What Makes a Good API? A Call to Arms…

One of the sessions I attended at last year’s CETIS get together was the UKOLN organised Technological Innovation in a World of Web APIs session (see also My CETIS 2008 Presentations and What Makes A Good API? Doing The Research Using Twitter).

This session formed part of a project being co-ordinated by UKOLN’s homeworking Marieke GuyJISC “Good APIs” project (project blog) – which is well worth getting involved with because it might just help shape the future of JISC’s requirements when they go about funding projects…

(So if you like SOAP and think REST is for wimps, keep quiet and let projects that do go for APIs continue to get away with proposing overblown, unfriendly, overengineered ones…;-)

So how can you get involved? By taking this survey, for one thing:

The ‘Good APIs’ project aims to provide JISC and the sector with information and advice on best practice which should be adopted when developing and consuming APIs.

In order to collate information the project team have written a very brief research survey asking you about your use of APIs (both providing and consuming).

TAKE THE What makes a good API? SURVEY.

I don’t know if the project will have a presence at the JISC “Developer Happiness” Days (the schedule is still being put together) but it’d be good if Marieke or Brian were there on one of the days (at least) to pitch in some of the requirements of a good API that they’ve identified to date;-)

PS here’s another fun looking event – Newcastle Maker Faire.

Author: Tony Hirst

I'm a Senior Lecturer at The Open University, with an interest in #opendata policy and practice, as well as general web tinkering...

4 thoughts on “What Makes a Good API? A Call to Arms…”

  1. Now this I’m interested in: lots of acronyms for me to try to absorb the meaning of. [What would I do without Wikipedia? Hmmm . . . what would I do?]

    What I’m after is a way to do stuff without knowing any programming. That is to say, I know I would have to know some principles of programming in order to get the job done, but I think what I’m after is a graphical chunky thing a bit like Mindstorms [/GameMaker – but I see there’s ambiguity there & I haven’t seen it anyway so let’s stick to Mindstorms].

    u kno who (fount of all computer knowhow)never around when I’m thinking this stuff and anyway it’s somehow frustrating as I know more than I ‘should’ having absorbed stuff over the years, but we have to check terms etc. I really ought to do a few OU courses u kno but then that would be so tediarse (sic).

    Unless SOMEONE were to come up with a way of presenting course materials through hypermedia [LOL holding my gut now . . . ]which would suit my way of learning ;-)

    [That’s enough wooden spoon for now – Ed.]

  2. Hi Tony,

    Thanks for blogging about the Good APIs survey. And thanks to Mia for the pointers

    I’m hoping to attend one or more of the developer Happiness Days. I’ll probably go along to the ‘community gatherings’ and chat to people about the project.

    Note that they are now offering free beds to novice developers. Definitely worth a look!


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