In October, Socrata released a new version of the API, SODA V2. It's a major change and a great improvement over V1. As a result, all of the examples and discussion of the API in the previous posts are now out of date. They should continue to work for some time but eventually the old API will be discontinued and the examples will no longer work.
I don't know when, or if, I'll have time to create a new set of examples with the new API.
You can read about the API and how to get started with it at the Socrata's, Getting Started, page.