A couple weeks ago, I blogged about a Google App Engine news aggregator I wrote called Newsbrew (original post). A few days later, Google announced the availability their RESTful feed API. Since the trickiest part of Newsbrew was the aggregation code, I decided to refactor the application to use Google’s new service.
Newsbrew still stores feed and post data, but rather than retrieving and parsing the feeds myself (a surprisingly complex and error-prone process), Newsbrew now uses Google’s REST feed API. All data, regardless of the underlying syndication format, is returned in a nice normalized JSON format.
With just a few hours of work, I was able to make Newsbrew much more robust, and because I no longer have code for parsing nine different formats of RSS and Atom, Newsbrew is much less error prone, and the code base is simpler.