del.icio.us, WTF is happening?

I haven’t had much trouble with del.icio.us before. My little epiphany plugin has worked fine. The two utility programs I wrote to test it (one makes a backup of all your bookmarks on del.icio.us the other restores them) worked fine too. Now all of a sudden it seems it’s all going downhill. A few days ago I received an email from a user saying that syncing failed for him, he got error code 500. I had never received a 500 and the API documentation doesn’t mention it either.

Short interlude here. del.icio.us asks of developers that programs using the del.icio.us API wait at least 1 second between requests. Otherwise requests will be throttled by responding with error code 503.

So, guessing a little I made my use of the API a little less aggressive. I waited a second for every request, not only after having been throttled. That solved the problem. All’s well again, right? No!!!

Yesterday I was playing around a bit with epilicious again. Moving to darcs and some refactoring. To test my changes I cleaned out my del.icio.us account using delbackup. It failed with a code 500. So, I modified the code, treating 500 in the same way as 503—wait a second. Then I received a 999 and I was locked out from del.icio.us and asked to “hold off for a few minutes and try again later, in a gentler fashion”. WTF?

I modified the code again, waiting 2 seconds for 503, 10 seconds for 500, and 15 seconds for 999i. Then I waited for the lock-out to end and I tried again. Locked out again! Tiring!

So, now I’ve modified the code again, now waiting 2 seconds before each request, 2 seconds if I ever get a 503, 10 seconds for a 500, and 15 seconds if I get a 999.

Now I’m instead waiting an awfully long time to get something done, and what happens then? I get locked out since I’m obviously not waiting long enough after receiving a 999.

I am clearly waiting long enough between requests! Has del.icio.us introduced some new arbitrary, undocumented limitation on using the API?

If anyone knows anything that I could stick as an option next to using del.icio.us I would love to hear about itii. Two requirements:

  1. Web API, preferably as easy as del.icio.us API (even better, a compatible API)
  2. Use https for connections

Dear lazyweb, any suggestions?

  1. It’s not as silly as it sounds to wait when receiving a 999. From some testing I concluded that receiving a 999 doesn’t result in being locked out immidiately.[back]
  2. I know of scuttle but I’m having problem finding basic information about it, e.g. what URI is the API on? I’m also not sure it provides API access over https[back]
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3 Comments

  1. Pingback: therning.org/ magnus » Epilicious and ma.gnolia.com

  2. Pingback: Pittsburgh Web Design » Cagintranet Web Design - Web Designer, Developer, Graphic Artist and Web 2.0 Guru » Wordpress Plugin: WP-SocialCount

  3. I have been locked out of delicious and have no idea what happened. I can’t find help anywhere. When I try to sign in I get a blank screen (https://secure.delicious.com/login?jump=ub). Using FireFox 3.6.3. Disabled all firewalls and anti-virus software. Also occurs using latest version of Internet Explorer. Looking for reasons and resolution to problem anywhere I can find it!

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