eBay Trading API – The worst in the world



Every few months I end up having to update one of my customers applications due to eBays arbitrary changes. I have to spend an hour or two futzing with their shitty documentation on the world’s slowest developer website.

When you’re there, you have to deal with verbose yet trivial example code ( at least they have input/output examples) to do things you can’t really imagine anyone ever wanting to do.

The developer website hardly works. All help is behind a paywall (thanks assholes) but what is worse, I paid for help, and I can’t even submit a ticket to PAY THEM FOR HELP BECAUSE THE SITE IS BROKEN, AGAIN.

Really, I can’t even pay these people to do their friggin’ jobs.

Don’t get me wrong, my personal software issues with the eBay API are based on not being an expert in their API. It’s fair enough that there is probably, buried deep in the docs, some obscure setting or something that would help me out. But I can’t find it for the life of me, and they don’t want to make it easy, mainly because they want you to pay for assistance. Fine. I’ll pay. I have no problem paying. But their stupid website won’t even let me do that!!!!

The eBay API is one of those APIs that you are simply forced to work with. eBay is big, and people still use it, and as long as that is the case, you have to deal with their bullshit. But I tell you, the moment a serious competitor to eBay comes out, everyone is gonna jump ship like it’s the freakin’ titanic. And I won’t lose a bit of sleep as eBay and their retarded API sinks slowly below the waves.

I generally tend to hate all SOAP APIs by default, they are just terrible and outdated. But the eBay SOAP API is one of the worst, not so much for the stupidity of the design, but just because it comes off as this massive, uncaring, over designed piece of shit. Considering the amount of money eBay has, why couldn’t their API be more like Braintree’s?

You wanna see how it should be done? Go over to Braintree’s documentation and bask in the glow of a well designed API and company that gives a shit about API users and programmers.

Sometimes I just go read their docs to cleanse my palette and to remember, it is possible to make a good API, good libraries, and care about consumers. It’s just not done very often.



About Jason

I am a 31 year old programmer living in the south of France. I currently work actively in the fields of Ruby/PHP/Javascript and server/website administration.
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