While this piece of news might not directly affect you, it looks like some of your favorite websites or web services might be affected by Google’s latest announcement. On the official Google Code blog, they announced that at the end this year, they will be getting rid of some of their APIs (Application Programming Interface). In case you weren’t aware of what an API is, it is a collection of code that’s already written for developers to use. Companies like Google provide APIs to the public so that they can easily implement them into their own apps, websites and services.
Well, yesterday Google announced that a large number of popular APIs they have written will be unsupported and most of them will be shut down; including one of their most popular APIs – Google Translate. The reason for shutting it down? “Due to the substantial economic burden caused by extensive abuse”.
This means that a whole bunch of websites and programs in the future won’t be able to make use of Google Translate, as you can see it caused quite a stir in the comments section of the official blog post. While it is up to a company to provide APIs and decide whether they should continue sharing them, is it fair for Google to shut off support to developers, especially when it’s such a powerful service like Google Translate? A lot of folks suggested that Google should charge and license the API instead, which seems like a better solution than simply shutting it down, though it would require Google to work out a licensing system and continue maintaining it.
Read more at the official Google Code blog.