Talk:Mashup (web application hybrid)

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I am wondering if the naming "mashup" isn't kind of imprecise or a mix-up of spellings, and whether the name for the phenomenon discussed here should be "mesh-up" rather than "mash-up"?

The Oxford English Dictionary defines the verb "to mash" as "to reduce or beat to a mash", or "(in brewing) to mix (powdered malt) with hot water to form wort". None of them quite fits the notion we are trying to describe in this article, namely combining data from different sources into one application.

On the other hand, the verb "to mesh" is related to the noun "mesh" like what you have in a net, and can be defined as "to cause something to resemble a network". Now I'm not a native English speaker, however, couldn't one think of the combining of data into one application as some kind of "tying a net"? I.e. wouldn't "mesh-up" be a much more correct metaphor (and probably also the original one) than "mash-up"? Opinions? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Fiordiligi (talkcontribs) 11:23, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Comment: I dont think that there is any hope in going against established linguistic usages. Formal rules are powerless against it. Ppolsinelli (talk) 16:31, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Enterprise mashups[edit]

A conversant contributor please add an explanation of consumer mashups (done in the browser) versus enterprise mashups (done on the server). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Pmerson (talkcontribs) 17:57, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

It is not a matter of "done on the browser" or "done on the server". An enterprise mashup is a Web application based on the mashup paradigm, used in a business context, e.g., an analytical dashboard. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Matteo.picozzi (talkcontribs) 16:37, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

A Little History Please[edit]

It would be great if someone could add a little history of mashups. when was the first mashup? how have mashups evolved? What were the enabling technologies? etc. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:10, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

From Wingnut: Hello, thanks for asking about history. Although few mention it, I believe the original "mashup" was a two-directional thing that POSSIBLY originated with Ted Nelson's "Thinking Machines" and was originally called "transclusion". It should probably STILL be called that. Trans-copyright is also involved, as transcluding is, in a way, node-serving. Node-servers are a yet-undiscovered thing. Content developers/authors, in theory, could/would 'allow' (or disallow) HTML nodes to be transport-included (transcluded), and an html 'node' (think of it as an article or paragraph) could be included in another's webpage IF the node-author wants to allow it, and if trans-copyright rules have been satisfied. The transcluded node was supposed to be bi-directional. Ideally, there is a link that leads back to the markup/page that originally contained said node, and thus, at minimum, proper credit for the transcluded content could be maintained. Ted Nelson has been shunned and somehow pushed-aside by the greater web community even though he and Project Xanadu were/are VERY far ahead of their time. To NOT bring-up Ted Nelson's long-ago work on transclusion... in a discussion about these so-called "mashups"... is nothing short of an ethics crime.

ONE of the problems seen, and once publicly-discussed by myself and others, is author-preferred CSS styles. Although I don't know much about the DOM .getComputedStyle function, it COULD BE used to get the CSS settings on ANY node... once that node is rendered and its styles allowed to cascade on down the line. There was talk a few years back about eliminating the HTML style attribute, and I argued that the style attribute is the ONLY "pocket" that could be used to carry the AUTHOR PREFERRED STYLE along-with any transcluded node. I think a node author should be allowed to say "Yes, you can use this node/article IF you use MY CSS styles when you present it in your 'mashup'". I think that if the node author wants transcluders to use original author-preferred CSS, transcluders should honor that. Later, when node-serving is commonplace, a mechanism to accomplish come-along CSS should be invented/included. That, is not an easy task, considering many served nodes will simply have ID or CLASS CSS selectors... and these selectors will be referencing stylerules at the AUTHOR'S site, and not at the site of the transcluded nodes. The transcluder COULD just LINK-in the CSS files from the originating site IF they are external .css files. If they are in a style element in the HEAD of a document, look out. And under either condition, beit style element or external stylesheets, blind stylesheet including could lead to CSS selector name collisions. This is why... when nodes are to be transcluded, they should somehow have their style... shoved into a style attribute in the node itself and carried along in that way... where CSS selectors are not a factor. As the nodeserver 'installs' a style attribute in the transcluded nodes on the way out the door, it should also remove all ID and CLASS selectors from the node(s).

I know, TMI, but, that's the LONG story of nodeserving/transclusion and some of its hurdles. Thanks for asking about the history, fellow wiki-tweaker! Well done. End of input by Wingnut.

Uncategorised entries[edit]

When one can quantify information and the usefulness thereof, define operators for the sum or multiplication of information, and show that a mashup performs these operations, then we can say that mashups can make information exponentially more useful. Minor edit EnsGabe 20:32, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

I have a question I keep asking and still dont see an answer covered in this article, namely, What is the difference between a mashup and a portal. They both combine source material from different sources into a single web page. So, what distinquishes one from another?

PolyGlot 13:10, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

I have a few xquestions about this definition...

 "a web application created using the public 
  interface or API of two or more third party

First, web application is an established term with a somewhat narrow meaning.

I'm wondering if we could expand this to say a website OR web application.

Second, I personally use a number of RSS feeds as sources in my mashups (example: Likewise, some of the providers such as eBay and Google AdSense have mashable information provided via Javascript includes.

Again, wondering if we could expand the definition to clearly include these types of sources.

In summary, I think a more encompassing though still accurate deinifinition would read something to the effect of...

 "a website or web application that combines information from more than one source."

The definition could then go on to talk about the various methods for sourcing the information.

Any thoughts appreciated.

Toddlevy 15:08, 6 October 2005 (UTC) toddlevy [at] hotmail [dot] com

I think Todd's suggestion is valid - to make the description more "generic", rather than making reference to web applications as the source. However, I think that inclusion of the fact that the sources are web/internet sources, and that there is an established API (as compared to "screen-scraping") to make this information available is an important part of the definition.


But a website that combines information would be or, not a mashup. I'd say "website" is collection of urls, but a "web application" is a narrower collection of urls for a single purpose. A "Web Application" tends to mean something narrower yet, where the caps signify a particular system for serving web applications. In short the existing definition seems better to me.

JohnJBarton 04:49, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

I agree with Todd about the missing "website" part, but API is an essential part of the definition (as oposed to screens-scrapping, as Steve mention). So, my suggestion is:

 "a website or a web application created using the
  public interface or API of two or more third party

GuiAmbros 19:15, 26 February 2006 (UTC) nospamwikipedia /at/ ambros /dot/ com /dot/ br

Shouldn't "API" be spelled out before the acronym?

Mashup; The combination of one (1) or more products or services. ftw! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:17, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

Video Map Mashup[edit]

I added as an example of a "Video Mashup". What do you think about combining the titles of "Video Mashup" and "Map Mashup" sections?

I also corrected a grammatical error.

Let me know.

Content vs. Web Tool (application?) Mashup[edit]

I came to this talk page because the current definition of mashup on the article page seems to focus on the idea that a mashup is content. (I wanted to comment that a mashup (imho, but who didn't know what a mashup even could be a few weeks ago) could also be a website created by mixing and matching web applications (or similar). This (talk) page seems to address that (iiuc), but the article doesn't, or not very clearly.

To pick a very bad example (because it may not have any chance of working), couldn't a mashup be a website created with (say) some combination of Plone, Ruby on Rails, and whatever else? (regardless of where the content comes from)

--Rhkramer 15:26, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

That's called "application integration". -- ShinmaWa(talk) 01:10, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

Shouldn't titles be reserved for the most COMMON usage ??[edit]

"The etymology of this term almost certainly derives from its similar use in pop music..."
Yeas, it almost certainly does. Which is why the term "Mashup" should be reserved for pop music, and the top line should say "For website usage see: Bastard Webmonkeying."

Apropos terminology... How about a link from this page to the term bricolage which (in anthropology and cultural studies) means more or less the same thing as 'mashup', only in the 'real world'. I think we can get some useful perspective on 'mashups' by comparing them with the literature on bricolage. (This is another fine example of the internet community thinking they've made something up which in fact has been around for millennia). 13:21, 29 January 2007 (UTC)Brennan Young

A Section of Mashup examples should be added to this page[edit]

When a user comes across this page, he might want to see a live example of mashuup website, however, in this page, we do NOT have such kind of links.

  • I agree, why not pick some popular sites from, etc and link to them?? for instance, uses google maps, usgs elevation data, geonames reverse geo-location, flickr api, youtube api... just an example but there should at least be some links to actual mashups..
  • Examples would be helpful, but it's not clear to me which ones to pick. The ones currently listed aren't necessarily the most popular or most instructive ones to show, for instance. RaymondYee 20:14, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Without disagreeing with the principle of having examples, I don't find an encyclopedic purpose to the current list of examples. The programmableweb link provides all the examples anyone needs for the limited purpose of simply seeing examples. Based on WP:NOT#LINK, I suggest that any further references to specific mashup sites be done to clarify, or serve as references for, specific points in the article. Consequently, I'm removing the links to individual example sites. Rich Janis (talk) 10:32, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Added a link to the Windows Live Local article.[edit]

In addition to the existing link to Google Map. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 21:52, 16 February 2007 (UTC).

Link is refused for several reasons: on the Wikipedia page of Windows Live Local there is no mention of an API that would allow developers to use the facility of this service to build new application upon it (Google Map's Wikipedia article does speak about it). So this link should not be place yet in the see also section. Further more, and this explain why it has been simply removed. After browsing on Windows Live Local web site, there does not seems to be a mention on its API either! Therefore, you cannot build new application on this service, then this service cannot be used to build new mashup. As a conclusion, this link is irrelevant in the section see also, and in the mashup article. --Huygens 25 23:26, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
Please look for a link says "Developers" on the bottom of, or —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 11:10, 19 February 2007 (UTC).
OK, thank you for the information, I have found it but as mentioned I would not put it in the see also, because the Windows Live Local article on Wikipedia does not talk about the possible usage of this service for other web sites (using the SDK). The see also section is related to the mashup article, I mean that those articles in this section should speak also of mashup or possible use of the service for other web site. I would like to have your understanding that we can put the link in this section only if the Windows Live Local article is updated with relevant, insightful information. What I propose for the time being. We add the link to this Microsoft service article somewhere else in the mashup article by mentioning that it is possible to build mashup application that uses map from this service or others. If you do not write any objection, I will update the article in a couple of days. --Huygens 25 16:00, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Business Week Links[edit]

The links to Business Week remains while all others got removed except Is it because Business Week has more money? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 01:18, 17 February 2007 (UTC).

Yep, one could ask that... However, the first link to business week is of interest for the article (under Articles about mashups). But the links in the section "Sites about mashups" are questionable. If it was considered that a site like should be removed, then those two left should also be removed. --Huygens 25 23:26, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

If you don't know what a mashup is, this article isn't helpful[edit]

The "lead paragraph," which is actually just a lead sentence, is just about the only thing that provides a clue as to what a mashup really is, if you don't already know. This is then followed by the statement "It is sometimes created as a critique or commentary on an existing work or product," and the unitiated reader wonders, how does a web application combining content from different sources constitute a critique or commentary on those. Nor would the uninitiated have an idea what the difference between a mashup using a public interface vs. not using a public interface. To really get a sense of what's being described, you have to read the outside articles or follow the links, and in that regard, it seems to fail as an encyclopedia article. Drlith 12:16, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

There is no definition for someone who doesn't know what a mashup is. What seems to be a definition only makes the reader more confused.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Cubique (talkcontribs) 23:26, April 10, 2007 (UTC)
Concur: I still don't know what a mashup is after reading this article. Furthermore, the distinction between a mashup and a portal seems to rest on the presence of an "API," but the article neither defines "API" nor provides a link to more information.
*Septegram*Talk*Contributions* 18:27, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Marketing language[edit]

The language in at least the lead paragraph is awful, full of buzzwords and mostly devoid of meaning. 23:22, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

It still is dreadful one year later! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:55, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Page Makeover Suggestions[edit]

I have too many comments and disagreements with the information on this page and would like to help in revamping it. I do not mind helping with the material, however I need to get some of my ideas out in the open for others to review.

  1. I would like to remove everything that claims a mashup is similar to a portal and is somehow about data aggregation. iGoogle aggregates data, but I do not think it is a mashup.
  2. Let's get rid of examples like youMashTube. Unless I am missing something here. I went to the site, and it seemed all their data came from youtube, and that they had a nice user interface for it. In my definition. I do not feel that a nifty new user interface falls into the mashup category. While it is true that a lot of mashups have nice new user interfaces. I would consider the lastest UI technologies as a part of Web 2.0 in general and RIA.
  3. News aggregation -- Digg example. I do not digg that often, but doesn't this site just aggregate data? They do not really mash it do they?
  4. "Mashups versus portals" section has to go. Along with "Architectural aspects of mashups" section and "Information overload section"
  5. I think once we start getting precise about what we call a mashup, then we can just call it a Mashup and remove this web-application hybrid language.
  6. The types of mashups section needs some edits too.

Brianpwolfe (talk) 11:57, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

I will take a stab at a definition that I need to refine and get feedback on....[edit]

My core grounding belief about this goes something like this..: "A mashup combines data from more than one source and integrates that data to create something new and unique. The merging of datasets provides unique events that we can act on, which gives the mashup it's uniqueness. At it's simplest form we define a mashup as being the intersection of this data combination and event generation process. However in practice the mashup will usually provide more features around the data and events. Typically we see a nice presentation of the information. We also see new processes and events being generated and ran as a result of these events. I hope I have convinced you that a mashup has to have this generation of unique events that was not possible before the merging of the data or functionality.

That brings me to another point... I keep using the term data and two or more data sources. While this is true and fine, and it is what we see almost all the mashups doing now. Especially the public mahsups. I also think there is another element which we could call 'function' so with this, we could also have a mashup by mixing functionality from two or more services and creating something new. The best exanmples for this are in the cloud computing, web-services, public API space. For example a company could mix up some Amazon web services, and also mix up some services from another business. They may or may not throw in a service of it's own, but they market and sell the complete package as a service or a process. I think this is a mashup as well, and I do not know the best way to combine this into a single definition without confusing others right now.

I will keep trying to iron out my ideas and provide more examples. I am just not happy with all the definitions and explanations I have seen so far. Brianpwolfe (talk) 11:56, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

Content from business mashups[edit]

A seperate article was created for business mashups which seems unnecessary. I've added some of the content to this article but here is the rest. I would add it but am not familiar with this topic. Smartse (talk) 17:02, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

In web development, a business mashup is a Web application that combines data or functionality from one or more sources into a single integrated business application. The term Mashup implies easy, fast integration, frequently done by access to open APIs and data sources to produce results that were not the original reason for producing the raw source data. Buinsess Mashups are different from other types of mashups such as consumer mashups in the way the are built and the technologies used to build them. An example of a business mashup is an management dashboard, which might include data from relational databases and LDAP directories and have access control features to ensure that the mashup user has permission to view the business data. Unlike portal technology, there are no industry standards regarding for Business Mashups and there is some debate regarding the definition [1].

Business Mashups are a key component of integrating business and data services, as Business Mashups technologies provide the ability to develop new integrated services quickly, to combine internal services with external or personalized information, and to make these services tangible to the business user through user-friendly Web browser interfaces.

Legal and commercial issues are often an underlooked aspect related Business Mashups. For example, there are sometimes restrictions on using an API with a device that is not a Web browser[2] or it is not possible to use that API to provide a commercial service. In addition, the API providers often do not provide any sort of warranty in case of failure to deliver the service. These aspects may limit the applicability of Business Mashups unless specific service level agreements are in place.

Breaking out Business Mashup[edit]

BusinessMashup (talk · contribs) has tried several times to break Business Mashup into a separate article and Whpq (talk · contribs) and Smartse (talk · contribs) have reverted it back several times (which I agree with). I restored the content for Business Mashup to this article once already. I don't see any reason to break Business Mashups into a separate article as this article is nowhere near too long. I recommend that we keep the content here for the foreseeable future, until it gets too unweildy. Does anyone besides BusinessMashup disagree? Toddst1 (talk) 20:51, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

Merge proposal - Mashup enabler into Mashup (web application hybrid)[edit]

The only reason for a Mashup enabler to exist is to become a part of a Mashup application. Both articles have been tagged for improvement. I believe that the effort to merge these articles would produce more comprehensive coverage of the topic and a higher quality article. I would start by adding a "Components" section with "Mashup enabler" as one of the subsections. Any other suggestions? John Harvey (talk) 14:43, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

I agree - for now the two articles should be merged together... lightweight visual interfaces for user generated mashups are key to the popularity and pervasiveness of mashups. Ace Anomalous 20:32, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

Agree I like the "Components" section idea K.G. (talk) 14:26, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Diff, with no attempt to tidy/harmonise content. -- Trevj (talk) 09:38, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia Mashups List?[edit]

I was searching for a List of Wikipedia Mashups. Does that exist? If not, would be nice to have. I've put some here, on my page. - Cy21 (talk) 19:21, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

I agree, a list would be useful - please add if it can be done to Wikipedia guidelines. Mikebar (talk) 14:15, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
Just found out, not categorised that way but they are listed here: Wikipedia:Tools, Wikipedia:Searching and Commons:Tools. Cy21 (talk) 21:31, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

West Indian Slang?[edit]

The lead paragraph claims "The term mashup originally comes from British - West Indies slang meaning to be intoxicated, or as a description for something or someone not functioning as intended." Surely software use of term comes from use in music, and there is no reference to this origin in the entry on that use. I couldn't even find evidence that this is a UK-WI slang term with that meaning, let alone that it's where this usage is derived from. I suggest deleting this unless some sort of support can be offered for the claim. Faff296 (talk) 22:04, 22 July 2014 (UTC)