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unAPI version 0

Attached is the first version of the unAPI spec. Excerpting:

"unAPI is a simple website API convention. There are many wonderful APIs and protocols for syndicating, searching, and harvesting content from diverse services on the web. They're all great, and they're all already widely used, but they're all different. We want one API for the most basic operations necessary to perform simple clipboard-copy functions across all sites. We also want this API to be able to be easily layered on top of other well-known APIs."


"The objective of unAPI is to enable web sites with HTML interfaces to information-rich objects to simultaneously publish richly structured metadata for those objects, or those objects themselves, in a predictable and consistent way for machine processing."

This specification is being developed under the ROGUE 05 process. The next revision, revision 1, is due on Thursday, 16 Feb 2006, and is dependent on at least three working implementations to move forward. That date is also day 2 of code4lib 2006; I will be speaking about unAPI on day 1, and hopefully we'll have a breakout session following up the talk which will be a great time to discuss the spec, to try implementing it, and to work on revision 1 for release the next day. :)

We are tracking milestones, notes, and document revisions within a private basecamp project, but interested parties are welcome to participate (contact me for access).

The list of record for unAPI development is the gcs-pcs-list. Please send questions/comments/implementation feedback there.

[Update (2005-05-21)]: Please note that the official unAPI site now lives at

HTML icon unapi_revision_0-9.html10.7 KB
Plain text icon unapi_revision_0-9.txt6.78 KB


So, I think this is the first fully compliant unapi implementation.

For anyone interested, it is using our SRU to OpenSearch implementation, adding a unique id (based on work I was trying to do to make an OAI-PMH server for Voyager) and doing the unapi stuff against our SRU server, as well. It took a little less than 2 hours to write.

The unapi stuff is PHP 5 and I'll be glad to make it available if anyone is interested.