Tag Archives: rhino

Google AJAX APIs outside the browser

Google just announced their new Language API this morning. Unfortunately their API is another one of their AJAX APIs – that are designed to be used from JavaScript in web pages. These APIs are pretty cool for building client-side web applications – I used their AJAX Feeds API in my home page – but I had some ideas for server software that could use a translation API.

I remembered John Resig’s hack from a few months back, getting enough of the DOM in Rhino to run some of the jQuery unit tests. I pulled that down, wrote the bits of DOM that were missing and now I’ve got a Java and JavaScript environment for accessing Google’s AJAX APIs. Apart creating stubs for some methods that are called the main functionality I had to implement was turning Google’s APIs’ asynchronous script loading into the Rhino shell’s load(url) calls. They use <script src="... and document.createElement("script"), but both are pretty easy to catch. The upshot of this is that everything is synchronous. This subtly changes a lot of the interface. For example, my Language API example looks like this:

load('ajax-environment.js');
load('http://www.google.com/jsapi');
google.load('language', '1');
google.language.translate("Hello world", "en", "es", 
  function(result) { 
    print(result.translation);
  });

it of course prints: Hola mundo.

I’ve put the source up on github. Have a play, tell me what you think.