Spry meets YouTube

By David Fekke
January 17th, 2011

I was speaking to one of my user group members, Luis Casillas, about Spry at our last meeting. I told him I had been thinking about writing a Spry example that searches YouTube tags, displays results, and even loaded the and played the Flash video.

Last night I sat down and took a look at the YouTube API. They use REST and XML-RPC interfaces to expose their api. They have good documentation on their dev site. I used the REST interface to call their tag search method in COldFusion. It returns an XML file that then consumes the XML through an ColdFusion proxy. This solves cross domain security issues, and allows the XMLHttpObj to call without security warnings. There is an example below.

<cfprocessingdirective pageencoding="utf-8" />

<cfsetting showdebugoutput="false" />

<cfparam name="url.tag" default="cat">

<cfset youTubeKey = "mykey" />

<cfset UTubeName = "myusername" />

<cfset methodName = "youtube.videos.listbytag" />

<cfset uTubeURL = "http://www.youtube.com/api2rest?method=#methodName#&devid=#youTubeKey#&tag=#url.tag#" />

<cfhttp url="#uTubeURL#" charset="utf-8">

<cfcontent type="text/xml; charset=utf-8" />#resultXML#

I ran into problems with the XML feed losing the utf-8 encoding coming through COldFusion's CFHTTP tag. I specified utf-8 encoding with the cfprocessingdirective tag as well as the cfhttp tag and the cfcontent tag.

All the rest was done in JavaScript, so the page only has to load once. All of the real functionality are Spry Ajax calls using the Spry.Data.XMLDataSet object.

I use one DataSet object to perform my searches with, and I wrote two functions to use a form perform the search, and another to display the YouTube Video. The JavaScript code is listed below;

var UTubeURL = "youtubesearch.cfm?tag=";

var UTubeXPath = "/utresponse/videolist/video";

var dsYouTube = new Spry.Data.XMLDataSet(UTubeURL, UTubeXPath, { method: "GET", useCache: false });

function isdefined( variable)


return (typeof(window[variable]) == "undefined")? false: true;


function searchUTube() {

var myTag = document.myForm.tag.value;

UTubeURL = "youtubesearch.cfm?tag=" + myTag;



if (isdefined("so")) {

YouTubeVideoDiv = document.getElementById("YouTubeVideo");

YouTubeVideoDiv.innerHTML = "";



function showVideo(myid) {

var swfFileName = 'http://www.youtube.com/v/' + myid;

so = new SWFObject(swfFileName, "mymovie", "425", "350", "7", "#336699");



I used the following form code to perform searches on new tags.
"myForm" onsubmit="">

<input type="text" name="tag" value="" />

<input onClick="searchUTube();" type="button" value="Search" />

I then used the following div tags and Spry regoins to display the movie and the search results;

<div id="mContainer" spry:region="dsYouTube">

<tr spry:repeat="dsYouTube">

<td valign="top">

Image Title
<a href="{url}"><img src="{thumbnail_url}" />

<a href="#" id="{id}" onclick="showVideo(this.id);return false;">{title}

The next problem I ran into was trying to load the SWF movies dynamically. Khary Mallea turned me on to the SWFObject library. Like Spry, this library dynamically takes care of the browser differences to make sure the movie will always display. Internet Explorer would not load the movies until I added this library.

You can view a working example at this url.

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