Yahoo promotes Flash, Ruby mashups

Yahoo is promoting the use of Flash and Ruby for building mashups.

Yahoo has added sections for Flash and Ruby to its Web site for external developers.

The goal is to promote the creation, using those two popular programming languages, of third-party applications that interact and integrate with Yahoo online services.

Yahoo announced on Thursday the addition of the Flash Developer Center and Ruby Developer Center to its Yahoo Developer Network (http://developer.yahoo.com). Each center contains how-to articles, downloadable components, access to mailing lists and links to external resources.

Promoting Flash and Ruby makes sense, because both languages have become very popular for building next-generation applications, said David Smith, a Gartner analyst.

"They complement each other. Flash is used, for the most part, to enhance user interfaces, while Ruby is used more in the back end," Smith said.

Like other Internet companies, Yahoo encourages external developers to build add-ins and applications that extend the functionality of its online services, a phenomenon known as "mashups."

By opening up application programming interfaces (APIs) to their online services, Yahoo and other Internet companies such as Google and AOL, benefit from the creativity of external developers, whose applications, in theory, make the online services more attractive.

Flash belongs to Adobe Systems, while Ruby is an open-source language. More information about the new Ruby and Flash centers on the Yahoo Developer Network can be found at: http://developer.yahoo.net/blog/.

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