Friday, June 03, 2011

Spring cleaning for some of our APIs


By Adam Feldman, APIs Product Manager

UPDATE June 3: In the days since we announced the deprecation of the Translate API, we’ve seen the passion and interest expressed by so many of you, through comments here (believe me, we read every one of them) and elsewhere. I’m happy to share that we’re working hard to address your concerns, and will be releasing an updated plan to offer a paid version of the Translate API. Please stay tuned; we’ll post a full update as soon as possible.


Google I/O is always an exciting time for developers. This year we made 34 separate announcements, including 7 new APIs:
With all of the recent API announcements, our API directory is getting quite long! However, some of our older APIs have been superseded by bigger and better things and others may not be receiving the necessary love.

As the web evolves and priorities change, we sometimes deprecate APIs – that is, remove them from active development – to free up resources and concentrate on moving forward. Today we're announcing a spring cleaning for some of our APIs.

Note that the vast majority of Google APIs are not affected by this announcement.

Following the standard deprecation period – often, as long as three years – some of the deprecated APIs will be shut down. The rest have no scheduled date for shutdown, but won’t get any new features. The policy for each deprecated API is specified in its documentation.
Wherever possible, the documentation includes suggested alternatives designed to help you achieve similar functionality — whether it’s a new version or related offering. We hope these alternatives, along with lengthy deprecation periods, will help minimize the impact and allow us to focus on building great products together.

Adam Feldman is a Product Manager, focusing on all of Google's APIs and making sure Google provides the best possible platform to developers.

Posted by Scott Knaster, Editor

312 comments:

  1. Hello There,

    Care to share the reasons for shutting down APIs, mainly the Translate API?

    Thanks

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  2. I guess A LOT of webservices will be hurt.

    Your new APIs are either pure bullshit or specially aimed to promote your own affiliates.

    Thanks Google.

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  3. Tough call, but a reasonable rationalization in the case of the Books APIs - it would be painful documenting, maintaining, and supporting three different APIs for substantially the same functionality.

    However, on that note, please address http://code.google.com/p/google-ajax-apis/issues/detail?id=587 - as noted, the new v1 Books API is missing the important "search within a bookshelf" functionality that the Data API offered.

    Thanks...

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  4. i have a question: why should any developer, any company which wants to build a valuable product for the long term use any of your APIs ever again?

    as you can argument that some of these API do not get used as much as they used to be and there are better alternatives, this is obviously not true for the translate API, where you even state the shutdown is due to "extensive abuse".

    well you could obviously state, that a few bad apples spoiled it for everyone , or even the majority of the apples were bad, so you decided to "das kind mit dem bade ausschuetten" (translate it) ? you are supposed to be the smartest guys one the planet and the only solution you can come up is to shut it down? thats a joke, but the joke is on us, the developers.

    with this move you just showed us what you really: a company that does not care about developers, you just want to become more like facebook and apple. oh what a great world we live in. more walled gardens.

    i'm looking forward to the blogpost about shutting down the google places API as it lead to "extensive abuse" and killing a few startups while doing so.

    i pity you google, you were great once, now you are just .... like facebook. but hey, that's what you wanted to be all the time anyway?

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  5. I'd also like to voice my disappointment with the shutdown of the Translate API. It was a really cool tool for experiments in the language learning space.

    Can you elaborate on the reasons, e.g. the abuse cited on the documentation page? I find it hard to believe that the only workable solution was to close it.

    Worse, this kind of decision makes it hard to trust the availability of any Google API in the future. I will think twice before investing time and effort into integrating an API which might or might not be offered in the future.

    I understand that Google provided these APIs for free, and can do whatever it likes with them. But it would be nice to have some transparency about the kind of criteria Google uses to decide whether to continue offering an API or not.

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  6. Yeah the shutdown of the Translate API is a pain for a LOT of developers. I find it quite disappointing and underwhelming that a company like google would choose to alienate their developers rather than try to find a technical solution to the problem they're having (in this case abuse of the system).

    If this is what google is turning into I'm starting to get the feeling that this company might also be heading the way of IBM or Microsoft in the long run.. quite a sad day.

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  7. I had enjoyed the image search JavaScript API for a number of apps. Not sure why it's deprecated and getting shutdown, seems pretty handy.

    Hopefully Bing's image search API will pick up the slack.

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  8. Why not charge for Google Translate? Lots of companies would happily license it.

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  9. Saddened by the loss of the translate API, it is incredibly useful. As others have noted, this significantly undermines confidence in the remaining APIs.

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  10. It would be much better if Google charges using Translate API than shutting it down. Now i will have to remove this functionality from my projects. Nicelly done Google :(

    And Franz had a good point, that why should any company, and also anyone else, use Google's Apis ever again?
    Well, for me i will better not to use any new Apis. I'll use it and after year Google just shuts it down. And it waste of time and effort for me.

    I'm dissapointed about Google.

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  11. Reliability once made you great. I’m very disappointed to see you following the Yahoo cow path.

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  12. +1 for charging Google Translate API

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  13. not good news. and as always, is related to ignore foreign markets

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  14. Google seems to be going to down hill. This used to be a developer friendly company, but i think every good comes to an end.

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  15. Just strap a price on them. There are probably businesses depending on it, so they're likely to pay substantial amounts for these services.

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  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  17. Translate API:
    Lame excuse. You are Google. Instead of shutting down, in my opinion, your most useful API, you could use your massive wealth of knowledge and engineer powers to solve the problem instead of throwing it away.

    Google once was great, now it's just like Oracle/Microsoft/Facebook...

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  18. Who's brilliant idea was this? *enter sarcasm*

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  19. Please consider keeping the API available for non-profit/educational users.

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  20. Bad new all round, especially Feedburner, Image and Translate. Would be interesting to know a bit more about why these are deprecated/to cease.

    Surely it can't cost that much to keep going?

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  21. It doesn't seem like Google is being honest regarding the reason for shutting down these APIs.

    +1 for licensing and charging for API.

    Complete shutdown seems like a way of saying: we want to compete with the developers so we'll take these tools away.

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  22. +2 for licensing and charging for API.

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  23. Please find some way to keep the Google Translate API available, even if you have to make it rate limited like the Twitter API. I use it in one of my examples in a book that teaches Android programming (Hello, Android) and also in two apps on the Market. It will break a lot of apps if you shut it off completely.

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  24. Why destroy all that value and not just start charging for those APIs? AWS makes Google look like amateurs.

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  25. I'd like to add my voice to those unhappy with deprecating these APIs, Google Finance API in particular.

    There are still a number of bugs/deficiencies to address.

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  26. The Translate API really is quite valuable. Would it not be reasonable to have it follow a business model of some free number of calls per day, with paying customers able to make progressively more requests?

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  27. Translate API was great! (are you getting the message?)

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  28. Whoa, whoa, whoa, why are you shutting down the Translate API? Not cool.

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  29. Does anyone know what the limit for using Translate API will be? And if it will be per API key?

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  30. Could you please tell us when the new APIs will be deprecated?

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  31. This is what happens when a search company tries to do everything they can think while trying to outdo others under one company umbrella.

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  32. Seriously??? Translate API??? Seriously???

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  33. One can only hope that the disappointment expressed in these comments and other such forums on the internet will push Google to take better action and reevaluate their actions, though this debate is most certainly one worth having and it's always good to question how much you trust any one service or platform.

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  34. As the lead developer for a non-profit who depends on the Translate API for two of the free "services" we offer, this is a shame... like someone else said, associate a cost with it, we'll pay it, but just shutting it down altogether is bad!

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  35. What about the translation features built into Chrome, and Android?

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  36. You guys are way to critical, as someone who has developed many APIs allow me to give my thoughts.. deprecation is what happens to old versions of APIs, by definition there must be a replacement. Let's say I have v1 of a service, then I develop v2 that is so much better most people move on .. now I have v1 with some lazy / deprecated products depending on it... unless I want huge technical debt I have to set a cut off. This is what Google is doing, go to the APIs, they have had alternatives in all cases for sometime and they are giving to more time to move over to them. Language for example (which many are complaining about) is still available here: http://www.google.com/webelements/#!/translate and if it's not as clean as you would like, open up your debugger and grab the direct URL calls, there's your API.

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  37. Oh yeah and it's free ... and the terms of service never guaranteed you anything ... basing something on this without the willingness to be agile, not the best move

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  38. this post raised my fears about using Google APIs.

    right now I am working on a client for google reader. However, a insider told me that google reader is actually a dead project, although myself and some I know are heavy users of google reader.

    I now worried that one day google reader api will become deprecated, that makes me thinking if it is worth writing clients for google services.

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  39. Definitely a sad day, I hope you reconsider.

    Was using the Image API for a (free) Android app that is in its way for 1M dls. I will not hesitate in telling them who the fault it is for it not working anymore... muahahahahahahah.

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  40. As an editor on Wikimedia projects including the Wikimedia Commons and the Hindi Wikipedia, I find this move stupid.
    What will be the fate of the Google IME?
    I should've switched to Bing sooner.

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  41. Seriuosly, ehat does everyone expect? You actually thougt google would let you make money on their dime forever? Its a company, by definition it only exists to produce value for shareholders. (nothing wrong with that in my opinon).

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  42. I maintain a node.js library for doing translation, the Google API is the core of this project.

    It really sucks to be having this taken away, now the project will be useless to everyone.

    https://github.com/Marak/translate.js

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  43. Very disappointed with the deprecation of the Translate APIs. My company didn't use it heavily, but it was extremely helpful to bridge language barriers. I'm sure if there was a reasonable licensing option, my company would use it.

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  44. You should spend more time cracking down on paid links, duplicate content and all the garbage you have in your index right now. Results are generally terrible and your APIs were the one good thing. My development projects will NO LONGER use Google as you are not reliable enough to actually develop real projects. Thanks guys! PS. This didn't spoil anything, but I am bitter as this is just getting ridiculous and there is little transparency. AND BTW - change your comments to use our actual Google Profiles since Blogger is terrible. Maybe you should just start using Facebook comments instead.

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  45. "Adam Feldman is a Product Manager, focusing on all of Google's APIs and making sure Google provides the best possible platform to developers."

    I call bullshit.

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  46. At One Laptop per Child, we were hoping to hook into the Translate APIs to allow cross-language communication between school kids in different countries. I'd like the second the recommendation about to leave the APIs open for educational/non-profit use at least -- there's about 2 million kids in Uruguay (alone) who could benefit. Why not create an application key system like in some other google products so that you can shut down the abusers while still providing services for the "good guys"?

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  47. This is a pity. Is there any option to let the translate api live on a paid basis?

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  48. bullshit!

    google is going down the hill to meet

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  49. This is horrible. Google Translate API in particular enables some really useful applications that its replacement, Google Translate Element, simply cannot perform.

    In particular, a project I wrote: http://sigusrone.com/unconfound/ -- user specified selection translation.

    Ever been in the situation where you are browsing a web page and there's some snippet of text in a language you don't understand? Want to highlight that text, push a button, and view the translation? Yeah, me too, that's why I wrote that.

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  50. Charge for Translate API, don't shut it down!

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  51. My websites use your API and will be useless without it.

    I humbly request you keep the API open.

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  52. Adam Feldman: as you see developers are not happy, but they also understand Google needs (it is a business after all). Is it possible to analize a paid version for the API usage? It will keep both ends happy.

    Thanks for your time!

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  53. Ooops I said "API" and forgot to mention which one.

    Please do not shut down your Translate API. As other's have said, I would pay for this service.

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  54. Adding my voice to the 'please dont'! Incredibly useful API

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  55. I just integrated jquery-translate last week.

    *grumble*

    There has to be a better way to curtail the abuse than pissing off programmers. You want to keep us engaged with Google, we are a constituency you don't want to sour relations with. Through us is your future.

    You don't want to chase us away, angry and now beholden to other company's services. By all means, if there is abuse, do what you can to cut down the abuse. But throwing the baby out with bathwater seems rather extreme.

    Google Translate APIs are immensely popular. You can't figure out a way to monetize this popularity? Really?

    Well then someone else will. How boneheaded.

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  56. Translate API! Please stay forever. I love you.

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  57. -1 for google,
    +1 for licensing

    but I think Google is depreciating since version 3 is much better:
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff512404.aspx

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  58. Its obvious google doesn't read its own blog comments.

    Too bad.

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  59. Seriously Google? The Translator API? Go by a chromebook, trust in Google... You don't need a chunky OS, we'll take care of that and we have all the services and apps you need online. Really? Or are you going to whip other carpets out from under people's feet? Whooosh... there goes half your value proposition. Spring Cleaning, nice spin, but if "extensive abuse" is the issue, control it, or are you saying you can't manage that? I'm off to take a look at Bing Translator's web services. I really think you should reconsider shutting down the Google Translate API.

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  60. Deprecating an API based on its replacement with a newer, more powerful and reliable one is an acceptable thing, and it's the kind of risk we as developers take when implementing tools.

    Removing a wildly popular API with no replacement even scheduled, citing vague excuses like "too much abuse", is an easy way to get yourself in the Apple camp, sending a shiver down the spine of any developer who thinks about using your tools and then immediately wonders when you'll arbitrarily pull the rug out from under their projects.

    This course of action is an inappropriate and terrifying move to your developer base. I never even used the Translate API, but I've used a dozen others from Google for free educational software, and I cringe at the thought that someone who "makes developers' lives easier" could wipe them off the face of the Internet without taking even a moment to consider the implications of such an action.

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  61. Hey Google the Translate API serves the needs of many developping countries (learn english), you just broke their chance and biz opportunity with the shutting.

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  62. Lets hope Google listens on this one - we don't want Translate shut down! It's simply the best and easiest-to-use of the translate services available.

    An alternative such as rate limiting, using OAuth authentication or some kind of API key *must* be the solution to this issue - not shutting it down.

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  63. DON'T SHUT DOWN GOOGLE TRANSLATE - ACTION GROUP:

    http://on.fb.me/let_google_translate_stay

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  64. This saddens and disappoints me too. I was interested in using the TTS aspect of Google Translate to provide TTS in Tux Typing, a free educational children's program. I hadn't officially done anything because TTS wasn't part of the supported API. Google's TTS is the only thing that comes anywhere close to supporting the 30+ locales in Tux Typing, and it does it in a completely cross-platform manner. This would have been a really cool feature that would have made Tux Typing a "learn to read" program, not just a "learn to type" program.

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  65. This should be interesting to see what they have come up as replacement.

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  66. I am not apologising for Google, but it intrigues me to speculate on the reason. The fact that the API's utility is so obvious to developers, but apparently not to Google suggests that developers may be missing some key information here.
    Could it be that the cited abuse reflects on their need to protect their core business? For instance, might Translate API be helping someone to poison some of the signals used by PageRank ?

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  67. Books Data API is deprecated now, going away in 6 months -- new the new Books API, however, is still marked "Important: This version of the Books API is in Labs, and its features might change unexpectedly until it graduates."

    Should I just ignore this? It is inconvenient to deprecate a production API with an API that is essentially marked "if you write code to this, it could break at any time without warning."

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  68. Well why the hell would you shut down your Translate API?

    Thanks for fucking things up, Google!

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  69. Perhaps a little more clarification would be nice.

    Google has a reputation for transparency and openness with its users.

    Ruin that, and how likely are we all to put up with you indexing/recording/tracking all of our email/locations/searches/etc....

    People don't like secrecy.

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  70. DON'T SHUT DOWN GOOGLE TRANSLATE - ACTION GROUP:

    http://on.fb.me/let_google_translate_stay

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  71. I've realized what Google really is since last summer when they *#?@ us on the net neutrality issue. I'm glad you shut down the Translate api so more people will wake up to the fact that you can't be trusted and are no longer even close to the "do no evil" mantra. I use duckduckgo for all my searching now and I'm trying to get off gmail asap. Good riddence.

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  72. glad to see google's true colors. Google doesn't have the BALLS to care about developers, developers, developers!~

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  73. If you don't want to deal with these pets anymore, you could set them free instead of killing them, right?

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  74. This was a tough decision for us to make; we’re sorry to hear that it’s been a tough one for you to read. Thank you all for your comments, and for reminding us of the passion and energy that you bring to building great products that use our APIs. We launch a lot of APIs, many of them experimental or in Labs. This round of spring cleaning is designed to let us do a better job by focusing more effort on fewer APIs, so that you can continue to count on them.

    Deprecating the Translate API was the hardest choice for us to make -- we’re excited about the global web, and about helping developers and webmasters anywhere reach audiences everywhere. We continue to invest in our Translate offerings, including the Google Translate web element. But the Translate API was subject to extensive abuse -- the vast majority of usage was in clear violation of our terms. The painful part of turning off this API is that we recognize it affects some legitimate usage as well, and we’re sorry about that; we hope that our other offerings will cover many of those legitimate use cases.

    We are listening, and we really appreciate your thoughtful responses to this post.

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  75. Seriously, Translate API is more useful than all the rest combined. Don't shut if off Google Team.

    http://on.fb.me/let_google_translate_stay

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  76. Just to reiterate what has been said, why should we code against a Google API in the future? Its one thing to when there is a new version that has the full feature set of the old, but to dropping a well used API breaks your relationship with developers.

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  77. I think you have the priorities wrong. The cost of keeping the Translate API going and making it a bit more restrictive couldn't possibly be near the goodwill and developer support Google receives from it.
    Not like Google to not see the bigger picture. This is a big mistake.

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  78. I guess I'd be moving to Microsoft's Translate APIs.

    Hmm, maybe eventually their search engine too. Who knows.

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  79. one more here who would pay for the Translate API, having spend hundreds of man hours on it.
    We still have the Maps integration (please please do not shut it down) but you can bet we WON'T use any more Google API's.
    Too risky now.

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  80. Attitude counts, and trust is earned, as someone who has seen both legitimate uses of the translate api, and the abuse by valid businesses who have no other choice as Google never offered the opportunity to pay for . All i can see here is idiots managing incompetence. I guess when a company values youth over experience, poor decisions are going to be the long term result.

    As a developer, what limited trust i did in Google have has been cut back even further by this.

    So much for don't be evil, i guess it's only on Monday now..

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  81. Also very annoyed at the loss of the Translate API. Not a great selection of good alternatives out there. Also agree it would be far better to charge a little bit for it, weeding out the abuse, than to get rid of it entirely.

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  82. thank god for the timing, was about to start a project using it in a weeks time.

    oh - and would have been a paying user btw.

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  83. There are alternatives for for example the translate API,
    but this is clearly a effort, at least for translate API of Google to put more buttons on wesbite and get there name out rather then using there services 'under the hood'.

    I use the translateAPI to translate a open source project using pootle, and I am glad the people from pootle already added a alternative, I just need to enable it.

    But yeaaa... this is what happens if you use a company without a face

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  84. Like many users I'm disappointed to hear that the Translate API will be shut down soon. It was very useful and was key in developing a number of applications that I've worked on.

    May I suggest limiting the free version to a couple hundred requests per day and then establishing a paid version of it with a bulk use licensing fee?

    This would allow developers to build and test applications that make use of the API efficiently (since they have limited access) and take care of the cost of running the API on a large scale basis.

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  85. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  86. Seriously? Most of those APIs scheduled for shutdown are immensely useful!

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  87. I am surprised at how big an impact this is having on my perception of Google. I have never touched the Bing search engine and, like a lot of people, took it as a matter of common sense that Google was the naturally "good" company while Microsoft was "evil" as a matter of habit. This move has completely turned these assumptions on their head (for me).

    Microsoft upgrades APIs all the time. Microsoft stops developing tech all the time which means that it becomes a poor choice for new projects and probably for really long-lived ones as well.

    Honestly though, I cannot at the moment think of a single example of Microsoft taking away a released capability that developers are using in production. In fact, these days, Microsoft is even more likely to contribute non-strategic tech (like IronPython) to the community.

    Basically, I have just had it really driven into my head that Microsoft gets developers and the importance of developer loyalty in the long term while Google clearly does not. Microsoft is the safer, and "less evil" party to rely on in apps that I am going to put my name on.

    Google, thank you for switching this light-bulb on for me before I became too dependent on you. I use some of your APIs and was planning on using a tonne more. I was just about to release an app to the iOS App Store that uses the Feedburner API in a few places. I should change that ASAP.

    Again, Google. Thank you for revealing your core philosophies here. I was making some really dangerous assumptions about you.

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  88. It is ironic that I had to "Google" to find the Bing App API:

    https://signup.live.com/signup.aspx

    It is not something that had ever interested me before.

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  89. The Translate API is too good to shut down. Surely you can come up with a better solution.

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  90. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  91. I thought you could detect and block the abusive use of Translate API!

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  92. Killing the translate API is hurting the web. If they was abuse going on, find a way to rate limit or ban the abusers. Don't just shut it off completely.

    You say your role is to organized the world's information. It just happens that information comes in many languages, translation API is a necessary part of the plumbing if we are going to make the web accessible to everyone.

    I think Google should listen to what developers are saying and find a way to save the translation API.

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  93. Google I/O is always an exciting time for developers. huh
    I don't know what happen with Google.

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  94. Here's the newer? version of Google translate API.
    http://translate.google.com/translate_tools

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  95. If Aunty Google, as I used to call Google API, goes I will be sad. Why? Why should I move away from my gmail account and search for another translation service when I want a word or phrase or passage from another language? Change your decision and throw out the bath water and not the baby.

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  96. This is a terrible idea Google, please reconsider.

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  97. Wait.. because there's some who are abusing the translate API your answer is to shut it down? What, are you fucking kidding me? Is that all the mighty Google could come up with? Jesus...

    How about charging a small fee for it? That's probably stop 99.99999% of the abuse.

    So now you want me to use Google Web Elements? Sure... except what guarantee do I have that in a year that won't stop for "excessive abuse"? I mean, why would I ever use another google api?

    And now I'm damn sad and ashamed that I and my company are paying google customers (as in google apps).

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  98. I honestly don't think you at Google realize how badly shutting down one of your most popular APIs is for your reputation.

    I believe you when you say there's rampant abuse. But to take the path of throwing the baby out with the bathwater-- as an earlier commenter said, why should we ever trust you again?

    If your choice is to simply stop a service instead of monetizing it, why should we, as developers, use any what you have to offer? It's one thing to consign little-used APIs to the dustbin. But one of your most popular? That tells *us* that everything you offer is provisional, and that we can't even count for a slow depreciation period!

    Our time isn't free, either. I'm not looking for a free ride. I have no problem paying for useful services. That would chose *not* to take my money is baffling.

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  99. I wish Google weren't so afraid to ask people to pay for services. If they would just move some of these free APIs to paid APIs, then the fraud would go away, and the people who wanted the services could still get them, and the economies of scale would pay off for everybody.

    Same thing with Google Voice. I would GLADLY pay a small annual fee if that meant that I could get real customer service.

    It's great to dream of a Web where everything is free, but when that is the case, it isn't always financially viable for everybody to get what they want.

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  100. I would like to add my disappointment as well... the API translate is very useful. Why not either limit its use or charge for it? Shutting it down completely is pure madness.

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  101. Please Google, consider making Translate API a paid version, don't just shut it down!

    I do understand companies do need to review and change their APIs from time to time. You're just doing it wrong. Deprecate, don't just pull the plug, since you do know many developers are using the feature.

    Can you elaborate the kind of abuse Translate API was suffering?

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  102. > Translate API

    Uh, what?

    I avoid depending on most third-party APIs, due to fears of them disappearing without a replacement; but I've used Google APIs with the expectation that Google, at least, can be trusted to not vanish non-Labs APIs without a replacement.

    So much for that.

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  103. I'll judt cite Ballmer for this once; "developers, developers, developers, developers"

    I'd hate for my phone ecosystem to slowly morph into something apple-esque for no good reason.

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  104. If you shut down Google Translate, we (and I mean all the API developers) will need to go back to BabelFish API http://bit.ly/kTnqc2

    It lacks some languages - but with a bit economical wisdom from your competitors it would do well! Google,. how could you arrived at such an idiotic decision?

    Sign up here: DON'T SHUT DOWN GOOGLE TRANLATE API! http://on.fb.me/mRzwcU

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  105. The API used to post this message has been deprecated.

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  106. I want to see the google translate api again it is very important for a country that is not English is the official language.

    google translate api can make the world understand each other.
    Communicate.

    Please, review google translate api the matter again.

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  107. One of my projects also depends on Translate API and making it as a paid service is definitely better decision than shutting it down.
    I have to agree with other comments here, that this was not a good decision and the reliability of other Google API has suffered.
    At least there is a plenty of time to adapt (till December 1).

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  108. The best of all is that they wait the end of the Google I/O to annouce this

    I'd like to see how many people will go to the Google I/O 2012 or use their Wallet stuff after this...

    It's actually true that the smart people is leaving Google and going to FB after all.

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  109. Dear Google! Several my sites depend strongly on the Translate API, and I'm definitely ready to pay for it. Please reconsider your decision.

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  110. Google translate API? .Very very bad..

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  111. Seems google is going down hill. First with the lack of anything really new/innovating lately(remember when their used to be something cool coming out almost monthly?), then the flat out lack of updating some of their products (looking at you picasa)that are not mobile related. Now google is removing features that companies are depending on (language API for example). Who's bright idea was this?

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  112. Google Translate API helps the world becomes smaller, but now with this poor decision - the world will become so small that it may even vanish when it comes to Google's rule at leat ;-)

    Join the action group on Facebook: "Don't Shut Down Google Translate API"

    Link: http://on.fb.me/let_google_translate_stay

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  113. I can't even begin to describe my disappointment in the decision to shutdown the Translate API.

    I always tell friends and family they're mad to use anyone other than Google for services Google provides, because Google is trustworthy and a company with an actual sense of ethical behaviour.

    I'm genuinely reconsidering that stance.

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  114. Also, announcing the shutdown of such an important API really takes the shine off the other announcements of new APIs. I mean.. who cares about a new API if you may simply shut it down once we all get dependant on it?

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  115. Its a sad day for google, when you start shutting down some of your most succefull APIs namely the Translate API.
    Better be heading for microsofts version instead.

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  116. I wish I had a way to translate my disappointment into many different languages.

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  117. I thought Larry's return would be good for users and developers alike the opposite seems to be happening..

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  118. It would be cool if Google could specify somewhere in their documentation "We plan to support this API until atleast 201x" and then stick to that because like everyone is saying: "what's going next?". Interesting move Google. Enjoy the dollars saved.

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  119. Hello Google,

    In case you did not notice, you're doing evil. Please stop.

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  120. I'm trying to think of a positive way to say "reconsider" on Translate API. This one has such potential to do good the world over. Removing it is such a bad idea for PR, for developers, and users of the web. By now you must see how much trust is being lost by this decision. The cost to remedy the real problem, "abuse", cannot have been as high as this. I encourage developers to express continued and constructive criticism.

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  121. You know what the problem is with Translate API? It's getting better each day due to unprecedented input from users and Google doesn't want to share it. They want it for themselves, despite the fact it was improved by a wealth of people. Don't make any mistakes. Translation technology is one of the keys for A.I. Google is making aggressive moves to undermine any efforts by independent developers on this technology.

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  122. Java developers who used the Google Translate API should check out my new wrapper for the Microsoft Translator API @ https://github.com/boatmeme/microsoft-translator-java-api. It is a surprisingly adequate substitute for Google Translate.

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  123. TRY ortsbo.com great translator real time\

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  124. The abrupt shutdown of the translate API with such limited notice now has made me and others leery of trying to depend upon any of your other web services commercially.

    Bypassing the usual 3 year deprecation period here is dramatically impacting the opinion of developers as to the viability of depending on any of your web services.

    I hope you know what you're doing.

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  125. I have a solution!

    Since Micro$oft has the money (well they just bought Skype for 8,5 billions!), maybe Google can give it to them for free so they can solve the financial issues Google is having? Besides, did I hear that it was open source API? Where is the source?

    Join the Facebook support group: "Don't Shut Down Google Translate API" at: http://bit.ly/mRzwcU

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  126. Although I am not bound to these API at the moment, it makes me leery about my whole "relationship" with Google in general. I am so dependent on services such as Google Docs, Apps and Sites that I can't ignore the things I am seeing here.

    I'd rather you guys come out with *less* cool stuff but the services you decide to offer stay around with a clear policy.

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  127. The Translate API is abused heavily by Black hat SEO types who use it to create autoblogs.

    While some SEO types only make a few, there are a few firms that make hundreds if not thousands of these autoblogs that use the Google Translate API. The reason that half your Google search results today are filled with crap is because of the abuse of the Google Translate API.

    I'm also betting that a few of you are some of those people.

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  128. To Peter.

    I have no idea what "autoblogs" is. But the translation machines are there and will be there with or without Google. If a user uses these machines to translate a unique content and then cached it, there is nothing wrong with it.

    Google itself allows translated search. Just because some sites can translate the content theme-self it does make them black hat SEO.

    Translation is business too, if Google wants they can charge for its services fully, partially or whatever. No need to shut down the doors.

    I suspect that there is some plan behind this decision. Something about pushing us to use Chrome future feature or whatever. Sooner or later we will find out...

    In mean time, we can only hope that either Google reverses its decision or some other giant will give it a good competition. Let us not forget that it was NOT Google who first allowed developers using remote GET translated content.

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  129. Adam Feldman: You know what? It's not just about the Translation API. That's just one thing. What you're really doing is destroying the priceless user trust that you built over the past decade. Really? Do you seriously want to throw that out the window? Stop and think about what you're doing. Please. I personally don't use the Translation API, but I can feel other developers' pain just the same.

    We really love your innovation, Google, but that should not come at the cost of your reliability. We'd rather prefer if you guys came up with less products with more *reliability*.

    I loved you Google. Seriously. Until today. So much for 'Don't be evil', eh?

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  130. Is there a way to contact Google developers directly and tell them not to kill Translate API?

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  131. Perhaps Google is planning a future proprietary translation capability separate from search - see it collaboration with the European Patent Office which will allow it to improve its machine translation using the EPO corpus of patent texts.
    http://www.lawdit.co.uk/reading_room/room/view_article.asp?name=../articles/9186-google-and-EPO-sign-translation-deal.htm

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  135. Hey, the Google Translate Element is the old webelement and no new object for us to use. I don´t like the widgets style many would like to apply now. Can´t you deliver a better alternative? Can´t you give us v2 of the Translate API? Buy more servers or what.

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  136. I did not expect this from google. this will be the beginning of the end of google - you should not hurt the developers. Think how much hatred you will receive in your address

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  137. don't close the translation API! Fix a requests limit and charge after that, but don't close it! It's true that it's unfair to close it after all the input users have given to it...

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  138. It's pretty sad that this company can think up the ideas but not have the knowledge to correctly implement them.

    Wave.. now translate. Maybe bing has a translation api I can use now.

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  139. Here's an idea... or two... and right up front I'll say that I'm not particularly knowledgeable of the way Google's APIs are accessed or used. But sometimes, being too close the trees is precisely what prevents us from seeing the rest of scenery (so to speak).

    In any case, if Google knows that autoblogs (whatever they are) are using the Translate API to get higher SEO results, then block those requests, or block the results from autoblogged sites. In other words, if Google knows which sites are generating these "abuse" usage stats, Google can also make those sites rank LOWER on their SEO score or block the SEO originating API requests...

    2. As so many people have stated already, charge for the darn usage of the APIs! We already get nickled-and-dimed for other services we enjoy, from Pandora, to Rhapsody, to Netflix, I would pay an extra $2 a month for the convenience of occasionally using the translate feature. After all, last time I checked, Google "is" a business and as such its main purpose is to be and increase profitability.

    3. Link usage to positive-id requestors. For example, Android device users pay a monthly service fee to their telcos, so allow usage originating only from Android devices, that way you can track fraudulent/illegal usage to a specific device and/or user. Obviously, not everyone uses Android through a cell carrier, but a large majority of Android users do.

    4. License it to other companies so that they have the burden of liability. The same way that a hammer manufacturer can't get sued if someone uses it to break windows, licensing it may allow you to keep Translate alive without the headaches of liability.

    5. Instead of returning the translated results as text (which a bot may use for this autoblogging or SEO cheat), return the results as a .gif image that a human could read but a machine would like not without a lot of additional overhead on their part.... For example, separate the words by different fonts, point sizes, locations within the images, etc.... require human interaction prior to displaying it (ie: "What is 2 times the third number after 3?")

    Bottom line, Google, DON'T BE LAME!

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  140. Just writing to join the chorus of HOW STUPID Google is being.. Under new mgmt right?

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  141. Ladies, instead of moaning about it, lets do something - join the Facebook action group: "Don't Shut Down Google Translate API"

    Link: http://bit.ly/mRzwcU

    PS. Between, funny enough but the captcha word I had to enter now was: humbinga... will it be translate-binga next time Google? ;-)

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  142. Is this a joke?
    I just finished building a plugin for otrs to translate my customer tickets from German to English, right within otrs and only the customer fragments not the entire page used by the agents.

    I cannot use this half baked elements thing they have now?
    I would even pay for access to the current translation API.

    I expect this from apple or Microsoft.......no google.

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  143. FYI:
    Extensive abuse means: Spammers used the translate API for millions of emails, forum entries, chat-spam and so on. Other websites offered a "translation service" that was branded differently but used google's translate api encapsulated. and so on. Thank these people for the shutdown and don't blame google. What would you do if someone rapes your good will? Don't be childish.

    Charging for the translate API would be a good alternative.

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  144. Put a cap and charge for overages, not discontinue the entire thing!

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  145. I can only echo what others have said above.

    Please find a way to preserve the Translate API, through a combination of whitelisting, throttling, and charging for use.

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  146. For those looking for alternatives and willing to pay for translation, there are a few options. At myGengo (http://mygengo.com/services/api/) we offer a RESTy API to human translation. I'm a co-founder and since our startup relies on translation, you can be guaranteed we'll never deprecate our API :)

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  147. The reasons that Google sais for shutdown Google Translate API do not convince anybody with a minimal common sense.

    Before shutdown it our loved Translate API, please limit the maximun queries per day, block spam users, and finally why do not charge for Google Translate API?

    API means control and you do not want to use it. Google are changing for bad.

    Guys, any Google Translate API alternative that you use?

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  148. I have to agree - major major bad PR for google if they shut down the translate API... I can't imagine a way to piss more people off then that.

    limit the number of queries per day and then charge for anything over that.

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  149. We started an action group on Facebook:

    "Don't Shut Down Google Translate API"
    Link: http://bit.ly/mRzwcU

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  150. Whats your guess: How many apps and websites will be broken once this translation API is shut down?Hundreds? Thousands?

    But hey, you beggars: Google is not welfare. Why should they provide a service, that obviuosly burns a lot of money, but doesn't even show ads? ;)

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  151. Please do NOT shutdown the patent search api. We are using ist productiv in our company!

    Or is there an equivalent?

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  152. Just rate limit translate API and sell higher rate limit licenses! Looks like some might happily pay for that! And devs will adore you if you do so ;)

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  153. I would happily pay for use of the Translate API. Just dropping the service altogether seems a terrible decision.

    This is extremely, extremely disappointing.

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  154. Dear Google,

    Your APIs provide tools and opportunities for small businesses and startups to enter into the online world. Please consider offering priced licenses to the APIs rather than simply shutting them down.

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  155. This should be a warning for every developer trusting in reliability and continuity of any Google API's.

    I will never again start a project relying on Google API's. Very bad and disappointing decision to cancel availability of the Google translation API's.

    Good bye Google.

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  157. The worst google buissness decision...1 blog post has destroyed years of good reputation

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  158. Google Translate had and still has so much potential for creative uses, now foreclosed. Before the new, outstanding Google Translate iPhone app it was used in a dead-simple app called Interpret. Now that, and anything creative and innovative or useful in the future is dead. Shutting it down was obviously not thought through...

    I'm so sorry I took those surveys on how to improve Google Translate, to see Google now acting like a landlord evicting its tenant farmers. I will be looking at alternatives, I'm so disgusted with this decision.

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  159. please don't shutdown Translate API.

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  160. Yes all APIs are user friendly want this forever.
    Keep the google finance api it will be reliable one. please continue the development for google finance api too

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  161. Its a huge abuse to affect thousends and thousends of apps. google can't do that, they can leave a payment option or an authentication process if they have this huge amount of querys they say..noone can trust on their api's..why they doit then? next year maybe there 10.000 apps using it and they disconect the api server..

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  162. We all know Google is smarter than that.I guess you don't feel the same way about your users.If you did you'd announce what's really going on.

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  163. I'll join the crowd on this one.

    While I have never used the Google Translate API for any of my projects yet, I will admit it was on my radar as a possible solution. I have a few projects that will likely need translation if they grow in popularity. Instead of human translation, the Translate API would save me money. Even if the API cost money to use, it would be the preferred and less expensive option to paying humans. If abuse is really the problem, then charging money is the obvious solution.

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  164. Shutdown of widely-used APIs is definitely severe hit on Google reputation.
    I've used own wrapper for Translate API which supports several different providers aside from Google, but google results were typically best and I'm willing to pay for this API if free support is too much burden.
    Please consider making it paid API instead of shutdown.

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  165. Translate and Transliterate are being shut down? So much for being an international company - now no one should have any qualms about working for MS or FB since Google is acting, if not more, evil

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  166. One more question: will the Language Detection API be shutdown as well? it's part of the translation API ( ✝ December 1, 2011) and - again - an unbelievable useful API.

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  167. Not too long ago, Google had a Blogger issue that would have been relatively minor -- except they exacerbated it by a series of bad PR moves.

    Now this.

    Does anyone there know how to play this game any more?

    Let me add another vote against eliminating the translate APIs. In my case, I'm using them through Second Life, where I've discovered that being able to get a quick translation in-line is amazingly effective as a way to learn another language -- I have a regular conversation and when I reach those inevitable points where I don't know the noun or verb I'm missing, I can simply ask a translator tool.

    In fact, I'd been planning on writing about this, and since I write for a top-30 web site, it would have been a good bit of good publicity. I probably still will -- but now it will be a more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger article about the amazing capabilities that Google provided -- and then took away.

    It's a mistake that you've got several months to rectify.

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  168. Come on Google. We are the people always defending you, stating that they might look evil to the outside, but they still care about us, supply us with great tools, for free! Don't give us the feeling that you don't care anymore. That'd be the beginning of the end.

    +1 for saving the translate API

    ~T

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  169. Come on! Why not charge something like a fraction of a US Dollar per API call? Just enough to keep spammers from using it and not enough to keep developers from using for legitimate purposes!

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  170. The title of this post is a bit misleading. Should have been a bit more direct, like:
    "Google Shutting Down the Popular Translate API"

    No worries, we get it anyway. So much for descriptive headlines.

    Someone in Google is either really bad at SEO or really shy about this recent decision.

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  171. I would pay for Google Translate API!

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  172. This is really sad , does anyone know why google is deprecating it ? what's the real motive behind it ? and if they shut down this API without providing a viable alternative
    they’re going to get a number of people saying “Why should anyone ever use a Google API again?”

    Javin
    Top 20 Core Java Interview question

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  173. In light of this short-sighted decision, every company should reconsider if they want to be dependent on Google APIs.

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  174. Very disappointed about the move to shut down the translate API

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  175. You are killing our free system-wide translation feature of PhraseExpress

    Video demo: http://screencast.com/t/Gmu7HF85

    This is too sad.

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  176. I'm devastated at the news that Google plans to shut down the Translate API.

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  177. I would pay as well for the Translate API. If they shut it down they don't know how to make money.

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  178. Facebook action group: "Don't Shut Down Google Translate API"

    Link: http://bit.ly/mRzwcU

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  179. Google Translate has the popularity it does mainly because it is free and Google used its marketing muscle to promote it as one of its pretended breakthroughs. The truth is that there are several superior translation tools, available for a fee that have been done damage by Google's free promotion and hype about its accuracy. See LEC's Passport Premium, for example, provided by my company for 10 years - well before Google entered the space with their own "statistical" MT.

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  180. For a commercial service that has been around longer than Google Translate and uses the best engines available for each language (21 languages total) see Passport Premium at www.lec.com and contact info@lec.com.

    Glenn Akers

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  181. If ony solution was that simple.

    lec.com:
    "Eat the time of apple, you like to be big still small of?"

    google translate:
    "Eating apples, you like big or small?"

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  182. No mention in the comments about the Power Meter API, but might be good for google to get their hands out of there, and some people who are trying to make money in the smart grid enter. Google casts a big fairy ring.

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  183. reason for deprecating the translate api?????

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  184. I just replaced Google Translate with Microsoft Translate 2 in about 30 minutes.
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff512406.aspx

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  185. Google also closing down the support forums for the Translate API.

    Just in case this forum here also disappear... join the action & support Facebook page at:

    "Don't Shut Down Google Translate API"

    Link: http://bit.ly/mRzwcU

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  186. I'm very upset about the Translate API closure. We use it for internal testing (to see how texts will look like in different languages, without waiting until our translation team does the official translation). I don't think we've abused the service (how can we ? it has 100k daily limit). The decision to close the API does not seems too smart, clearly there are some better solutions.

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  187. Could you please explain how the API will die? Our software uses the API and we'd like to be able to disable it when the services is removed. But how will we know when its shut down? I'd really love to fail gracefully but there isn't any information about how Google will start failing the API. Could save a lot of people irritation if we could disable the service gracefully

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  188. Don't Shut Down Google Translate API

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  189. If Google really stop TRANSLATE API, then I can say, that it is worst decision from Google what I ever heard. Please, don't stop, if you do, then you will lost one of your grateful user, for which is Google number one... Thank you, Petr from Czech rep. (for this post I used "Client for Google Translate".)

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  190. So after the Translate API are shut, can we use the POST method on translate.google.com and still get the results after parsing the returned text?

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  191. People are happy using Google Translate API. Don't shut down it !!!

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  192. Seems like there is a lot of people that are upset that the Google Translate API is going away, me included. Google - please find some other kind of solution other than just shutting it down!

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  193. So... Closing translation API is very bad for Internet =(
    And Microsoft Bing API just one alternative solution...

    http://www.microsofttranslator.com/tools/#Dev

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  194. According to Google terms of service, they have to keep the service running for 3 years after depreciation! What is this timeline?

    "For a period of 3 years after an announcement (the "Deprecation Period"), Google will use commercially reasonable efforts to continue to operate the Deprecated Version of the Service and to respond to problems with the Deprecated Version of the Service deemed by Google in its discretion to be critical"

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  195. another here +1 to charge for Translate API.

    this service has contributed greatly to gluing together different cultures - and the way I see it - different ideas from different threads of humanity.

    Many times I do not have the time to go to the webpage and 'cut and paste' - but the API used through an app I use - 'Translate Client' means everything is instantaneous and at my fingers. I will happily pay for this service

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  196. Adam Feldman said...

    > the Translate API was subject to extensive
    > abuse -- the vast majority of usage was in
    > clear violation of our terms.

    Could you elaborate on this please, and list the major abuses that were going on? Some have speculated it was people using the API to get around firewalls, was that it?

    And were any steps taken to prevent abuse, such as contacting the abusers and instituting rate limits, before deciding to shut down the service?

    > we hope that our other offerings will cover
    > many of those legitimate use cases.

    Are you referring to the Translate WebElement? It's useful but only for putting a Translate button on publicly facing web sites. You couldn't use it to, say, translate an SMS before sending it inside a phone application. Or was that one of the abuse cases you want to eliminate?

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