Kevin Wells’ Currency application, which provides an easy way to obtain currency exchange rates and other data from the RISC OS desktop, has been given a version bump to 2.00.
The Application Programmer Interface (API) provider used for previous versions recently changed their systems such that Kevin had to obtain a new API key each month in order to keep the program running, and that would have meant releasing an updated program with each new API key. The API key is a special code used to verify that the request for data from the provider comes from an approved user or piece of software – and rather than continue with this cycle of forced updates, changing provider was a more efficient option, and Kevin took the opportunity to rewrite the code at the same time.
The new provider for the currency data is API Layer, who only provide free API keys with a monthly limit of 250 calls, or subscription plans for keys with higher limits. As a result, the application is now set up so that users sign up for their own key, and enter it into Currency – which avoids the risk of the program suddenly no longer working part way through the month if too many people make too many requests.
With the change of provider, some of the data returned differs – previously, you could see a limited amount of historical exchange rate data, but this has now been increased to up to four weeks.
As well as the currency exchange rates, the program also connects to World Bank to obtain a given country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and population data for the last ten years – and to this, the average life expectancy has now been added.
In order to communicate with either of these sites, Currency needs a working internet connection and Wget to work.