[Techtalk] The Internet is my functional programming language

Sarah Newman newmans at sonic.net
Mon Nov 24 16:18:20 UTC 2008

Are you talking about the semantic web?


It's been up and coming for a long time....

You may want to check out the APIs for yahoo, google, and the like.  I 
vaguely remember yahoo might have some answers for you, at least for the 


Google will certainly give you a map for a given latitude/longitude. 
yahoo probably will.

There's no unified method to get everything you list AFAIK.  It's all 

Kelly Jones wrote:
> For example, can I get the following information in machine readable format?:
>  % Current right ascension/declination of Mars.
>  % Image (map) representing given latitude/longitude coordinates.
>  % The mathematical constant Gamma to 10 decimal places.
>  % The current temperature in Alice Springs, Australia.
>  % The value of the US dollar vs the British pound.
>  % Numerical approximations to the solutions for x^5+x+1=0
> and so on.
> I know much of this information is available in human-readable format
> (Horizons, TIGER map, MathWorld, Weather Underground, OandA, etc), but is it
> available in consistent, machine-readable format?
> I also realize I could write a script to convert the human readable
> info to machine-readable, but that's tedious + seems silly.
> The obvious extension would be to create a minimal programming
> language that just knows XML + how to make socket connections. A
> sample line of code might be:
> @res = http://www.foo.com/function/NSolve.xml("x^5+x+1=0");
> In other words, all the function calls would be "URLs" or something.
> Has anyone done this?
> The language would be slow/inefficient (one socket connection per
> function call), but would be unlimited in some sense.
> Of course, people could implement some of the more common functions
> locally.
> Thoughts?

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