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What it Means to be a Mashup

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the development-has-to-come-from-somewhere dept.

57

An anonymous reader writes "IBM DevWorks has provided us with an introductory article that helps define what it means to be a mashup. In addition to just defining what a mashup really is the author also delves into what they do for the community at large and where they may take us in the near future. From the article: 'Mashups are an exciting genre of interactive Web applications that draw upon content retrieved from external data sources to create entirely new and innovative services. They are a hallmark of the second generation of Web applications informally known as Web 2.0.'"

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maybe another term is appropriate? (2, Funny)

macadamia_harold (947445) | more than 8 years ago | (#15872021)

Sorry, but this buzzword's taken.
mash up. v. To take elements of two or more pre-existing pieces of music and combine them to make a new song. n. A song comprised of elements of two or more pre-existing pieces of music.

2. I'm in the middle of mashing-up songs by Tom Jones and Michael Jackson. (verb usage)

Re:maybe another term is appropriate? (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 8 years ago | (#15872043)

3. To be `mashup` is to be rendered unworthwhile via the consumption of 'trendy chemical amusement'.

They already know that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15872085)

From TFA:

A good insight as to what makes a mashup is to look at the etymology of the term: it was borrowed from the pop music scene, where a mashup is a new song that is mixed from the vocal and instrumental tracks from two different source songs (usually belonging to different genres). Like these "bastard pop" songs, a mashup is an unusual or innovative composition of content (often from unrelated data sources), made for human (rather than computerized) consumption.

Lash-up (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 8 years ago | (#15872177)

mash up. v. To take elements of two or more pre-existing pieces of music and combine them to make a new song. n. A song comprised of elements of two or more pre-existing pieces of music.

In engineering that is called a 'lash-up', i.e. hurredly modifying an existing design in an improvised fashion often by using modified parts from another existing design. Windows is a good example and Linux isn't guiltless either.

Re:maybe another term is appropriate? (1)

yusing (216625) | more than 8 years ago | (#15872278)

Yeah. I'm right with you on that one MH. Maybe they're looking for something like 'confabulation'. A mashup is a piece of music, not some patchwork spaghetti code looking for a home.

Re:maybe another term is appropriate? (1)

JakusMinimus (49854) | more than 8 years ago | (#15874454)

A mashup is a piece of music

That's debatable.

Most mash-ups that I've heard I would much rather listen to the songs serially and in their entireties.

Re:maybe another term is appropriate? (1)

yusing (216625) | more than 8 years ago | (#15877272)

Most mash-ups that I've heard I would much rather listen to the songs serially and in their entireties

1. Your personal taste, however evolved (???) is not the subject
2. In many cases I might agree with you. But mashup is an emerging art. And it beats Shitney every time.

I don't like it when corporations try to be "cool" by adopting slang. It's like if your grandma started wearing low-rider jeans with a white sequined belt.

Re:maybe another term is appropriate? (1)

JakusMinimus (49854) | more than 8 years ago | (#15881830)

2. In many cases I might agree with you. But mashup is an emerging art. And it beats Shitney every time.

Every time you say ?! But, but ... what about mashups with "Shitney" songs (using the term 'song' loosely of course) ?
"Oops I did it again" mashed into "Papa don't preach" might be amusing!

Re:maybe another term is appropriate? (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 8 years ago | (#15872780)

I asked my own library of homemade bastard pop [spacemutiny.com] what it means to be a mashup, but it didn't give me any reply beyond the sound of badly-synchronized vocals pasted over dubiously sardonic choices of background music with questionable artistic value.

</ontopicspam>

Mish Mash (5, Insightful)

gigne (990887) | more than 8 years ago | (#15872035)

This is possibly the most vague article I have ever read.

I didn't manage to learn any more from this article that the Slashdot summary didn't provide.
Although there are sections describing what each tehnology is, and how it would be used, the summaries are vague, and lack any real content. I have written similar non-technical summaries for executive types, and it looked vaguely similar to this.
Reading the README of any AJAX application will tell you 80% of what the IBM article goes into.

The only information I can as being useful is the resource list cited at the end of the article.

Re:Mish Mash (2, Funny)

morie (227571) | more than 8 years ago | (#15872283)

What do you mean, "read"?

Where is slashdot going when people actually start to RTFA?

Mashup are Fool's Gold? More mashup articles. (1)

Lord Satri (609291) | more than 8 years ago | (#15872454)

Shameless plug but entirely on-topic, slashgeo.org discuss mashups regularly. You'll find more articles on mashups here [slashgeo.org] .

This includes:
Mashups are fool's gold? [slashgeo.org] , a ZDNet article.
Making money from mashups [slashgeo.org] , a Search Engine Watch article.
The fatal flaw of Mashups [slashgeo.org] , another ZDNet article.
Mapping a Revolution with Mashups [slashgeo.org] , a CNET article.
And so on...

I thought it was quite clear (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 8 years ago | (#15878658)

Did we RTSameFA? While the IBM article wasn't a tutorial on how to program the things, it covered a lot of the basic technology options out there. It also answered my fundamental question about them, which is "Is that all a Mash-up is?" ("Yes, that's all" - it's a Web-2.0-Jargonification for handing data from one source to a program that does something with it, and a little bit of techno-wrapper like using XML and maybe getting the user's browser to do most of the data handling. There's nothing fundamentally deep or non-obvious about it, unlike, say, the connections in mashing up "The Wizard of Oz" with "Dark Side Of The Moon", but it can still be really useful sometimes.) It also had some good commentary on issues like whether you can depend on the user running Javascript and ActiveEvilX.

Listen you GNU/Linux commie terrorist (1)

lennyhell (869433) | more than 8 years ago | (#15872037)

Here [edgeclickpark.com] .

And Don't forget to pay your $699 licensing fee, you cocksmoking teabaggers.

Re:Listen you GNU/Linux commie terrorist (1)

dotgain (630123) | more than 8 years ago | (#15872098)

You must have had brilliant karma before you started trolling if you're still not down to -1 yet! Well done!

Re:Listen you GNU/Linux commie terrorist (1)

lennyhell (869433) | more than 8 years ago | (#15872107)

What you say? Check my glorious posting history, bitch.

Wow (3, Funny)

YowzaTheYuzzum (774454) | more than 8 years ago | (#15872044)

How did they manage to cram so many buzzwords into one summary?

Re:Wow (1)

FormOfActionBanana (966779) | more than 8 years ago | (#15872094)

Since when is "external data sources" a buzz word??

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15872414)

Actually, that's pretty much all that's left after you get rid of the buzzwords :P

Re:Wow (2, Funny)

!eopard (981784) | more than 8 years ago | (#15872111)

Take more than one executive summary and create a 'mash-up' of course...

Re:Wow (2, Insightful)

jacksonj04 (800021) | more than 8 years ago | (#15872185)

I suggest we start using a new 'buzzwordbingo' tag for articles of this nature.

Re:Wow (1)

kafka47 (801886) | more than 8 years ago | (#15872678)

I'm so behind the times.

I thought that everytime I heard, 'new breed of applications', 'aggregation' and 'asynchronous XML data exchange', I was sposed to take a drink...

/K

Re:Wow (1)

morie (227571) | more than 8 years ago | (#15872275)

They even inserted "IT" in a strange spot: ... what a mashup really IT...

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15874277)

They probably read Digg to figure out how to do it.

Or (2, Informative)

Aqua OS X (458522) | more than 8 years ago | (#15872055)

The remix / combination of several songs.

Mashup 2.0 (3, Insightful)

Duncan3 (10537) | more than 8 years ago | (#15872086)

Take 2 dot-com like things with no real business model and put them together?

Web 2.0! Bubble 2.0! Crash 2.0! Recession 2.0!

Enough with the 2.0 already.

Re:Mashup 2.0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15872166)

Yeah! We need to work on version 3.0! We're way behind schedule.

I would have expected to be at Web 4.3 by now....

Re:Mashup 2.0 (3, Funny)

mattkime (8466) | more than 8 years ago | (#15872305)

I believe you're suffering from Disillusionment 2.0

Re:Mashup 2.0 (1)

scrow (620374) | more than 8 years ago | (#15877381)

Nah he just has not upgraded to Reality 2.0, you know the, uh... more *real* version.

Re:Mashup 2.0 (1)

jpardey (569633) | more than 8 years ago | (#15893554)

I've already hit Disillusionment 2.5 sp3 myself.

Re:Mashup 2.0 (1)

SolitaryMan (538416) | more than 8 years ago | (#15872723)

Web 2.0! Bubble 2.0! Crash 2.0! Recession 2.0!
I'm Pissed Off 2.0 too, dude.

Re:Mashup 2.0 (1)

g2devi (898503) | more than 8 years ago | (#15873014)

> Enough with the 2.0 already.

Absolutely, Web 2.0 is so yesterday. We need to start Web 3.0

*ducks*

Re:Mashup 2.0 (1)

yusing (216625) | more than 8 years ago | (#15877299)

I'm waiting for Web 2.1 comes along with the bugs worked out.

-1, Troll (4, Insightful)

afaik_ianal (918433) | more than 8 years ago | (#15872099)

This article is clearly nothing more than an attempt to get us all complaining about how much we hate buzzwords, and the concept of Web 2.0.

what kind of nonsense is this?!?!?! (2, Insightful)

andyr0ck (847274) | more than 8 years ago | (#15872103)

ahem! to bloody right the buzzword's taken! i've been saying this for years...

mashup (mash up) V. 1. to get wrecked on drugs of some description. 2. to have violence visited on one's person.

usage: "we were right in the middle of one hell of a mashup and i fell and broke my arm."

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=mas hup [urbandictionary.com]

Re:what kind of nonsense is this?!?!?! (1)

yusing (216625) | more than 8 years ago | (#15877423)

Following your suggested UD link, I see that your preferred def. has been usurped. Sorry, mate, seems your snook got cocked.

Buzzword Alert! (2, Funny)

obsol33t (550660) | more than 8 years ago | (#15872110)

The W3b 2.O Kr3w has to keep themselves relevant by inventing unnecessary words so that they seem ahead of the curve.

S(kip)TFA and head to the first listed link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15872151)

http://www.programmableweb.com/ [programmableweb.com]

has lots of great web 2.0 examples, some silly some useful. most are of the A+B variety (like google maps api + ufo reporting center data = http://www.ufomaps.com/ [ufomaps.com] ) which are neat but a bit limited. more interesting mashups would be the less direct correlations, i think.

8/10 ******** (2, Interesting)

kahei (466208) | more than 8 years ago | (#15872152)

Okay, I award this article 8 out of 10 on the 'Web 2.0 buzzword bingo waste of my precious time scale', which I just invented for that express purpose.

However, there is scope for something interesting here. The 'Web 2.0' thing, and I'm including most of the 'semantic web' in that, is the first example of a groupthink disaster growing and evolving from nothing in the web age. I know there were a few silly ideas (set-top boxes and the like) before, but Web 2.0 has grown in a truly organic grass-roots fashion and could provide valuable insights into why sensible people collectively influence each other to make mistakes.

I'm not volunteering to read through the history of Web 2.0 articles to do that, though, I must admit.

The Semantic Web is not Web 2.0 (1)

Archtech (159117) | more than 8 years ago | (#15872271)

Having looked carefully at much of the comment about "Web 2.0", I have come to the conclusion that it is in fact 80% marketing smoke and mirrors. (And, of course, a commercial service mark). Behind that, there is an important idea: the emergence of a whole generation of open, data-sharing sites. Very little, if anything, new in the way of technology though.

The Semantic Web is entirely different. It has been going on, quietly but steadily, for at least 7-8 years now, and is beginning to yield some useful results. It is led by W3C, a well-informed and technically competent organization, and has the blessing of TBL. While I feel that it faces some really big challenges, I believe that the Semantic Web initiative will make as much progress as is reasonably possible given the current state of the art.

While Web 2.0 could really use something like the Semantic Web, it has contributed remarkably little in the way of technical innovation so far. It's really more a set of requirements than any kind of a solution. The real joke is that most of the people bragging about what a huge breakthrough Web 2.0 is have yet to understand that they are still well within the envelope of what TBL envisaged back in 1990. He intended the Web to be a medium of exchange for everyone, not just big organizations (that's why his first browser was read/write), and his vision for the Web has not yet been fully realized AFAIK. The Web 2.0 people are working to realize a fairly large slice of it, but the name "Web 2.0" is ridiculous on several counts.

Re:The Semantic Web is not Web 2.0 (1)

kahei (466208) | more than 8 years ago | (#15872475)


Well, I did say I was only including most of the Semantic Web. RSS is useful, for instance. On the other hand, RSS is not much to show for 7 year's work, especially when the actual 'semantic web' aspects of it tend not to be used -- 'author' as a string name rather than a reference to an author record, etc.

The W3C may be well-defined but the trouble is that they are a standards-creating group and that's exactly what their activity consists of. If they could restrict themselves to creating _one_ standard for a given thing, _with_ a reference implementation, then they would be adding value. Creating dozens of competing standards without even a nod in the direction of whether it is useful/possible to implement them at all (and I'm looking particularly at SVG here, but it's a general problem) is not very useful.

Every medium/large institution has a team somewhere whose mission is to create the Great Amazing Knowledge Sharing XML Driven Generic Information Infrastructure that will enable everyone to find stuff by magic. It's a team that never gets eliminated, because it's hard to stand up and say that that's a bad idea, but also never produces anything except proof-of-concept sites that would work if only all the documents were suitably annotated. I think the threshold size is about 70-100 IT staff; above that, there _will_ be someone whose job is to create the Shiny XML Collaborative Ontological Search Wiki or whatever.

It's just part of the inefficiency that large structure tend to accumulate. I tend to lump that kind of inefficiency in with the 'Web 2.0' kind, although admittedly there are many differences; what they have in common is that they are driven by the fact that some things, once suggested, are hard to ignore or dismiss, even though they actually offer little value, and therefore tend to chug along quietly in the background generating buzzwords like 'mashup'.

So why not... (1)

Ayanami Rei (621112) | more than 8 years ago | (#15875755)

Why not focus on metadata synthesis techniques instead of gigantic infrastructures lumbering under their own weight with nothing to plug into them?

Re:So why not... (1)

mikefe (98074) | more than 8 years ago | (#15881239)

Why not focus on metadata synthesis techniques instead of gigantic infrastructures lumbering under their own weight with nothing to plug into them?


What the hell does that mean? Can you give more details and an example?

Sure (1)

Ayanami Rei (621112) | more than 8 years ago | (#15881946)

Metadata synthesis:

Rather than you reading a document and extracting keywords or the "topic", the computer does it.
Rather than you looking at a picture and identifying the people depicted, the computer does it.

It's getting the computer to do the things that we are too lazy to do: annotate the artifacts that we want to be able to retrieve later.

We have really shiny infrastructres with Web Services and SOA and brokers and all sorts of fun stuff that is all absolutely useless unless you pay a bunch of people to sit around and methodically go through all your stuff and mark it up.

Nobody wants to do that. Nobody wants to pay for that. It's all ass-backwards.

We should be focusing on how we can get the computer to do that for us. Or, alternatively, pioneer methods where metadata is captured at the time of content creation (or prompting the user at appropriate times to fill in some critical details) and propagated all the way into the final archived form. (Like EXIF tags in JPEGs or ID3 tags in MP3).

Re:The Semantic Web is not Web 2.0 (1)

Bastard of Subhumani (827601) | more than 8 years ago | (#15882052)

Every medium/large institution has a team somewhere whose mission is to create the Great Amazing Knowledge Sharing XML Driven Generic Information Infrastructure that will enable everyone to find stuff by magic.
Even if it worked technically, everyone is jealous/afraid of their colleagues. In consequence any information they have is hidden and hoarded. Heck, I've worked with people who intentially misinform co-workers to try to make them look bad.

Where I come from a Mashup ... (4, Funny)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 8 years ago | (#15872197)

... is a cannabis smoking session. Though having met a few web developers in my time perhaps IBM they chose the right name after all!

Re:Where I come from a Mashup ... (1)

yusing (216625) | more than 8 years ago | (#15872288)

IBM ain't gonna get relevant by trying to cool itself with ripoffs. First they gotta 'splain how they got stuffed so bigtime in the early 80s.

What a clustermashup (2, Insightful)

novus ordo (843883) | more than 8 years ago | (#15872397)

"One of the biggest social issues facing mashup developers is the tradeoff between the protection of intellectual property and consumer privacy versus fair-use and the free flow of information. Unwitting content providers (targets of screen scraping), and even content providers who expose APIs to facilitate data retrieval might determine that their content is being used in a manner that they do not approve of."
The biggest problem I see with these mashups, or any kind of application that relies on a third party(TP), is that once you get enough air, they can just take the rug out from under you and offer you parachutes on your way down. It can be as simple as the TP dying or just dropping the web-service that is an integral part of your application, or as complicated as "we don't want you knowing this" or "we think this is illegal." Also there's a possibility that TP will start charging you bandwidth since you are taking up X% and they will need to upgrade their facilities. Add to this the legal uncertainty whether the TP really owns the data being provided and you got yourself one hell of a mashup.

Re:What a clustermashup (1)

escapedown (994149) | more than 8 years ago | (#15872463)

web crawlers are used by certain class of people/websites to aggregate certain kind info this is certainly denying functionality for such users, but when we look at large scale web2.0 ( most people say it as hype, whatever) looks good. infact the idea (when it is in initial stage) looks great. mostly this is driven by trust on the TP API,availabilty of the info (book marks might not work), certain parts of the web page may take ages to load, there are N number of dependencies. this thing is not for serious business

What a societymashup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15872670)

What!? People depending on other people? How will we ever build a society from that?

Bingo! (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 8 years ago | (#15872400)

Did I win?

Buzzwords (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15872646)

The article certainly seems to be buzzword compliant.

what it means to rename (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15873180)

i just love when people give names to things that already have names. this is called a portal, not a mashup. jetspeed provides the means to create such a portal with portlets that pull and optionally transform xml and html and has been around for years.

Re:what it means to rename (2, Interesting)

billDCat (448249) | more than 8 years ago | (#15878008)

I'm sure I'll get plenty of eye rolling here (and buzzword bingo points), but they are not quite the same thing. While a portal is indeed an aggregation of content, a mashup is a blending of services. I would say that the main distinction is that current Portal products (with a capital P) typically do their aggregation on the server, and spit out the results client side using static HTML pages. While there may be some exceptions, the big ones all currently work in this way. In contrast, mashups work using client-side technologies (JavaScript/Flash) to allow the services to interact without calling for a new HTML page.

Music mash-up: 32 songs in 5 minutes (1)

djyakov (994200) | more than 8 years ago | (#15874183)

Hi All,

There is another definition of a mash-up, also much more interesting:

"Combination (usually by digital means) of the music from one song with the a cappella from another. Typically, the music and vocals belong to completely different genres. At their best, bastard pop songs strive for musical epiphanies that add up to considerably more than the sum of their parts." (Wikipedia)

Check out this example by DJ Shane 54:

http://www.mixedinkey.com/downloads/Shane_54_Mixed _In_Key_demo.mp3 [mixedinkey.com]

Danger Mouse's "Gray Album" was another example. Harmonic mixing is required for these mashups. There is software that make this easier. Mixed In Key http://www.mixedinkey.com/ [mixedinkey.com] (Cocoa + .NET) and MixShare http://www.mixshare.com/ [mixshare.com] (Java) are two examples.

Web 2.0? I'm already on Web 3.0! (1)

glyph42 (315631) | more than 8 years ago | (#15875090)

Web 2.0 is so 2005! I'm already developing applications for Web 3.0! My company has a roadmap for the application extending all the way into Web 6.0 in 2010! It's all done in PowerPoint and Visio!
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