April 19, 2012

OKAPI usage stats

It's been 8 months since OKAPI Project has started. It is still a very young project, but the list of OKAPI applications is slowly (but steadily) growing. Here are some current stats (for OpenCaching.PL site only):
  • A total of 66 apps were registered.
    • 23 of these are "alive" (they make requests on a regular basis).
    • 7 of these make use of Level 3 Authentication.
  • 392 distinct users have authorized at least one application with OAuth.
    • A total of 711 log entries (by 82 users) have been submitted using 2 external apps.
    • An accurate number of all OKAPI users cannot be determined, because some of them use applications with Level 1 Authentication only.
  • On average, OKAPI receives 13000 requests per week.

Performance tips

Search with one request, not two

Usually, you should use search_and_retrieve method for searching geocaches with OKAPI. This is usually  much faster than calling nearest method first, and then geocaches method with the result of the previous one (unless you cache the results and retrieve only new ones, which is a good technique).

About web scraping

This report does not include requests made with web scraping technique, and we know some of you make such. Web scraping (parsing HTML from web pages) is both unsafe and slow:

  • Your web-scraping applications will probably stop working every time we change something in site design or structure (and we do that sometimes). Whereas OKAPI methods are meant to be permanently backward-compatible, so you don't have to worry about that.
  • With web-scraping, you have to download a lot of unnecessary data (headers, menus etc.). OKAPI lets you choose precisely which data you want, resulting in both much faster server response time and much smaller download.
  • In general, OKAPI methods offer more parameters and they work faster than their HTML caunterparts.
  • If you already use web scraping, then upgrading to OKAPI should be a relatively simple task. Give it a try!