del.icio.us, WTF is happening?

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

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

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

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

I modified the code again, waiting 2 seconds for 503, 10 seconds for 500, and 15 seconds for 999 ((It’s not as silly as it sounds to wait when receiving a 999. From some testing I concluded that receiving a 999 doesn’t result in being locked out immidiately.)). Then I waited for the lock-out to end and I tried again. Locked out again! Tiring!

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

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

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

If anyone knows anything that I could stick as an option next to using del.icio.us I would love to hear about it ((I know of scuttle but I’m having problem finding basic information about it, e.g. what URI is the API on? I’m also not sure it provides API access over https)). Two requirements:

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

Dear lazyweb, any suggestions?

⟸ Some epilicious comments... Epilicious moved to darcs ⟹

Lepsilak

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

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