Friday, December 09, 2005

 

New Virtual Earth SDK

I've not had much time yet to investigate Virtual Earth v2, now branded as the instantly forgetable local.live.com, but I did have time to notice that all existing mashups are broken. This seems like a very silly thing to do if Microsoft actually want people to develop to their API - who will bother developing to something that will be broken at whim by Microsoft?

I also downloaded the help for the new API. This is distributed as a self extracting zip file. Why? In an age where people are understandably wary of exe files, why does Microsoft decide to distribute a help file as something that requires an extra step before it can actually be used? The help file has internal compression anyway, so the zipping up into the exe increases the size of the file, not decreases it. It's also a Windows only format (both as a .exe, and as the .chm it extracts to), yet by nature of being a web service, the mapping control is cross platform.

Update: Not only are many existing mashups using the previously published (v1) API broken, but as Microsoft's official developer site ViaVirtualEarth notes, the sample code given in the v2 SDK doesn't work either. In fact the only way Via Virtual Earth can get it's new sample to work is link to entirely different URLs for the Javascript and stylesheet files.

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