PHP-OEmbed project page
Remember when the newly introduced Google Talk Gadget displayed Youtube videos instead of showing their links? That's what I call "active resource representation", because it represents the given video more [inter]actively than the pure link - which is hardly showing anything in the case of youtube.
I believe that a resource usually can be equally represented in a small place: there's no need to load a full page to view a youtube video or a flickr photo, but there isn't need for it to look at a person's social network profile, to accept/reject a calendar invitation, etc - and all of these have URLs nowadays. These technologies could be used in e-mail systems, forums, and chat clients.
What OEmbed does, is that it tries to provide metadata about a certain resource found at the given URL. That is: you send the link of a flickr photo, and you get an XML or JSON-formatted structure back. While it can be argued, that these could be / should be / in an ideal world, would be solved by HTTP headers, this is not the case, and this solution isn't as bad.
Currently, it can handle (proxy) any OEmbed provider (given that you enter their respective address into the providers.xml file), and it has a Youtube provider, which uses some not-so-official part of the "official YouTube Data API". New providers can be added by looking at the provider API - oh, and there's no error handling yet, so you could understand the code :)
Note: I extended OEmbed protocol a bit, namely:
- There could be a description field for every OEmbed-entity (handy for tooltips)
- There could be a duration part (in seconds) for video embeds
- The original resource URL could be in the data response
Oh, and Flickr: please add thumbnails! Thanks :)