Yahoo! Developer Network: FAIL
I just saw a tweet referencing this Yahoo! Developer Network (YDN) services map. Interesting idea, I'm a sucker for that type of organizational graphic, so I'm checking it out, and there are certainly things that I've heard referenced but never had time to investigate. Ooo, shiny.
Like "pipes". Yeah, that sounds interesting. This is probably as good a time as any to take a look, so... Where can I get more info? Hmmm. The PDF has only the top-level YDN home URL. And none of the graphics or text in the PDF seem to be linked to specific topics. That seems strange, but what the heck, can't expect everything, eh?.
Now I know from past experience that other YDN areas have pretty obvious name=>URL mappings, e.g. YUI is at developer.yahoo.com/yui/, OAuth is at developer.yahoo.com/oauth/ -- couldn't be easier, eh? So of course I should be able to go to developer.yahoo.com/pipes/ and find -- nothing. 404. "Sorry, the page you requested was not found."
O-tay. Well, the main YDN page has a search box, so let's just enter "pipes" and see what happens. Oh, boy. Above the results list it indicates that the search was limited to developer.yahoo.com -- right, good, what I wanted -- and at the top of the results list I see:
Also try -- "exhaust pipes"?? Yeah, I might want to hook a hose to one, at this rate.
OK, top result is titled "Yahoo! Maps API/Pipes - JSON example" which really doesn't sound exactly relevant, but maybe it'll lead to something else, so let's take a look.
Oh, good. It "displays" an utterly blank page.
Unreal. On the second results list page, the top entry turns out to be "Gateway to Yahoo! Services - YDN" with the URL http://developer.yahoo.com/everything.html. Hmmm. Wouldn't you expect the first page of developer.yahoo.com to be the "gateway"? What's it there for, then? Maybe we're a wee unclear on the concept of an "index" page.
But working my way down the Page That Has Everything I eventually find a link to:
Sheesh. If this confusion on creating a positive user experience for Yahoo! developers is indicative of the thought that went into the tools... scary, and perhaps better left unsaid.
But worse, Yahoo! is primarily a search company. And their search just doesn't seem to work. Being unable to find the most obviously relevant entry within a very restricted context -- that's really scary.