Hacking a Dynamic System

"Change is the handmaiden Nature requires to do her miracles with."

?Mark Twain

eBay is constantly evolving and changing to meet the needs of its ever-growing community (as well as its business partners). Every two weeks, in fact, eBay introduces new features and changes to its site. Some changes are subtle, like moving the location of a button or link, or updating an obscure policy. Other changes are much more dramatic.

While this book was being written, for instance, eBay added the Calculated Shipping feature (see [Hack #45]), substantially changed the licensing and pricing for its Developers Program (see Chapter 8), and introduced an entirely new auction page design. And all of these changes occurred within a period of about 30 days.

There is no such thing as eBay 2.0 or eBay 2.1, a fact that can create quite a challenge for tinkerers. But, by their very nature, hacks are experimental, and not necessarily impervious to breakage or obsolescence. As eBay evolves, some of the hacks in this book may need to be adjusted, fixed, or otherwise massaged to work within the confines of the system. If you encounter a problem, just visit www.ebayhacks.com to see if there's a solution (or to suggest one of your own).

Fortunately, whenever eBay closes a door, they try to open a window (or at least a vent), which means that hacking will always be a part of using eBay, and the hacker will always have a home.