Posted on 05-28-2011
I'm reading all the starred items in my Google Reader about Google's latest closing of APIs, most notably Google Translate API. There are some pretty sensational headlines:
- Google pulls the rug out from under web service API developers, nixes Google Translate and 17 others
- GOOGLE IS NOT YOUR DADDY (OR LONG TERM RELIANCE ON APIS IS AS BAD AS OUTSOURCING)
- Google Translate API to Go Kaputt in December
Due to the substantial economic burden caused by extensive abuse, the number of requests you may make per day will be limited and the API will be shut off completely on December 1, 2011.I can't help but think, this problem could have been curbed, by bringing Google Translate API under metered billing using the Google Console,as other APIs appear to be heading. This would give a low ceiling of free daily calls on the API, then make users pay for more access. Except I really don't think Google wants to make its money from translation services, they are focused on where translation supports their core business. World Domination! Wait, no maybe it is search. If you notice translation is still available in other areas like Google Docs API for translating documents on upload, and in Gmail for translating emails, and Chrome for translating web pages. And of course you can still use the web interface for Google Translate. So you will still see Google Translate in use where it supports Google's core business. I can see just about any other business making a similar decision. Also, Google did reach out to communicate the impending deprecation, they called my girlfriend Audrey Watters, and briefed her on the plan. I assume they reached out to others as well. I would add, that Google could do a better job of communicating their roadmap of various APIs and how they will work to support the core Google set of services, or be offered as a service by themselves. As I watch the Google API ecosystem being pulled together and organized, I still can't quite tell whether the vision is to purely serve the primary Google vision, or provide a wide set of APIs that developers can build businesses on, as recent moves with Google Console might suggest.
- Google API House Cleaning (apievangelist.com)
- The Google Translate API has been officially deprecated (code.google.com)
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