My original reason for writing the Modern Delicious app for Windows was so I could have a nice way to read through links I had saved on Windows 8. I basically wanted a reading list from my recent Delicious links. I wrote and released the app, but of course soon after, the Reading List app for Windows was announced. My usage scenario was catered for, and there didn’t seem to be a reason for the app to exist any longer. There had been some very kind feedback from several people, however, so I continued development on the app as I had time. This feedback was the reason there were updates to the app for Windows 8.1 and 10, features like tag suggestions were added, and even a Windows Phone 8.1 version happened. Discovering the intracacies of developing for the Windows Store has been an incredibly interesting learning experience. One point in all this which is key – I am only a third party developer and have no affiliation with Delicious or any of the companies which have owned it.
For the last two months, part of the API provided by Delicious has not been functioning correctly. Most of the API is working perfectly, except for one method. This one method happens to be the key one which allows the app to retrieve each person’s entire history of posts (or bookmarks, if you prefer). Without it, the best the app can do is to get the last 100 or so posts for each user. As I’ve learned throughout the course of developing this app, many of the users of Modern Delicious are longtime Delicious users, with an extensive bookmark history. Only being able to view the last 100 posts renders the app effectively useless for these users. I’ve tried to contact Delicious through several different methods: email, Twitter, and their Github repo. They’ve been unresponsive thus far, and I cannot allow the app to continue being downloaded and frustrating users who legitimately just want a functional Delicious client app for Windows 10. To that end, and with great sadness, I’ve removed Modern Delicious from the Windows Store.
This is the danger of developing against a third-party API such as the one provided by Delicious. At any time, the company controlling the API can do whatever they want with it. I have no ill will nor any hard feelings towards Delicious for breaking their API; it’s entirely possible they had legitimate engineering reasons for the breaking change. I’m incredibly grateful to Delicious and all of the engineers who designed and maintained the API over the last decade, it’s been a tremendous development resource for many developers. It would have been great if there had been some warning about impending changes potentially breaking the API, or some notice of the API being retired, which would have allowed myself and others to give some warning to our app users. But ultimately, it’s their API and they can break it as they please in order to do what is needed for their company.
To the many Modern Delicious users over the last few years: thank you for you feedback and continued usage. If Delicious fixes the issue, I will restore the app to the Windows Store with any updates required by API changes. Delicious has a functional API of some kind out there, as their official apps for iOS and Android both remain functional. Either they have not made the details of using the API those apps use public, or I am not clever enough to figure it out. Either way, I feel like I’ve let you all down.
To Delicious: it would be very nice of you to repair the API or publish the details of the API your iOS and Android apps use. You have a long history of providing a wonderful, free service while struggling to find a path to profitability. The website seems adrift after the last changes were released, and I sincerely hope it doesn’t mean the end of Delicious is near. And once again, I continue to extend the same offer I have made many times before: I will gladly give you the app for free so you can have an official Windows Store app. (The Windows 10 version is even a UWP app!)