Jeremy Keith

Jeremy Keith has a bookmarklet-invoked URL API for adding links to his link blog

any WordPress user

Anyone using WordPress since 2.7 (?) can use the Press This endpoint and u/t/s/i query params to pre-fill a “new post” form

Silo Endpoints

tt-rss

tt-rss installs have a URL API for subscribing to a new feed:

Twitter

Twitter's Web Intents are URLs which link to an interface for Twitter's Activities:

  • Tweet Activities
    • Tweet
    • Retweet
    • Favorite
  • User Activities
    • Follow

Readability

Readability want you to use their embed thing but they provide an excellent URL API

Endpoints:

Kindle

Can someone with a kindle see if the send to kindle action can be used via a URL API?

Facebook

Facebook provides little-documented (and therefore potentially unstable) URL APIs. They generally need a key in order to be used.

Endpoints:

Open Source Implementations

  • Storytlr provides a URL API on it’s posting UI. The post Title, Body and URL to use can be set using the t, s and u query parameters.

URL APIs To Review

  • … add here

Mac OS

Mac apps can register with the OS to handle custom URL schemes (e.g. twitter://), which activate the app, optionally in a certain context (e.g. new tweet with text)

  • Twitter's Mac app registers the twitter:// URI scheme and exposes the following endpoints:
    • twitter://post?message=urlencoded+text+of+tweet
    • twitter://user?screen_name=twitter_screen_name

iOS

iOS is an interesting case, as not only can apps register custom URL schemes (as on Mac OS), there are several built in handlers for fully-qualified URLs, e.g. youtube URLs and Google Maps URLs.

  • These apps no longer exist on iOS 6, do the URLs still work? --Waterpigs.co.uk 02:01, 20 September 2012 (PDT)
  • A great many are documented here: [1]
  • As on Mac, Twitter's iOS app registers the twitter:// URI scheme and exposes the following endpoints:
    • twitter://post?message=urlencoded+text+of+tweet
    • twitter://user?screen_name=twitter_screen_name
    • Apparently most of the old Tweetie endpoints also work
  • Most Twitter clients offer similar endpoints, but Tweetbot have done a particularly good job of documenting theirs - note the callback URL parameter!